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Starcastle

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CloseToTheMoon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CloseToTheMoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Starcastle
    Posted: October 04 2010 at 18:58
Has anyone heard from this band? I found their first two albums in a dollar bin when I was first getting into prog. Sadly, I only bought one of them Fountains of Light (1977) and listening to it again...I really want to hear more. I had no idea they put out two albums in the past decade.

I've been dying to get my vinyl into iTunes.
It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2010 at 19:16
Whatever you do, don't go to the band's discography on this site. LOL  By the way, do you know Happy The Man?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2010 at 19:31
^lol...
 
Their debut is a pleasant light Symphonic Prog album which stands well alongside Kansas 70s stuff, for me anyways.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2010 at 19:50
the Starcastle debut album is a solid effort, and i still like it as much as i did when i first heard it years ago
     i do not know the others too well, sampled a few and found them a bit lighter than the debut and not to my liking
            would have been great to have seen the band live in the early days
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CloseToTheMoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2010 at 20:36
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

Whatever you do, don't go to the band's discography on this site. LOL  By the way, do you know Happy The Man?


That pretty much tells me I have to check it out. Should I be afraid? I've came across the name Happy the Man, are they a Genesis tribute?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2010 at 20:39
^no, not at all. A very fine and original American Prog band.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lozlan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2010 at 22:10
I'll confess that I'm a passive enjoyer of Starcastle's material.  I have all four of their 70's releases (including their decently listenable pop endeavor), and find a certain amount of pleasure listening to them.  They straddle the symphonic line for me: I know they're primarily hailed as a Yes clone, but I actually enjoy them more than their inspiration.  Of course, my symphonic tastes are a bit odd at the best of times. 

The first three releases are worth a listen.  They make for great casual spins, and occasionally I find myself really, really digging on them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yanch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2010 at 06:38
I especially like the first album. They have a pleasant sound, very good playing and are enjoyable. They were very good live also.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Monodrone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2010 at 08:45
Wow, I think Real to Reel might possibly top Love Beach as worst album cover. Ever.
    
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2010 at 10:33
I liked Starcastle enough when I first heard them back in the LP age to get their debut on CD, but I seem to recall their second album to be not as good and I didn't keep up with them.  Of course you've probably checked out their discography by now and see that they put out a new one in 2007, which I haven't heard yet.  The first album was excellent for Yes fans who couldn't get enough of the Yes sound. 

Happy The Man came out with their first album about the same time as Starcastle's first.  The first two albums and their 2004 are really good.  Like Starcastle, they went on a big hiatus after the '70's.  They are more instrumental oriented, but I thought I'd toss out them as a suggestion.  They had a more intense and original sound.  Although they are in eclectic, I think they have more of a symphonic style
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ShipOfFools Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2010 at 05:46

I really like them. I have all 5 of their studio albums, and they're all really good. 

The lead singer tends to sound a bit too much like Jon Anderson at times, but all in all, they're a good prog rock band. Very symphonic. :)


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Dick Heath View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dick Heath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2010 at 06:12
Starcastle came into my musical life when Yes were leaving it - indeed hearing a tune off the first album on UK local radio (unnannounced) in the late 70's, I did think it was Yes back on form, until I heard the name Starcastle  at the end. Sure they demonstrate a lot of similarities to Yes, and display similar orders of virtuosity, etc. but they also showed as some other neo-prog bands, there can be a lot left in the motherlode which the original prog bands have abandoned. Then as with It Bites, something (reasonably) new can come from fusing original bands' sound, e.g. Genesis (50%) meets UK (20%).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gr8dane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2010 at 17:21
Starcastle is very fine band indeed.I love their stuff.
Close to Yes, yes,but they do indeed have their own style,which I frankly prefer over Yes.
Only because I don't have the patience for all the noodling around.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2010 at 00:56
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

I liked Starcastle enough when I first heard them back in the LP age to get their debut on CD, but I seem to recall their second album to be not as good and I didn't keep up with them.  Of course you've probably checked out their discography by now and see that they put out a new one in 2007, which I haven't heard yet.  The first album was excellent for Yes fans who couldn't get enough of the Yes sound. 

Happy The Man came out with their first album about the same time as Starcastle's first.  The first two albums and their 2004 are really good.  Like Starcastle, they went on a big hiatus after the '70's.  They are more instrumental oriented, but I thought I'd toss out them as a suggestion.  They had a more intense and original sound.  Although they are in eclectic, I think they have more of a symphonic style

Good analysis of both bands!  

*sigh* I knew Starcastle from the early days, down in Champaign, Illinois USA.  Live, they were unreal!  AMAZINGLY huge sound for a bar band/cover band group.  

My favorite musician was Gary Strater, he was a walking/talking clone of Chris Squire, down to the shaggy hair & black Rick 4001!   

However, the first LP was also my favorite, "Fountains of Light" had lyrics that were probably written by a writer for a greeting-card company (I HATE vapid prog lyrics, ugh!).   I've never heard "Reel to Reel," but the band hated it. 

The comeback was a good try, but they just didn't have the stuff to push for it anymore.  The survivors are still in Champaign, I'll see them one of these days.  

Oh yeah, Happy the Man is HIGHLY recommended!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 09 2010 at 01:47
I just checked the band's website, well, lookie here!!


ANNOUNCEMENT

NEW STARCASTLE CD TO BE RELEASED SOON!

September 2010 - Cincinnati, Ohio.   A wealth of previously unreleased Starcastle material written and performed in California during the 80’s by Gary Strater, George Harp, Bruce Botts and Scott McKenzie will be released on a new CD later this year. This new Starcastle CD, now in production, is a collection of songs taken from studio demo tapes, live shows and rehearsals performed in the original three piece format … [see News for complete announcement].

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dick Heath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 11 2010 at 05:57
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

I
Happy The Man came out with their first album about the same time as Starcastle's first.  The first two albums and their 2004 are really good.  Like Starcastle, they went on a big hiatus after the '70's.  They are more instrumental oriented, but I thought I'd toss out them as a suggestion.  They had a more intense and original sound.  Although they are in eclectic, I think they have more of a symphonic style
 
For complicated reasons I was in correspondence with Stan Whittaker of Happy The Man, for a short while. One gem I got unsolicited, was that Stan shared a room with Steve Vai at college, and for a coursework, whilst Vai transcribed Zappa, Whittake transcribed Yes. Slart one of the things about Happy the Man was the comparative originality of their music;  vague echoes of United States Of America and I think I might be pushing that....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Norman Kiddie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2010 at 10:41
SmileIf you´ll take my advice enjoy the one you´ve got because the others are not in the same class.
I had Citadel which has a great cover but is a pretty weak album. I actually sold it on.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2013 at 23:08
I'm trying to find out if any archived Starcastle material is going to be released, so I'll post it when I find out. 

Meanwhile, please watch this stunning tribute for Gary Strater, who passed away while the band was recording their final CD.  I find it hard to believe that the vocalist is Terry Luttrell, he sounds just like Jon Anderson to me!  Terry was good, but not that good....!


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2013 at 01:51
Originally posted by presdoug

the Starcastle debut album is a solid effort, and i still like it as much as i did when i first heard it years ago
     i do not know the others too well, sampled a few and found them a bit lighter than the debut and not to my liking
            would have been great to have seen the band live in the early days
This exactly LOL.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2013 at 01:55

I only have Fountains of Light which is pretty good but I can't advice on their other output.

Originally posted by The Monodrone

Wow, I think Real to Reel might possibly top Love Beach as worst album cover. Ever.

LOL Indeed
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