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LONE STAR

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Lone Star picture
Lone Star biography
Stylish, Welsh Hard Rock merchants centred upon former UNIVERSE and SKID ROW guitarist PAUL CHAPMAN.
LONE STAR was originally called IONA Prior to adopting the LONE STAR title, a formative drummer, Steve Williams, joined QUEST in 1973 before he journeyed onto premier Welsh rockers BUDGIE.In turn QUEST bassist Ray Jones joined LONE STAR in 1974.
During 1975, with original vocalist Kenny Driscoll, LONE STAR debuted with a British support slot to TED NUGENT to promote the Epic released 'Lone Star' album. Driscoll was to pack his bags in 1977 and was replaced by former TRAPPER vocalist JOHN SLOMAN, who recorded the second album, 'Firing On All Six', with the group. The group failed to survive though and guitarist Paul Chapman, following rehearsals with German act the SCORPIONS, rejoined UFO replacing the errant Michael Schenker whom he had covered for previously. A proposed third LONE STAR album 'Riding High' was shelved,finally seeing a belated release in 1999.
Sloman would, after contributing keyboards to UFO's'The Wild, The Willing And The Innocent' album, end up joining URIAH HEEP for a period. Post URIAH HEEP Sloman formed part of the shortlived BADLANDS project assembled by ex-TYGERS OF PAN TANG guitarist JOHN SYKES and ex WHITESNAKE bassist Neil Murray. BADLANDS folded when Sykes got the call to join THIN LIZZY and Sloman went solo.
Drummer Dixie Lee teamed up with WILD HORSES before joining Canadian act STARCHILD then British Metal act PERSIAN RISK.He would also sit in on demos for the proto OZZY OSBOURNE
band. Chapman's guitar partner Tony Smith formed SCREEN IDOLS with whom he released one album, 'Premiere', in 1979.


Thanks to Chopper for the Biog.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Although they tread a line between rock and prog rock, I believe they should be
included for these reasons (a) 10 minute cover version of The Beatles'
She Said, She Said (b) use of keyboards (c) spaceship related themes (d)
use of orchestra (by Jeff Wayne)




Discography:
Lone Star (1976)
Firing On All Six (1977)
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (1995)
Riding High (2002)
Albums 1 and 2 released together as 1 CD. (2004)

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LONE STAR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

LONE STAR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 7 ratings
Lone Star
1976
3.92 | 9 ratings
Firing On All Six
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
Riding High
2000

LONE STAR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Live - BBC in Concert
1995

LONE STAR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LONE STAR Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 2 ratings
Lone Star/Firing On All Six
2004

LONE STAR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

LONE STAR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Firing On All Six  by LONE STAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.92 | 9 ratings

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Firing On All Six
Lone Star Heavy Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Presence

"Firing on all six" is one of those albums which many of those of us of a certain age remember with warm affection. Although with the passing of time it may now sound rather prosaic, at the time of its release it was actually quite exciting and original.

Some of that originality stemmed from the multi-phonic tones of the synthesiser keyboards, something which was still quite a novelty in the late 1970's. By the time of this album, original vocalist Ken Driscoll had moved on, to be replaced by a 20 year old John Sloman. Sloman's introduction brought with it hints of the LED ZEPPELIN sound, especially on tracks such as "The Ballad Of Crafty Jack" and "Lovely Lubina", the latter sounding spookily like the music on the "Presence" album at times. He would later go on to work for a short while with URIAH HEEP, where it was generally felt he was a fish out of water. Here though his high vocals are perfect for the style of music Lone Star create.

The sound of Lone Star (not to be confused with the US band of that name, these lads are Welsh) is fresh, it's exciting. Admittedly it is not particularly progressive, generally sticking to formulaic structures with strong harmonised choruses and sweeping synth or guitar breaks. The opening "Bells of Berlin" sets out the stall perfectly. There is perhaps a hint of ASIA in the power chords and big sound. Interestingly, this song and "Hypnotic mover" were written by the band before Driscoll departed. Sloman however does a wonderful job on making "Bells.." his own.

The eight tracks all clock in around the five minute mark, affording the band a little more space to move beyond the brief pop tenets on which the songs are based. The delicate ballad "Seasons in your eyes" offers the only let up in the pace, the orchestration reportedly being the work of Jeff Wayne.

There are a couple of fillers along the way. "Rivers overflowing" is a rather directionless funky number, although even here the chorus is adequate if not remarkable.

The other stand out track is the closing "All of us to all of you". If ever a track was written to become a band's anthem, this is it. From the opening unaccompanied guitar chords we are immediately swept along by swirling organ and a powerful beat. Sloman rattles out a brief verse and we're into a harmonic "No time to lose" chorus. As the synth solo builds the excitement, the drums lift the pace and the band leave the stage in an ever rising burst of the song title.

Listening to the album now, time has not been as kind to it as it might have been. The bookend tracks still sound wonderful, but the songs in-between have lost some of their bite. This though, for those of us who were there is an album to be remembered with true fondness.

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 Firing On All Six  by LONE STAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.92 | 9 ratings

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Firing On All Six
Lone Star Heavy Prog

Review by horza
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I recently acquired this album again after having sold my vinyl original during my poor student years. Ahhh the memories - surviving on beans on toast and vast amounts of beer. Anyway. I remember well seeing this band on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' - they played 'The Ballad of Crafty Jack'. Fantastic track - nice bass, excellent vocals and fat funky synth. This song also featured on a free 'Sounds' LP which as a sampler also featured Boston,Frank Marino and Journey.

The stand out on this album for me is vocalist John Sloman - he reminded me of my two heroes at the time - Plant and Coverdale. He went on to join Uriah Heep - the band who were my first real favourites. Paul 'Tonka' Chapman of UFO fame was probably the best known musician in the band - the others are also excellent in their weapon of choice and in particular Dixie Lee on drums. Dixie Lee - showbiz name surely - he went on to form Dixie Dreggs with Ronnie James Dreggs. Actually he did'nt.

The album opens with a nice uptempo rocker 'The Bells of Berlin' - a song I really like until you listen to the twee lyrics - if English isn't your first language you won't notice this downfall. Next comes the aforementioned 'The Ballad of Crafty Jack' - excellent song. 'Time Lays Down' continues the funky feel with a nice driving bass - vocals particularly Plant-esque. 'Hypnotic Mover' COULD almost have been included in 'In Through The Out Door' - pretty Zep-like if you ask me.

'Lovely Lubina' opens with nice drumming and is another showcase for Sloman. Its another great track and keeps up the feeling of funk-edged rock. 'Seasons In Your Eyes' opens with electric piano and is a ballad - it has a relaxing feel to it and is perfectly acceptable as ballads go. 'Rivers Overflowing' gets things moving again and is probably my second fav song on the album. Nice funky chops and each band member contributes to an upbeat (almost cheerful) song - play it loud!! 'All of us all of you' opens with a riff which MUST have been lifted from another band - ITS SO OBVIOUS!! Fifteen seconds or so (check it yourself) - after that it becomes its own song without any reappearance of said riff. This is an album of its time - 1977 - its not the most original album in the world - but I like it and it works. Is it prog? Who cares?

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 Lone Star/Firing On All Six by LONE STAR album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Lone Star/Firing On All Six
Lone Star Heavy Prog

Review by richardh
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Glad to see Lone Star incorporated into the archive.They were certainly one of the leading lights of what would now be called 'prog metal' in the seventies and anyone who grew up listening to Alan 'Fluff' Freeman on a Saturday afternoon will be well familiar with the classic 'The Bells Of Berlin'.

Sound wise they are like the prog side of Led Zep,the lead singer especially is a ringer for Bob Plant.This single CD release of their only 2 albums is well worth getting.Great playing and good songs a plenty.Pity they didn't carry on longer but punk effectively put an end to bands like this.

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 Firing On All Six  by LONE STAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.92 | 9 ratings

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Firing On All Six
Lone Star Heavy Prog

Review by chopper
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Kenny Driscoll left the band after the eponymous first album, to be replaced by Coverdale look-alike John Sloman. Roy Thomas Baker was no longer in the producer's chair, so the guitars lost a bit of their edge and the band took on a slightly more funky approach. Drummer Dixie Lee is again on great form here and must rate as one of the best drummers in rock.

The first track "Bells of Berlin" was written with Driscoll and is probably the band's best song. Great synth work from Worsnop and Sloman puts in an excellent vocal peformance. There is some great bass/drum interplay again before the song ends with a screaming synth solo.

"The Ballad of Crafty Jack" is Western-style song featuring honky-tonk piano. "Time lays down" has a nice funky bass line and is typical of the "new" sound that the band found on this album. "Hypnotic Mover" is another Driscoll song, fading out with the band's trademark backing vocals with guitar solos.

"Lovely Lubina" is an average track about a prostitute, which takes us into the slower, electric piano-led song "Seasons in your eyes", with orchestral arrangements by Jeff Wayne. Another emotional vocal from Sloman.

"Rivers overflowing" is another funky number similiar to "Time lays down" and again has some brilliant bass/drum work. The final track has a guitar riff reminiscent of "Burn" and again fades out on a nice sing-a-long chorus.

An excellent follow-up to the debut, although the guitar sounds could have been a bit "meatier". Both this and the debut album were re-released on a single CD a few years ago, after being unobtainable for a while. Anyone who likes the rockier end of prog should grab a copy now.

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 Lone Star by LONE STAR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.85 | 7 ratings

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Lone Star
Lone Star Heavy Prog

Review by chopper
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This first album from Welsh art-rockers Lone Star is not as well-known as it should be. It features the twin guitars of Tony Smith and Paul Chapman (later of UFO), one of the best rhythm sections in rock of Hurley and Lee, great synth playing from Worsnop and the excellent vocals of Kenny Driscoll.

The album kicks off with a version of The Beatles' "She said she said" (the tracks are listed here in the wrong order), which is extended in true Yes "America" style (with even an extra verse added!). It features some brilliant harmony vocals on the chorus, as you might expect with Roy Thomas Baker at the helm. The 2 middle instrumental sections show the instrumental prowess of this band to good effect, particulary between the bass and drums.

The second song "Lonely Soldier" is an effective anti-war song, which leads straight into the rocking "Flying in the reel", which again highlights the backing vocals.The song fades out with both guitars blazing away.

The original album side two has 3 songs (Spaceships, A million stars and A new day) which are all excellent prog/rock songs featuring good use of the dual guitars, with Worsnop's synth throwing in some fine solos.

The album ends on a downbeat note with "Illusions", which is just Driscoll's plaintive voice over an echoed guitar. It ends with the sound of the sea fading away.

An excellent start from this band who never really hit the heights they should have.

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