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classicprogsovereign View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: What do we all think of Starcastle on this site?
    Posted: April 28 2010 at 23:05
I'm personally not much of a fan.

Maybe it's the cliche thing to say, but they do sound almost like a 'Yes clone' (although I'm sure you've all heard that one a million times)

So what do you think of them?
I can't stand Justin Bieber....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 07:14
Obviously heavily influenced by Yes.  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 07:23
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

Obviously heavily influenced by Yes.  
 
Ironically, 'Real to Reel' was an initial disappointment because there were far fewer of the expected Yesisms employed. Indeed  back in the 70's I found a couple of tracks there suggesting a softened down  Bad Company with harmonies.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 10:09
I think very highly of their debut, self-titled album. The music is technically superb, as well as  being refreshing and lyrical.
        I find what they did after this is inferior, and in the shadow of this first album.
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 10:14
I quite like Starcastle's debut.

You can do worse than sounding just like Yes.


Edited by Epignosis - April 29 2010 at 10:14
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 10:20
Yeah, I had to buy a copy of the debut on CD.  Already had an LP version.

Edited by Slartibartfast - April 30 2010 at 20:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 11:53
Very underrated. They may be Yes ripoffs, but being a very good ripoff of my favorite band, that's not really a bad thing.
 
And Song of Times is the best Yes album in 30 years. LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 16:34

Back in the 70's I just could not get in to them. They tried too hard to sound like Yes, so I dismissed them as wannabe's. Perhaps I should try again.

Steve
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2010 at 19:23
Originally posted by boo boo

Very underrated. They may be Yes ripoffs, but being a very good ripoff of my favorite band, that's not really a bad thing.
 
And Song of Times is the best Yes album in 30 years. LOL
 
I stumbled across Starcastle's debut album at a garage sale back before the internet made it easy for me to find Prog.  I had never even heard of the band.  I just "took a chance" on it based on the album cover.  (Well, 99 cents is not that big of a 'chance' but you know what I mean)...
 
Anyway, I was so pleasantly *surprised* when I heard what they were doing!  I can honestly say that I felt much of this music was vastly superior to Yes' album 90125!  
 
How can I be mad at a band for being more like classic Yes than Yes?  I mean, I felt like they were carrying an artistic torch that I felt the band had somewhat "abandoned". 
 
I'm not a 90125 *hater* by any means.  But Starcastles debut album is a real *keeper* in my book!
 
And the liner notes made it obvious that they were doing this out of respect and love for the music (IMO) and not just some jaded attempt to "cash in" on anything. 
 
These days, Starcastle is "hit and miss" depending upon my mood.  More often "miss" than "hit" I'm afraid.  But I'll always have good memories attached to the band.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 01:09
I honestly don't care too much about clones, if you don't even have enough immagination to be inspired by a band and sound remotely original, , I rather listen the original artist, that's why I don't care for UNIFAUN despite being a Genesis fan.
 
This is what the Peruvian band FRAGIL (Doesn't sound as Yes, just in case) says about copyists in the song "Mundo Raro (Strange World).
 
Si a tus oídos hoy llega
un arte que es de copista
rechazaras al artista
y tiraras
todo un trabajo a la arena
 
If to your ears today comes
An art created by a copyist
You will reject the artist
And throw the work to the sand
 
 
I share their opinion.
 
Iván


Edited by Ivan_Melgar_M - April 30 2010 at 01:10
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 01:17
They're way better than Yes' eighties albums... I'd actually prefer Starcastle to anything post-GftO...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 08:19
The bottom line is that I did not respect them or any band that entered into the clone wars during the mid to late 70's. In all due respect, I must render that Starcastle and that whole camp of clone bands were excellent musicians and there was no doubt we were all listening to crafty players taking a step in a direction in which record companies saw the future of prog in the new light of market concepts. A huge sum of people at that time dismissed bands like Greenslade, Curved Air, Van Der Graaf, Rare Bird and many others in favor of band's that were a bit more clonish like, Triumvirat and Starcastle. 

The 4 bands I mentioned above were not so obscure on the European early 70's underground prog scene.
Italy, Paris, the booming prog scene in London etc. As mentioned a few times on this site, it was highly connected to theatre and the arts. Much of it became more so contrived from mid to late 70's through the media while the underground scene in Europe was still going strong. The difference between the late 70's clone band's and the early 70's original underground prog band's, was the extent of emulation of the big 5 or what ever number you prefer, ELP, Genesis, Crimson.........The clone band's were extreme. The early 70's proggers were adding influence to their own vocabulary. Me and a bunch of friends went out for the afternoon sampling Starcastle and others of that genre only to find ourselves discouraged over the future of prog. As usual, I go off but, here is an example of the clone sound.....Kansas are playing "Songs For America" and during the center of the piece you begin hearing a piano, a time signature, and modes that are the representation of "Take A Pebble". No doubt, Kansas are an outstanding band and briiliant solo musicians. From observation of the wax museum people, it would seem that hundreds were offended at the birth of Starcastle. I am about to bail from this mouse trap and say .....it is not a concern of mine from any point of view however, it is interesting to think of how Starcastle were judged back then.  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 08:26
Originally posted by Epignosis

I quite like Starcastle's debut.

You can do worse than sounding just like Yes.
This.  Oh, and I like their other albums too.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 20:11
I don´t like Starcastle.Neither their pomp sounds.

And I share the opinion of Ivan Melgar.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 21:17
Originally posted by TODDLER

The bottom line is that I did not respect them or any band that entered into the clone wars during the mid to late 70's. In all due respect, I must render that Starcastle and that whole camp of clone bands were excellent musicians and there was no doubt we were all listening to crafty players taking a step in a direction in which record companies saw the future of prog in the new light of market concepts. A huge sum of people at that time dismissed bands like Greenslade, Curved Air, Van Der Graaf, Rare Bird and many others in favor of band's that were a bit more clonish like, Triumvirat and Starcastle. 

The 4 bands I mentioned above were not so obscure on the European early 70's underground prog scene.
Italy, Paris, the booming prog scene in London etc. As mentioned a few times on this site, it was highly connected to theatre and the arts. Much of it became more so contrived from mid to late 70's through the media while the underground scene in Europe was still going strong. The difference between the late 70's clone band's and the early 70's original underground prog band's, was the extent of emulation of the big 5 or what ever number you prefer, ELP, Genesis, Crimson.........The clone band's were extreme. The early 70's proggers were adding influence to their own vocabulary. Me and a bunch of friends went out for the afternoon sampling Starcastle and others of that genre only to find ourselves discouraged over the future of prog. As usual, I go off but, here is an example of the clone sound.....Kansas are playing "Songs For America" and during the center of the piece you begin hearing a piano, a time signature, and modes that are the representation of "Take A Pebble". No doubt, Kansas are an outstanding band and briiliant solo musicians. From observation of the wax museum people, it would seem that hundreds were offended at the birth of Starcastle. I am about to bail from this mouse trap and say .....it is not a concern of mine from any point of view however, it is interesting to think of how Starcastle were judged back then.  
Triumvirat and Starcastle were not clones of other groups, they were groups in their own right that produced some really refreshing music that was well needed when it came out
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 23:17
Originally posted by presdoug

Originally posted by TODDLER

The bottom line is that I did not respect them or any band that entered into the clone wars during the mid to late 70's. In all due respect, I must render that Starcastle and that whole camp of clone bands were excellent musicians and there was no doubt we were all listening to crafty players taking a step in a direction in which record companies saw the future of prog in the new light of market concepts. A huge sum of people at that time dismissed bands like Greenslade, Curved Air, Van Der Graaf, Rare Bird and many others in favor of band's that were a bit more clonish like, Triumvirat and Starcastle. 

The 4 bands I mentioned above were not so obscure on the European early 70's underground prog scene.
Italy, Paris, the booming prog scene in London etc. As mentioned a few times on this site, it was highly connected to theatre and the arts. Much of it became more so contrived from mid to late 70's through the media while the underground scene in Europe was still going strong. The difference between the late 70's clone band's and the early 70's original underground prog band's, was the extent of emulation of the big 5 or what ever number you prefer, ELP, Genesis, Crimson.........The clone band's were extreme. The early 70's proggers were adding influence to their own vocabulary. Me and a bunch of friends went out for the afternoon sampling Starcastle and others of that genre only to find ourselves discouraged over the future of prog. As usual, I go off but, here is an example of the clone sound.....Kansas are playing "Songs For America" and during the center of the piece you begin hearing a piano, a time signature, and modes that are the representation of "Take A Pebble". No doubt, Kansas are an outstanding band and briiliant solo musicians. From observation of the wax museum people, it would seem that hundreds were offended at the birth of Starcastle. I am about to bail from this mouse trap and say .....it is not a concern of mine from any point of view however, it is interesting to think of how Starcastle were judged back then.  
Triumvirat and Starcastle were not clones of other groups, they were groups in their own right that produced some really refreshing music that was well needed when it came out
 
Yes I agree they both had some originality in the writing department but, with Triumvirat, only when they wanted to as many of their epic style pieces are too reminiscent of Keith Emerson's playing and writing structure. I remember when Curt Cress joined and they were writing much different or maybe just being themselves and expanding. When you compare them to the early 70's prog bands, it is only then that the extreme emulation of Emerson is revealed. Unless you are a musician and can plainly hear the notes or style of phrasing that you've played yourself.

Many prog fans that are not musicians can hear the distinctive Emerson sound and style in Triumvirat but, it becomes more extreme and evident to the musician. A good musician who has played these formulas for decades will be able to tell the difference in the extreme emulation of greats by late 70's prog band's and the basic adaption of greats from the early 70's prog bands. The early prog bands added the perfect dose of Emerson influence, K.C., Jethro Tull and Genesis and when musicians first heard Triumvirat and Starcastle in the 70's, they were turned off because of it's crafty ways of emulating what was written before. Emerson emulated classical composers but, more important was the effort to do something else with it. This way if an influence was evident to all, at least the artist had a great originality to them. It all worked out fine until prog bands of the late 70's went on a mission of emulation. They imitated artists who created Progressive rock from the early 70's and a bit too much for my tastes. I mean, Emerson and Banks or Wakeman and Greenslade were influenced by period composers and in the lyricism was the concept or foundation that one applies in theatre. They were all very inspired by the masters but, there was no need to copy the same formula over and over. The same approach to an epic for example. Which was what the late 70's prog band's were doing.



 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2010 at 23:20

Comparing Starcastle with Triumvirat is not accurate.

While Starcastle tried to sound as Yes, searched for a vocalist with voice similar to Jon Anderson, the backing vocals try to sound as Squire, the arrangements, sound atmosphere, everything is clearly a copy of Yes.

Triumvirat has a totally different conception, from the start, they released almost exclusively Conceptual albums, something ELP hardly ever did. Even when Jürgen Fritz style has some similarities with Emerson, his technique is absolutely different, their arrangements are much cleaner than ELP's, they never based their performance in theatrics and showmanship as ELP (Specially Emerson).

Another strong difference is hat Triumvirat has splendid chorus and vocal arrangements when ELP is based primarily in Lake's powerful voice.

Triumvirat IMO is an excellent band with some similarities with ELP, mostly because both bands were power trios (Triumvirat during IOADD and Spartacus) heavily keyboard oriented, while Starcastle are clones.

Iván



Edited by Ivan_Melgar_M - April 30 2010 at 23:41
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 21:14
Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M

Comparing Starcastle with Triumvirat is not accurate.

While Starcastle tried to sound as Yes, searched for a vocalist with voice similar to Jon Anderson, the backing vocals try to sound as Squire, the arrangements, sound atmosphere, everything is clearly a copy of Yes.

Triumvirat has a totally different conception, from the start, they released almost exclusively Conceptual albums, something ELP hardly ever did. Even when Jürgen Fritz style has some similarities with Emerson, his technique is absolutely different, their arrangements are much cleaner than ELP's, they never based their performance in theatrics and showmanship as ELP (Specially Emerson).

Another strong difference is hat Triumvirat has splendid chorus and vocal arrangements when ELP is based primarily in Lake's powerful voice.

Triumvirat IMO is an excellent band with some similarities with ELP, mostly because both bands were power trios (Triumvirat during IOADD and Spartacus) heavily keyboard oriented, while Starcastle are clones.

Iván


Good comments on Triumvirat, I saw them live in 1976 and was very impressed!  The bassist Helmut Kolland was great on bass & vocals, and did very impressive electric guitar work as well.  

I knew the band Starcastle back in the 1970's in Champaign, IL.   Much like Yes at the beginning, they started as a cover band and did brilliant and innovative versions of songs like "Saturday Night" by Elton John, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones etc.   Guitarist Steve Hagler was excellent on tenor sax! 

Clearly, they were influenced by Yes.  However, they also showed influences from other bands....keyboardist Herb Schildt did a mean Keith Emerson Hammond organ routine, and was also fine on Moog synth!   They were out to generate a genuine, original sound, rather than just copy the Yes sound. 

To know them and see them back then was to appreciate a band of very talented guys following the "Yes formula" = survive on covers while developing the original material.

What many apparently don't know is that the band suffered a horrible tragedy, with their van (band members and gear) going off the road, breaking guitarist Hagler's back.  Herb lost his Hammond organ, he was really bummed by the event as you can imagine.  

This is insightful, but my recollection was that the accident happened shortly after their first LP of original music was released:


Oh well, not the first star-crossed band to succumb to a string of unlucky events!  Gary Strater on bass was outstanding, he died from pancreatic cancer a few years ago.   I miss Gary, he gave the band tremendous energy and drive.   NOT a Yes-clone, believe me!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2010 at 16:29
Love 'em, though the last album does lack the appeal of most of their earlier work.  A lot of US bands were influenced by Yes, but very few produced material of the quality of Starcastle.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2010 at 23:37
Certainly they never lived up to the expectations of the first album, which on the whole I quite enjoy. Fountains of Light is also good, while showing that they seemed to be running out of ideas. The last two are for hard-core fans only, though I did like "When The Sun Shines At Midnight" on Real to Reel. Haven't heard anything since.
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