Today’s POP RESCUE from a loveless future, is the 1985 debut Five Star album Luxury Of Life. Does this album feel luxurious on the ears, or is it more of an ordinary life? Read on…
This album saw the five Pearson siblings (Denise, Doris, Lorraine, Delroy, and Stedman) launch themselves as a kind of group alternative to Michael and Janet Jackson. Musically and stylistically, there are many similarities.
The 10-track album is home to a whopping 7 singles on it, so let’s get stuck in…
First up is single Love Take Over, which was mixed by in-demand producer of the time, Paul Hardcastle (who had had a hit with the single 19). This is a great start to an album – strong and up-beat – vocally and musically.
Following this is All Fall Down which, like third track Let Me Be The One (with a great video), are great little pop songs. They both remind me a fair bit of something that you’d hear from Janet Jackson.
Next up is one of the two best Five Star tracks (in my opinion) – System Addict (the other being Rain Or Shine from their Silk & Steel follow-up album). This is a great song – complete with a brilliant robotic video, and whilst it cries out for a cover version, it’s difficult to imagine where a cover version could take it to – as it’s perfect.
The fifth track was their debut single – Hide And Seek and it’s a perfectly respectable bouncy pop number, that’s a good a place to start as any. This track was co-written by Anne Dudley – now a famous composer and producer, but at the time she was a member of Art Of Noise.
Bouncing in with a fill, R.S.V.P has a great bassline, and a beat and tempo that could probably allow you to mash it up with Madonna‘s Into The Groove with great ease. This track is the perfect up-beat little pop track. ‘I can make you number one, if you to have my love’ they sing. I think that this could have easily been yet another hit single from this album.
Track seven, Now I’m In Control, reminds me a little bit of System Addict. Once again, this is the perfect little pop gem – catchy and up-beat.
Strings open Say Goodbye, a track written by group member Lorraine. It’s a slow, tender ballad, with some delicate vocals, over a piano, cello, and acoustic guitar before a beat joins them.
Penultimate track Crazy is a catchy pop number, with some fantastic high-pitched vocal samples and vocal harmonies.
Final track is Winning, and yes – they are! Its chorus is catchier than its verses, but the bouncy bass, synth, and brass sections keep it bouncing along perfectly.
Where are Five Star now?
Five Star went on to release a number of albums until monetary problems and record label tensions forced them to relocate to the US. After a hiatus, they returned to touring in the US and UK, turning up at festivals and holiday parks.
Cherry Red Records recently re-issued this album and others with extra tracks.
POP RESCUE RATING
This is a fantastic album. It is flawless, even now – 29 years after it was released. And for a debut it really set the group up for a successful career.
Despite releasing 7 singles from this, they managed to find time to record and release their second album in the following year.
- POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 5 / 5
- 1985 UK CHART POSITION: #12, certified Platinum
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.53 from an eBay seller