There are almost certainly rock bands who have managed to string together longer careers out of briefer, less memorable brushes with mainstream success than Shooting Star. There have to be. I just don’t know of any.
It really takes a special kind of music listener to even be aware of Shooting Star, a band that’s been together pretty much without interruption since the late ’70s and continues to record (matter of fact, the band’s latest album, Circles, just came out last month) — I’ve rarely, if ever, heard anybody bring them up outside a game of “Dinosaur Band Alphabet” or a lively discussion of dumbest ’80s band names (Le Roux almost always wins). They’ve never been much more than a regional act; “Touch Me Tonight” (download) is Shooting Star’s highest-charting single, and it peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It wasn’t all the band’s fault. On one hand, it would be difficult to conceive of a group more thoroughly anonymous in sound or image, or one with a worse name — but then again, you could say the same thing about Toto, and look how well they did over the same timeframe. On the other, Shooting Star had a knack for getting into bed with labels ill-equipped to promote either a meat & potatoes rock band — like Virgin — or any band at all, like Enigma Records, the imprint that released Touch Me Tonight: The Best of Shooting Star in late 1989…and then went belly-up. The extra bitter twist to this tale is that, if I remember right, Shooting Star had reunited after a four-year break to release this “hits” package, and even took the time to include “Never Give Up” (download), a previously unreleased track, on the flip side of this here cassingle.
Damn if rock & roll isn’t a cruel mistress.
The story gets worse for Shooting Star — they signed with Artie Mogull’s razor-taloned career destroyer of a label, JRS Records, for their 1991 followup to Touch Me Tonight — but as I said, they’re still around, and still releasing new music. You’ve sort of got to respect that.