Northstar was a typical 80's Pomp AOR band out of New Jersey, US. Their one and only release was a self-titled, self financed EP released in very limited quantaties in 1987 on RVSP Records. The band featured a bunch of talented young musicians that had been in various local bands. All songs on the EP where composed by Rick Steele (vocals), Vincent J. Natoli (bass) and Don Francis (keyboards). The line up was completed by the talented and underrated guitar shredder Marco Piazza and drummer Joe Manno.
The record itself was recorded at Sorcerer Sound Studios in New York and produced by long time producer Mario Salvati. It was mastered at The Master Cutting Room by Joe Brescio, who is also known for having mastered Meat Loaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" album.
Northstar actually won a best unsigned band contest but played very few live gigs throughout their active years. They disbanded in 1989 with the band members moving on to other bands and projects with some qutting music altogether and pursuing other careers outside of music.
Nowdays, drummer Joe Manno plays in local NJ cover band That Metal Band. He has also played with NJ AOR'sters Norway and worked as music critic for webzine Rockeyez. Rick Steele makes his living restoring cars, while Don Francis works as a music teacher in Arizona. Marco Piazza is still active with various music projects, most recently AxeFire, which has it's own Soundclick website.
The original Northstar EP, is without a doubt one of the most valuable and rare AOR vinyls out there, selling in the range of 200-400 dollars the very few times it showes up on eBay. One can certainly understand why, as it possesses all the basic features collectors of rare AOR and pomp search for: the right year, the right "look", super obscure, and most importantly great, memorable songs. As the classic liner notes correctly states:
"NORTHSTAR's forte is high energy ROCK and nothing but! The 80's have been a time of heavy saturation of bands in the northeast, but very few of these bands shine with the power and brilliance of a STAR.
NORTHSTAR lives through music. They do it for their fans and they will never let them down."
Joe Manno´s post-Northstar band, Dreamer.
Bob Wheeler - s/t
Fury - s/t