A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.
02 April 2009
Starship - No Protection (1987)
The album opens with the superb Beat Patrol a synth-driven rock track which served as the album's third single, it comes across as a follow up to We Built This City in that it's almost as non-sensical and fun, with both Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas on vocals again. Sadly as the album goes on Slick become almost relegated to backing vocals on half of the tracks, I think by this time she'd started to become uncomfortable with the idea of being a pop star in her 50's.
Everyone knows Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, the classic theme tune to the movie Mannequin, so we don't need to go over it too much, other than to say it's one of the best pop songs ever!
It's Not Over (Till It's Over) was the second single, and despite the lack of Ms Slick, it is still pretty mighty. It's plastic 80's rock/pop at it's best. Great vocals. If you like this, you'll like the next track Girls Like You, which has some nice effects on the vocals and is superb. When I first listened to No Protection I felt a bit cheated as I wanted some more Slick/Thomas bellowing, but after I got over the fact that that wasn't happening, I really grew to like this one.
Wings Of A Lie is nice a mid-tempo synth/rock ballad, if not a bit bland. Sounds like a Heart b-side. The Children is another duet(of sorts), it's a bit airy fairy, it does eventually get going during the meandering choruses, Grace Slick shows up a bit on this one, sings a few lines, and buggers off again...
She shows up again for I Don't Know Why, which is more mid-tempo filler, but well sung!
Things pick up speed with Transatlantic, which as was the fashion in the 80's rattles on about have a long distance love affair across the sea, cliched lyrics galore!!! - "SOS, in distress, close my eyes for you reply!" It's so 80's it hurts. No Grace on this one either, sadly.
Say When is pure filler.
Babylon is an interesting one, Grace Slick on lead vocals, the dreamy verses and the dramatic electronic chorus really work so well, I have no idea what it's about, but I like it a lot. If only she'd done more of this!
"Babylon, is it true that our streets were paved with gold, did you play beneath the stars? Babylon, did you know it would all come down to how you played the dealer's cards?"
Set The Night To Music sounds like it was written by Diane Warren, it's sickly and syrupy, but kinda good. This duet marks the end of the original lineup of Starship as Grace Slick left for good in 1988.
Chart Action: No Protection (LP) US #12, UK #26. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now US #1, UK #1. It's Not Over (Till It's Over) US #9, UK #flop. Beat Patrol US #46, UK #flop. Set The Night To Music US #flop!.
Since I don't think they actually promoted this album, here's a great interview with Grace from 1985, she was fab!...
Get the Beat Patrol remixes from Old School Music