STARFLIGHT [1979]



Starflight is loaded with sixteen Top 20 hits from 1978 and 1979.  HERC's precise carbon dating process puts the probable release of the album as 4th quarter of 1979, in time for the Holiday shopping season. Starflight was billed as part of K-Tel's Headliners series which was first teased back in the gatefold of Gold Rush 79 and included Night Moves, Together, Hot Nights & City Lights and The Seals & Crofts Collection.  As HERC has covered both Together and Hot Nights & City Lights previously here on The Kollection, let's take a quick look at those other two Headliners albums, which will not be getting the K-Tel Scale treatment.
Night Moves is an awesome title (and logo) for a fairly lame album.  It is three sides of disco dance instruction from Dance Fever's Deney Terrio (the man who taught John Travolta his moves for Saturday Night Fever) and one side of music - four songs - to dance to.  It is a greatly expanded, celebrity instructor take on 1978's Let's Disco!


Seals & Crofts, the uncrowned kings of seventies compilations, saw a brief hit-making career from 1972-1975 documented by their record label with Greatest Hits, a ten song compilation (Canadian cassette shown, above right) in 1975.  The bearded duo scored three more Top 40 hits over the ensuing one thousand days following 1975 and their label farmed out an updated singles compilation (The Seals & Crofts Collection) which dumps two of their original greatest hits in favor of eight others including HERC fave "Get Closer".  Seals & Crofts were preceded by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Diana Ross & the Supremes in having their own US released compilation album from K-Tel.  In 1980, Abba and Elton John would join the club.
The sixteen tracks on Starflight cover a broad spectrum of Top 40 radio with the exception being a lack of country music.  HERC sees Pop and crossover Number Ones on the tracklisting and has a real good feeling that Starflight will easily make the Top 10 Highest Scoring Albums of the K-Tel Scale thus far, forty-one albums in.  Before we get to the K-Tel scorecard, let's watch and listen to just a few of HERC's favorite songs on the album:











STARFLIGHT [1979]
K-tel Scale:
33.97
Billboard Top 40s
PopR&BDiscoACCBWLS
Sad EyesRobert John11012
Lead Me OnMaxine Nightingale5371511
Mama Can't Buy You LoveElton John93611022
Does Your Mother KnowABBA191628
Blue Morning, Blue DayForeigner1519
I Want You To Want Me (live)Cheap Trick732
I Can't Stand It No MorePeter Frampton1418
Pop MuzikM1443
Makin' ItDavid Naughton51152
Heaven Must Have Sent YouBonnie Pointer1181033
When You're In Love With A Beautiful WomanDr. Hook6557
Stumblin' InSuzi Quatro & Chris Norman44611
ReunitedPeaches & Herb11411
Do It Or DieAtlanta Rhythm Section19112119
Boogie WonderlandEarth, Wind & Fire w/ The Emotions6214512
Ain't No Stoppin' Us NowMcFadden & Whitehead131101220

It's a hit! And with a score just shy of 34, Starflight lands at #7 in the Top 10.  Not as much overall crossover as HERC had suspected although 25% of the songs made three of the four Billboard Singles charts monitored for the K-Tel Scale. As the last featured album from 1979, Starflight had one thing in common with some its fellow 1979 releases: a change in the style and color of the label on the vinyl albums as seen below.  The change didn't go too smoothly with some titles, though.
 
Canadian version of Starflight with older, orange and yellow label used throughout the mid-Seventies (left) along with the two label variations of the US version of Starflight. which feature the newer red and brown label and logo.

As usual, the tracklist was re-ordered to better suit the eight-track tape's four channels.  Starflight eight-tracks exists in both black and white color variations.  The cassette format mirrored the vinyl album's tracklist as seen below.

The Canadian iteration of Starflight kept four tracks from its American counterpart and added a dozen different songs to the mix.  Unfortunately, three of those new tracks failed to make the US Top 40 so the album did poorly on the K-Tel Scale, coming in with a score just shy of 25.  HERC actually likes the dozen new tracks, which feature a pair of Number One R&B songs, a pair of Number One Disco songs and a pair of Number One Country songs.  For more than a couple of years now, HERC's preferred Starflight playlist has been the Can-Am one below that combines the 16 tracks from the US version with the 12 unique tracks from the Canadian version.


BUT WAIT....THERE'S MORE!

Starflight was the last of the ten K-Tel albums issued on compact disc as part of the label's Classic Reissue Series in 1997.  Ten of the album's original sixteen tracks were split equally across two discs with an additional five tracks per disc added for a total of ten songs on each.
Now, HERC's new favorite Starflight playlist is the all-inclusive 38 track Starflight Infinity playlist below:


Next up, after posting three albums from 1980, we get In Tune With the 80s for good with Images - "the soft magic of today's rock"



3 comments:

  1. Herc, thanks for posting this one on my 50th birthday - a great memory from the past. I actually owned a copy of this one on vinyl back in the day, the one with the six artists on the back.

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  2. I fondly remember STARFLIGHT too, had it on cassette which I believe my mom bought for me at Kress in downtown Honolulu. I'm sure when I play it, I'll get the memories of hearing the songs in this exact order.

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  3. Love it. Best rollar skating album ever

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