Five Star – “Gold”
by Mark Keen
We have already revisited the career of Five Star in our ‘Where Are They Now?‘ retrospective, but the release of the new “Gold” complication is a welcome reminder of their pop genius. Much like the recent Belinda Carlisle “Gold” compilation which is a bargain at £5.99 at all good record shops. Expect Ace of Base “Gold”, Boney-M “Gold” and M-People “Gold” compilations before Christmas, and there’s even Michael Bolton “Gold” to look forward to!
This compilation is a three CD edition, with the third CD containing remixes, and is about as definitive as it could be covering their career from 1984 through to 1991, and builds nicely on the “Legends” compilation from a few years ago and the recent “Remix Anthology” compilation from Cherry Pop, and also compliments the re-releases of the first six albums on CD by Cherry Pop. This CD compilation includes 50 tracks and there is also a vinyl edition with 14 tracks.
The first CD with 19 tracks includes all of their early biggest hits starting off with the 1986 hit “Can’t Wait Another Minute”, surely one of their top tunes, and follows on with the single versions of all the well known hits ranging from “Rain Or Shine” to “Stay Out Of My Life” and the remaining hits from the sophomore album “Silk And Steel”. The hits from the first album, 1985’s “Luxury Of Life”, are all present and correct, although there is no room for early singles, such as 1983’s “Problematic”. In addition the singles from the third album “Between The Lines” are all included. The final track on CD1 is “Somewhere Somebody”, the final single from “Between The Lines”. This sadly singled a sense that the hits were drying up as the track failed to crack the top twenty at the end of 1987, the first single to do this for a couple of years. There’s a couple of lesser known tracks on CD1 which are worthy of a mention: “Please Don’t Say Goodnight” with a rare lead vocal from Delroy and “Love Games”, a B-side from the “Luxury Of Life” period.
CD2 is a more mixed affair with another 19 tracks, but will equally be enjoyed by fans. It starts off with their last top twenty hit in the UK in 1988 with “Another Weekend” from the “Rock The World” album. The casual pop fan didn’t take to their harder more mature image on this album, which was a shame as the music showed a real progression whilst retaining the pop sensibility of the previous albums. This CD includes tracks from all of their first six albums from 1985’s “Luxury Of Life” through to 1991’s “Shine”. There are some great album tracks here including “Knock Twice” and the US single “Someone’s In Love”, giving both Lorraine and Doris lead vocal duties. There’s also a couple of US single remixes for “Can’t Wait Another Minute” and “Let Me Be The One”.
There are some more obscure tracks, such as “Some Kind Of Magic” and “I Really Did It This Time”, as well as “Something About My Baby” from the 1989 greatest hits. CD3 includes 12 tracks and appropriately includes the 12 inch remixes. Many of these are worth revisiting. Shep Pettibone’s remixes of “The Slightest Touch” and “Are You Man Enough?” are interesting as at this point he was doing many remixes for Janet Jackson, such as “The Pleasure Principle“. Other favourites include the remixes of “Stay Out Of My Life” and “Can’t Wait Another Minute”.
All in all, this is a real bargain for both the passing fan and the completist. It’s a shame these compilations can’t include a DVD compilation, but perhaps that’s expecting too much at this price. For anyone wanting to see the videos gathered together there was a great compilation called “Performance” a few years ago, as well as the recent “Definitive Anthology”, which I’m still waiting for Santa to buy me, or for Amazon to drop the price! Perhaps the biggest Christmas present would be for a full reunion of the famous five. In the meantime, Denise has been doing some promotion for the album which is always welcome. It’s good to see Five Star still shining bright after thirty years. It’s long before time that they finally receive some recognition for what they achieved.