Todays’ POP RESCUE from a loveless fate, is the 1987 third Five Star vinyl album, Between The Lines. Does this album shine like a star, or does it leave you feeling Steely cold? Read on…
The album opens with Somewhere Somebody, which was the third and final single from the album. This track is a great introduction to the album, complete with a catchy synth riff. The bass and electric guitars keep the song chugging along. The chorus is pretty catchy, but sadly this didn’t manage to take it into the top 20 – it reached #23 in the UK.
Next up is lead single Whenever You’re Ready, opening with some great little vocal samples and a nice burst of brass. This is a really catchy song, and the synth riffs again help to keep this track sounding good. It was robbed of a top ten position, reaching #11 in the UK singles chart.
This is followed by second single, Strong As Steel, which was written by songwriting extraordinaire Diane Warren. This song is another slower number, but there’s some great vocals from Denise, who harmonises perfectly with her siblings. The group make great work of this song – which builds, and gives enough space for the vocals and instruments to shine here. The video is just as wonderful (Denise falls in love with a car), but despite this, the song stalled at #16 in the UK singles chart.
Title track Read Between The Lines follows and whilst this song is perfectly good, it does feel a bit weaker, and not as strong vocally, or lyrically. There is a good vocal mid-section, followed by a tasty 80s guitar solo. The track repeats a little too much before it begins to fade.
Side one closes with a flourish of strings, that usher in the ballad Live Giving Love. This is s full-on swaying 80s ballad, that I could expect playing out the end credits of an 80s movie like The Goonies. Obligatory 80s Saxophone gets an airing towards the end, as the strings lead to a key change.
Side Two opens with Ain’t Whatcha Do, bursts in, reminding me instantly reminding me of early Madonna. The vocals here sound a little buried in the music, aside from some great well held high notes. It bounces along as a perfect little pop song.
Made Out Of Love is next, and this is a more downbeat song, despite Denise singing about her lover. I really quite like this track. It’s catchy although the mid-section verse and solo kind of break it up too much. I think that with a gentle remix, this could have made it as a single.
Lorraine takes the lead for next track You Should Have Waited. Her voice is softer than Denise’s but this song is a nice gentle track, and pretty catchy.
Doris takes the lead for Knock Twice, and this is a stronger track than the previous one, but it’s still not single territory. There’s some great vocal samples here amongst the bass and beats.
Denise returns for her solo-written track, Hard Race, which opens with a melody that reminds me instantly of True Colours by Cyndi Lauper. However, this soon subsides to add a pumping bass drum as the tracks builds. This track hints at where Five Star were to go next – it’s a much harder sound.
Where are Five Star now?
Five Star continued to record and release after this album, altering their image after this album failed to match the success of the previous two.
Five Star continue to perform, but currently as a four-piece.
An expanded version of this album was released by Cherry Pop Records in 2012.
POP RESCUE RATING
Overall, this album is nice enough, but it’s clear that an intensive release and writing conveyor-belt-like schedule, this album was weakened.
I personally feel that the singles were robbed of the success that they deserved though. It’s definitely worth a few listens!
- POP RESCUE 2015 RATING: 4 / 5
- 1987 UK CHART POSITION: #7, certified Platinum.
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.00 from an RSPCA store.