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Starship - No Protection (1987) Retail CD
"Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Diane Warren and Albert Hammond was the third number one hit for Starship, about as far removed as you could get from Marty Balin's composition, "Miracles," which was the biggest hit that emerged from both the Jefferson Airplane and the Jefferson Starship. "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" is manufactured pop, but as mature bubblegum endorsed by Grace Slick, it didn't need the Oscar nomination to validate its brilliance. As far as techno-rock goes, No Protection is a classic of the genre. The opening "Beat Patrol" is fun, and despite the amalgam of producers &mdashmore…; Peter Wolf (not the J. Geils singer) on six songs including the beautiful "Set the Night to Music" which ends this disc, Farrenheit producer Keith Olsen on the Top 10 philosophical mantra "It's Not Over ('Til It's Over)" along with two other titles, and Narada Michael Walden's aforementioned brilliant gem, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" — it somehow works as they unite for a concise and consistent package. You have only four band members here, drummer/vocalist Donny Baldwin, guitarist Craig Chaquico, and two vocalists, Slick and Mickey Thomas (who, thankfully, kept his sometimes annoying voice to that range of his first hit with Elvin Bishop, "Fooled Around and Fell in Love"), a far cry from the gypsy atmosphere of the Red Octopus days. Like "Beat Patrol," the all-Mickey Thomas "Girls Like You" is a fun little romp, and more importantly, it is the only band contribution, co-written by Craig Chaquico, Thomas, and Steve Diamond, along with two Grace Slick numbers, also co-written, making this album a really manufactured entity. This is a hip version of the Archies; make no mistake about it. One of the great counter-culture bands evolving into Jerry Garcia's worst nightmare. But it works. It is the Archies's for adults, some kind of clean pornography. Peter Wolf and Ina Wolf's "Wings of a Lie" is good work; Martin Page's "The Children" an indicator of how instrumental Page would be to the next phase, Love Among the Cannibals, almost prophesized by Paul Kantner on Winds of Change. It is also important to note that Grace Slick's Software album is really a companion piece to No Protection; she took to this format, further giving it credibility. "I Don't Know Why" is classic Grace Slick; "Transatlantic" from Anton Fig and Slick/Funderburk/Williams' "Babylon" set up the album for the finale, Diane Warren's "Set the Night to Music." This is as much Warren's show — she who helped Aerosmith with their Armageddon title theme — as it is the producers' puppet. Hey, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" got into both the Mannequin film and its sequel, Mannequin II, and how many themes can claim that? No Protection was the high point for Starship; stripped of the essence of a rock & roll band, it works as a child of Kraftwerk, combining computers and rock music, turning a genius guitarist like Chaquico into a by-product. But one cannot deny that No Protection is brilliant in its embrace of sounds from the cold depths of outer space, a creature Paul Kantner never imagined his "Jefferson Starship" would find.
|2||Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now|
|3||It's Not Over ('Til It's Over)|
|4||Girls Like You|
|5||Wings of a Lie|
|7||I Don't Know Why|
|11||Set the Night to Music|
- Starship - No Protection (1987) Retail CD
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- 08/09/14 by pontiacc
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