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Starship was a band created by the settlement of a lawsuit. Notwithstanding this curious beginning, the group went on to a series of hits in the mid-'80s, including the chart-toppers "We Built This City," "Sara," and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" in a polished, mainstream pop/rock style before splitting up in the early '90s. Starship was the remaining sextet of musicians that, with Paul Kantner, had made up Jefferson Starship until the rhythm guitarist/singer's exit from that band in June 1984. Kantner, a founding member of Jefferson Airplane, the precursor to Jefferson Starship, had also helped found Jefferson Starship in 1974. Ten years later, Kantner decried the band's tilt toward commercial rock and decided that it was time for the group to dissolve. His bandmates disagreed, and Kantner sued over money and the ownership of the band's name in October 1984. The suit was settled in March 1985, resulting in a cash payment to Kantner and the agreement that the name "Jefferson Starship" would be retired, while the band would change its name to simply Starship (with that name owned by singer Grace Slick and manager Bill Thompson). Thus, at its inception under its new moniker, Starship consisted of Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing in or near Chicago, IL, October 30, 1939), co-lead singer Mickey Thomas (born in Cairo, GA, December 3, 1949), guitarist Craig Chaquico (born September 25, 1954), keyboardist David Freiberg (born in Boston, MA, August 24, 1938), bassist Pete Sears (born May 27, 1948), and drummer Donny Baldwin. Freiberg, however, then dropped out. The newly christened band, freed from Kantner's ties to their old sound, quickly entered the studio. The first product of their efforts was "We Built This City," written by Dennis Lambert, Martin Page, Bernie Taupin (Elton John's lyricist), and Peter Wolf (not the former singer of the J. Geils Band), who co-produced the track and played keyboards on it. The song did two things that no Jefferson Airplane or Jefferson Starship single ever had: it hit number one in November 1985 and it went gold, proving a strong calling card for the first Starship album, Knee Deep in the Hoopla, which reached the Top Ten and went platinum, a better showing than any Jefferson Starship album since 1978. Starship followed with a second number one single, "Sara," written by Wolf with his wife Ina and also featured on the album. A third single, "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight," made the Top 40. The record sales established Starship as a separate entity with a new audience. The group was reduced to a quartet with the departure of Pete Sears prior to their next recording, a song from the movie Mannequin. Released as a single in January 1987, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," written by Diane Warren and Albert Hammond, became Starship's third number one hit in April and eventually was certified as their second gold 45. The second album, No Protection, released in July 1987, was prefaced by the single "It's Not Over ('Til It's Over)," which reached the Top Ten as the album peaked at number 12 and went gold. At the start of 1988, Grace Slick left Starship, reducing the band to the trio of Thomas, Chaquico, and Baldwin. They added two new members, keyboard player Mark Morgan and bassist Brett Bloomfield, and in the summer of 1989 released their third album, Love Among the Cannibals, which boasted the Top 20 hit "It's Not Enough" but sold disappointingly. The band was set to tour from mid-August to the end of September, but on September 24, Thomas was involved in a fight that left him severely beaten, suffering serious facial injuries that required surgery. Although no charges were filed, it eventually emerged that he had been beaten by Baldwin, who immediately left the band. While Thomas recovered, Chaquico also departed in 1990. In the spring of 1991, the band's label, RCA, released Greatest Hits (Ten Years and Change 1979-1991), which featured one new track, "Good Heart," written by Martin Page and performed by Thomas, Page, Wolf, and guitarist Peter Maunu. Released as a single, it reached number 81. With that, Bill Thompson declared Starship to be inactive. In 1992, Thomas organized a band that began playing dates billed as "Mickey Thomas' Starship" or "Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas." Although Thomas did not own the right to use the name "Starship," Thompson and Grace Slick, the co-owners of the name, took no action to stop him, and he continued to perform using the name. In 2003, the Brilliant label issued an album credited simply to Starship called Greatest Hits on which a Thomas-led band re-recorded Starship's biggest hits and some songs from Thomas' tenure in Jefferson Starship as well as "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," the hit Thomas sang with the Elvin Bishop Group in 1976. ~ William Ruhlmann
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    1 song

    Awesome '80s

    Awesome '80s
    3 songs

    Lite Hits

    Lite Hits
    1 song

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    Love Songs
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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
  3.   We Built This City
  4.   Sara
  5.   Don't Stop Believin'
  6.   It's Not Enough
  7.   Good Enough
  8.   Find Your Way Back
  9.   Jane
  10.   I Didn't Mean to Stay All Night
  11.   Stranger
  12.   Nothing'd Gonna Stop Us Now
  13.   I Don't Know Why
  14.   Rock Myself to Sleep
  15.   Somebody To Love
  16.   I'll Be There
  17.   Walk With Me By The River
  18.   You Never Know
  19.   Where Did We Go Wrong?
  20.   How Do You Sleep?
  21.   Cut You Down to Size
  22.   Casualty
  23.   Karma (Everything You Do)
  24.   Keys to the City
  25.   Snippets
  26.   We Dream in Color
  27.   Girl Like You
  28.   Desparate Heart
  29.   We Built This City on Rock and Roll
  30.   Stranger
  31.   Winds of Change by Mickey Thomas
  32.   Find Your Way Back
  33.   Jane
  34.   No Way Out
  35.   We Built This City 2003
  36.   Walk with Me by the Water
  37.   Laying on the Line
  38.   Winds of Change
  39.   Fooled Around and Fell in Love
  40.   Blaze of Love
  41.   Healing Waters
  42.   The Burn
  43.   Good Heart
  44.   Love Among the Cannibals
  45.   Hearts of the World (Will Understand)
  46.   Before I Go
  47.   Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight
  48.   Wild Again
  49.   Layin' It on the Line
  50.   It's Not Over ('Til It's Over)
  51.   No Way Out
  52.   Nothin' Can Keep Me from You
  53.   Send a Message
  54.   Say When
  55.   The Children
  56.   Girls Like You
  57.   Set the Night to Music
  58.   Private Room
  59.   You Deny Me
  60.   Beat Patrol
  61.   How Will I Get By?
  62.   Technicolor Black and White
  63.   What Did I Ever Do?
  64.   Loveless Fascination
  65.   It's Not the Same as Love
  66.   Sara
  67.   Layin' It on the Line
  68.   Rock Music
  69.   Dream Sequence/We Dream in Color
  70.   Trouble in Mind
  71.   Babylon
  72.   Don't Lose Any Sleep
  73.   Love Rusts
  74.   Desperate Heart
  75.   Transatlantic
  76.   Wings of a Lie
  77.   Nothing's Goint to Stop Us Now
  78.   Find Your Way Home

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