Star Fleet Project

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Star Fleet Project
EP by Brian May + Friends
Released October 1983
Recorded 21-22 April 1983 at Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Blues rock, Rock, Hard rock
Length 28:11
Brian May + Friends chronology
Star Fleet Project
(1983)
Back to the Light
(1992)
Singles from Star Fleet Project
  1. "Star Fleet"
    Released: 1983

Star Fleet Project is a project of Brian May, most famous as the guitarist from Queen, which resulted in an album with the same name. The project was released as the work of "Brian May + Friends", consisting of May, guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alan Gratzer (of REO Speedwagon), Phil Chen (session bassist who played with Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart), and Fred Mandel (session keyboard player who also played as additional keyboard player on Queen's Hot Space World Tour and The Works). Roger Taylor, Queen's drummer, provided backing vocals for the title song. It was not meant for the tapes to be released and they had minimal mixing before release.

I could have put away these tapes in a bottom drawer and kept them as a private record of one of the best experiences of my life. But the few people I've played them for have urged me to 'publish'...I haven't messed one scrap with the tracking done on the day. The rest is simply mixed 'naked'.

—Brian May

Production[edit]

Recorded on 21 and 22 April 1983 at the Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, California, it was released in October of the same year as a Mini-LP, a "challenge to the established principle that a piece of rock music must fit into either a 2x4 minute single, or a 2x20 minute LP format". The LP consisted of three songs: "Star Fleet", "Let Me Out", and "Blues Breaker".

The idea for the album came from May's son, Jimmy.

Star Fleet is the theme tune for a superb TV sci-fi series broadcast in England for kids of all ages; Japanese visuals and British soundtrack including music by Paul Bliss. The heroes pilot space vehicles which can assemble into a giant robot for land battles. The aliens fly fantastic insect-like craft which spawn smaller fighting machines; all intent on possession of the secret of F Zero One. Having been introduced to all this by my small boy, I became equally obsessed by it, and formed the idea of making a hard rock version of the title theme.

—Brian May

"Let Me Out" was an old Brian May song which until that point had not been committed to record. During the song Eddie Van Halen "tortures his top string to its audible death" (according to May's liner notes) and plays the rest of the song on the remaining five.

"Blues Breaker" was dedicated to Eric Clapton, of whom both Van Halen and May were huge fans. This song, as well as "Let Me Out" were more spontaneous than "Star Fleet", showing both guitarists enjoying a jamming session, with Brian showing off his signature sound and Van Halen using his tapping technique to great effect (although the best example of this is at the beginning of "Star Fleet").

Releases[edit]

Previously only available on vinyl, "Star Fleet" is now available on CD in two forms. It was first re-issued on CD as part of Brian May's "Back to the Light" single. There were two CD singles – the first (which came in a special pack with space for the second CD) featured "Star Fleet" and "Let Me Out". The second had "Blues Breaker" on it.

Then in 1993 it was re-issued as part of the Japanese mini-album "Resurrection", featuring the three Star Fleet Project songs as tracks 6-8, albeit in a different order from the original vinyl release.

The solo CD releases of this project are unofficial, although those copies are billed as an official release from EMI, using the original artwork.

Paul Bliss also released the official Star Fleet soundtrack project album in 2009.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Star Fleet"   Bliss/arr. May 8:04
2. "Let Me Out"   May 7:13
3. "Blues Breaker"   May/Van Halen/Gratzer/Chen/Mandel 12:48

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]