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Starcastle - Concert Classics  CD (album) cover



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3 stars This record well represents what Starcastle was. Tecnically superb, given of good taste in music, but with lack of original ideas, infact they were often compared to Yes (at a certain point the keyboard player plays the "Firebird" theme used often by Yes at the start of the show!). Of course they haven't Yes thinkness, it's like they've picked up the Yes pop part mixed together to a more american way of being progressive like Kansas. In the end "Concert classics" is a record that well reassume the meaning of a band that was so "close to the edge" but always lived in the shadow of Yes.
Report this review (#94671)
Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars With this live album, "Starcastle" offers the worse and the best of their production. I would have hoped to get a bit more of the best like "Fountains" which is IMO their best song ever written as well as "Lady Of The Lake" and its "Siberian" type of closing is very well rendered. Both songs can compete with their model ones and since they are the longest of their repertoire they are very welcome here.

I also have to admit that the musicians are pretty skilled and the overall sound quality is very good on this album.

What is more annoying is the way each member of the band tries to sound as ...This is especially true for Gary Strater during "Forces". I guess that at this point of their career, it is useless to mention the vocals, right ?

Weak moments like "Can't Think Twice" (I really don't like that one) and "Could This Be Love" sould have been avoided. They bring the level of this live album to the down side. What to say about "Breath & Thunder" ! This non-album track (only featured on their compil "Chronos") is a rather dull track. After some sorts of improvisation, it even features "Firebird" in the middle section. Out of purpose, really.

Some good songs like "Shine In Brightly" and "Change In Time" will complete this live set which I would rate with three stars.

Report this review (#133967)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Breath and thunder

This live album was recorded just after the release of the band's third studio album Citadel in the late 1970's, but it was released only much later under various alternative titles.

The album contains eight songs all in all, including the very best songs from each of their first three albums: Change In Time from Citadel, Fountains from Fountains Of Light, and the excellent Lady Of The Lake from the self-titled debut. Unfortunately, they also included the two worst songs from Citadel: Can't Think Twice and Could This Be Love. A tip would be to skip these two tracks on a first listen so that you get to the much stronger second half of the album where the better songs are concentrated. Here you will also find Breath And Thunder which is a number that was not included on any of the band's regular studio albums, and is interesting at least for that reason.

A pretty decent live album that in some ways is better than most of the band's studio discs.

Report this review (#1705149)
Posted Sunday, March 26, 2017 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm not terribly impressed with Concert Classics v.5 - - for two reasons.

First, there's the fact that the much of the singing was re-recorded after the event. I'll admit it: this is a substantial pet peeve of mine, but here Starcastle really overdoes the overdubs. To me, the band (a) claims that this is a record of their live show, and it's really not, and (b) thinks we won't notice.

Anyway, the bigger issue is the quality of the songs. They're not terrible, but they're really nothing special. At first I assumed that the 50 minutes here was cut down from a longer setlist, but at the time this show was recorded (reportedly Boston, August 12th, 1979, but I've begun to seriously doubt that) Starcastle was an opening act, but also played festivals and apparently headlined smaller venues on occasion. They also played at colleges in the Northeast US. Anyway, this seems to be the setlist for a show supporting their 1977 album Citadel, and it's possible that this is their entire set. The first half of the recording is primarily songs from Citadel; among the remaining three songs are two of their best-known ("Lady of the Lake" and "Fountains"). This was probably the point in their career when they in top form, and yet their sound ranges from bland late-1970s AOR to minor-league Yes mimicry.

To be fair, while Concert Classics v.5 isn't a good album, it's not a bad album either; it just doesn't possess anything that sets it apart from other rock albums (except perhaps the excessive use of studio overdubs!).

Report this review (#2270336)
Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2019 | Review Permalink

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