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06 August 2010 @ 06:46 am
Bp's Song of the Week #89: ArcAngel "Stars"  
You most likely won’t know this track, even if you’ve heard of the band. Their one ‘hit’ was “Tragedy,” from their self-titled album on Portrait in 1983. It was that awesome song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvpmZO6AB0Q, that led to my brother and I getting into the band. WOUR in Utica played it and even MTV a few times - those were the two outlets that turned us onto new music at the time.

If you’re thinking that this is the band from Texas with SRV & Double Trouble connections, you’re wrong. That was Arc Angels. This is ArcAngel – fronted by Jeff Cannata of CT – maybe some of these names from the liner notes look familiar: Lennie Petze, Aldo Nova, Michael Soldon, Tony Bongiovi, Lance Quinn…If you’re a keen observer you recognize some of these names as NYC-based musicians and producers who popped up on many albums that made their way through the Power Station in NYC.

But what about the song…

ArcAngel “Stars”

“Stars” is the opening track on the album and while the whole album still sounds fresh 25+ years later, this opener is surprisingly powerful and punchy, bright and full of melodic wonder. Lyrically it’s full of questions, “there’s so many stars in the sky, why is it dreaming’s not easier?” and this powerful second verse:
“Is there a reason, a masterful plan
A time weary traveler can understand?
Somebody free me, don’t ever deceive me
To reach for the sky and touch the sun
Have I been searching, for something unreal
A prisoner of fate who forgot to conceal
The heart of a man, just part of the deal?”

The musical score is dramatic and sonically brilliant – a cascade of guitars and layers of keys providing a melodic journey that recalls that of classic Boston. The voice is what sets ArcAngel apart. Cannata’s strong and vibrant tone cuts through the layers of guitar, joining with them and providing such harmony. If a desert island disc was ever made, it would be this 1983 gem.

Thankfully I tracked down a Japanese import back in the late ‘90s, but it is now long out of print. If you’re able to hunt down a copy, it’s well worth it.

More ArcAngel:
King of the Mountain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUaOrHx0MRY
Sidelines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KXxdGuuhNs
Fortune Teller (Cannata solo): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVlJvLec_Bo
Tamorok (Cannata solo): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_xxWwNG5k4