To the Stars: Sarah Brightman – “The Adventures of the Love Crusader”

By the 1979 release of her second single, “The Adventures of the Love Crusader,” Sarah Brightman had departed Hot Gossip and had commenced on a solo career that found her ditching references to the dance troupe and heading in a more “musical direction.”

That’s not to say that “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper,” a big single, was left in the dust. On the single release for “The Adventures of the Love Crusader,” she credited the record to “Sarah Brightman and the Starship Troopers.”

Some of the single’s vinyl pressings were done in red in keeping with the song’s superhero theme. There was also a comic book included, which featured the lyrics of the song as the “dialogue” in a narrative delivered by William Stok.

“The Adventures of the Love Crusader” is similar to the Hot Gossip material in a lot of ways and is really ensconced in the sort of late-70’s disco fluff that epitomized the period. Once again, the melody is catchy. There are some interesting touches to it, like Stevie Wonder-influenced keys, funky guitars and a blistering saxophone that drills its way through the space-like ether.

As with “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper,” the track doesn’t do much to display Brightman’s vocal prowess and you wouldn’t be wrong to lump this in the painstakingly average mound of disco music from the era. There’s nothing about it that really jumps out, aside from its catchiness, and it’s not particularly a period that Brightman attempts to bring back in later years.

The B-side of “The Adventures of the Love Crusader” is “Lost in Space (The Nurgon Zone).” This is a particularly zany entry. It features a narrator (no word on who it is) introducing us to a world devoid of “womandroids.” Such a shame.

To Brightman’s credit, she locks in on the nutty lyrics like a pro and drops the “oooh weee oooh” doo-wop vocals without a hint of irony. She even sings about the Nurgon Zone earnestly.

Say what you will about the ridiculousness of Sarah Brightman’s earlier career, but she digs in with both feet and doesn’t let up. Despite the steep disco cheese of its “emotion potion,” the industriousness of the vocalist with the mega-range shines through and it’s apparent that there’s more to come. It might not be obvious as to what is to come, but something is around the bend…in the Nurgon Zone.

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