Official Showaddywaddy Web Site Red Star 40th Anniversary

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Showaddywaddy’s Red Star LP (Arista SPARTY 1023), released on 11th November 1977 - one of the band’s all time classics!

1977 was arguably one of the most successful years in the band’s career. The year followed on from the number 1 success of “Under The Moon Of Love” in December the previous year, and 1977 of course saw the Punk/New Wave movement really coming to the fore. Showaddywaddy were more popular than ever. Where punk was appealing to a disillusioned teenage youth, Showaddywaddy were pulling in audiences from all age ranges.

The year saw the band have three massive chart hits - “When” (released 25th Feb 1977) reaching number 3 in the charts, “You Got What It Takes” (released 8th July 1977) reaching number 2, and “Dancin’ Party” (released 21st October 1977) reaching number 4. The year also saw the band making at least 27 appearances on television, as well as over 100 gigs. Add the recording onto all the TV appearances and gigs and the band were certainly earning their money that year!

Despite all this, the album actually only reached number 20 in the charts, but still attained “Gold” status. The main sleeve unusually did not feature band on the front, but there were plenty of pictures on the inner sleeve (the only SWW LP to have a picture inner sleeve). 13 tracks featured - unlucky for some perhaps?

The album kicks off with “Dancin’ Party”, the band’s current single at the time of the album’s release, followed by the rocker “’68 Teenage Queen” with Buddy Gask on lead vocals, and a favourite track of Trevor Oakes.
“You Got What It Takes” came third, a smash hit during the summer of that year, with “Lucy Jane (Part 2)” coming fourth featuring both Dave and Buddy sharing lead vocals; ‘Part 2’ being stated to not confuse fans with the “Lucy Jane”, a different song that featured as a B-side to “Heartbeat” in 1975.

Hot on the heels of a Dave Bartram classic, “In Above Your Head”, came another Bartram-led “Sweet Georgia”, the story of a croupier in a casino. “Somethin’ Else”, the well known Eddie Cochran song, had lead vocals performed by Buddy and is one of my favourite SWW songs (also performed by the band on TV that year). “(You’ve Got) Personality” was a song that the band thought would have been good as a single.

Al James always contributed the odd track to LPs, and this one was no different, with the heavier-sounding “Feelin’” being a favourite of many fans over the years - perhaps a very un-Showaddywaddy song! Buddy Holly’s classic “Listen To Me” got the Showaddywaddy treatment, one of 6 cover version on the album, the other 7 being original tracks.

The album's penultimate track is “Maybe Maybe Maybe”, one of Buddy Gask’s best vocal performances, finally the track Dave is most proud of, “Swansong”, a story of a rocker who is coming to the end of his career and feeling low, only to be greeted by thousands of people at the best gig of his life - one of the best SWW songs ever released.

If you are not familiar with Showaddywaddy’s work other than their well known singles, you won’t go far wrong in checking out “Red Star” - this is band at their best with their original line up.

The album has since been re-released with a number of bonus tracks, featuring the B-sides of the 1977 singles (ie “Superstar”, “Showboat” and “One Of These Days”), as well as 1978 singles and B-sides. It is highly recommended!