STARPOINT: Starpoint (Label: Vinyl Masterpiece)

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STARPOINT: Starpoint

Starting out life as a juvenile outfit back in 1969 with what can only be described as one of the worst band names ever – Licyndiana – this Maryland sextet eventually saw the light and morphed into the more ear-catching Starpoint. They then signed a deal with the Washington DC label, Chocolate City, in 1979, and a year later released their self-titled debut long player, which dented the lower reaches of the US R&B albums Top 100 and spawned a Top 20 R&B single with ‘I Just Wanna Dance With You.’ Never reissued before, it’s now available from the Dutch-based label, Vinyl Masterpiece, the company responsible for bringing four other ’80s Chocolate City titles by Starpoint back into circulation. The group was maligned by some soul fans – especially in the UK – for being a tad too commercial and pop-tinged though I have to confess having a soft spot for them – or rather the alluring, feline-looking lead vocalist Rene Diggs, whose dulcet tones made Starpoint’s LPs eminently listenable (sadly, Diggs, who had a solo album, ‘Oasis,’ released by Expansion, passed away in 2005). The group’s 8-track debut set contains one of their best tunes – the opening cut, ‘Gonna Lift You Up,’ which melds an addictive disco-funk groove with jazzy chords and an attractive hook line. The hit single, ‘I Just Wanna Dance With You,’ offers more of the same, as does the propulsive boogie groove, ‘Let Me Love You,’ and the out-and-out dance floor burner, ‘Get Ready, Get Down.’ Ballad-wise, the group is also impressive – ‘You’re My Sunny Day’ is a gorgeous mid-tempo floater characterised by a summery feel and an infectious chorus. A must-have CD, then, for ’80s boogie-era enthusiasts. For more information go to
(CW) 4/5