During their time with Heavy Metal Records, Starz was made up of Michael Lee Smith, Richie Ranno (who did the production work for these albums as well as playing in the band), Brendan Harkin, Joe Dube and Peter Scance. Hailing from New Jersey, USA, they still have a loyal cult following around the world, which speaks volumes for the high quality of the music they were putting out: such fans can still see Richie Ranno playing the band’s hits live, both solo and with his “All Stars.”
To say that Starz were a band with a sense of humour is something of an understatement, yet to say that they were defined by this is unfair. In short, they were a band that could write and perform just as well as many of the greatest bands of the time, but regardless of their success they never took life too seriously, as is made all too clear by the release of the EP “Piss Party” in between albums, the cover boasting “PISS YELLOW VINYL” alongside a warning that the album contains foul language, almost reminiscent of Derek and Clive’s warnings of the same nature.
Following a single release through FM-Revolver Records in the late 1970s, Starz came to Heavy Metal Records as a band that were at their peak in terms of popularity, and yet were engaging in other projects. As it was, fans were crying out for more Starz material, a request that was answered through three Heavy Metal Records releases: the compilation “Brightest Starz,” which celebrated the best parts of the band’s back catalogue; “Live In Canada,” which immortalised the band’s live sound for generations to come; and the EP “Piss Party,” which was perhaps the most exciting of these releases for the fans.