Dark Star were NWOBHM contenders when they released their self-titled debut in 1981. But like almost all of the NWOBHM hopefuls, their dreams were shattered like a watermelon at a Gallagher show. Dark Star were unable to deliver a timely follow-up to their debut. By the time Real To Reel hit the streets in 1987 it was far too late for anyone to care. In fact, the album was said to be completed as a studio-only project, as Dark Star’s days of a gigging band were over. I guess that’s how the album got it’s clever title.
Real To Reel (released by FM Revolver) contains ten tracks of polite English rock. Something to listen to as you sip tea with your pinky finger extended. For a 1987 release, of course, this album was laughably out-of-phase. Dark Star always had one foot in the seventies to begin with, so Real To Reel sounds quite antiquated for ’87. But for fans of the warm and welcoming debut, Real To Reel is a worthy second act. Rather than barrage you with a wall of guitars and thundering drums, Dark Star greeted you with a pleasant smile and a firm hand shake. Check out the perfect bit of songwriting that is One Way Love. What a tasty little rock snack! My score: B