Detroit Girls

Album: Starz (1976)
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  • Starz are from New Jersey, but they sure did like those Detroit girls - the "Motor City kitties" they encountered there. The group was fronted by Michael Lee Smith, a chick magnet who took advantage of his rock star status.

    "We wrote this song when we went to Detroit in 1975 to play the Michigan Palace with Mountain and Spirit," Starz guitarist Richie Ranno told Songfacts. "They were two of my all-time favorite bands. Our manager thought it would be a good idea for us to stay in Detroit for a couple of weeks and write songs for our first album without the usual distractions of home life. We were able to rehearse every day at the legendary Michigan Palace. We hung out with lots of crazy people and had a great time. Somehow, that song just came out of nowhere. Once again, Michael Lee wrote brilliant lyrics, as always."
  • "Detroit Girls" is the first song on Starz' self-titled debut album. The group had formidable talent, including a rhythm section that was formerly in The Looking Glass of "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" fame. Their manager was Bill Aucoin, who also managed Kiss, and their producer was Jack Douglas, who was on a hot streak with the Aerosmith albums Get Your Wings and Toys In The Attic. Their second album, Violation, was released in 1977 and included their biggest hit, "Cherry Baby," which went to #33 in the US. They charted four more songs but never reached the level of the bands they opened for: Blue Öyster Cult, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Foghat.

    According to Richie Ranno, their record label, Capitol, hung them out to dry with poor promotion and little support. It got very contentious between the band and the label, and Starz got the worst of it. Capitol pulled funding so they had to record their third album on the cheap without a producer. It flopped and killed their momentum. They released one more album on Capitol before breaking up.

    Years later, Starz earned a certain nostalgia as a great band that never got their due. Members of Bon Jovi, Cinderella, and Mötley Crüe named them as an influence, and when their music was made available for streaming, many old fans rediscovered them.
  • Starz put their guitarists, Brendan Harkin and Richie Ranno, to good use with plenty of dual (duel?) guitar solos like you can hear on this song.


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