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Starcastle

Starcastle (along with Styx, Fireballet, and Kansas) were part of a belated stateside response to British progressive rock. With Gary Strater's melodic bass lines, Herb Schildt's Moog runs, and Terry Luttrell's sometimes precious vocals, the band was clearly modeled from Yes, particularly in its first two releases. While Starcastle usually came out the worse for such comparisons, there were genuine moments of fine, intricate musicianship. Citadel (1977) showed some musical growth away from their "Yes-lite" phase, but the band weathered 1978 about as badly as their British inspirations and fell apart after the artistically and financially disastrous album Reel to Real.

Strater retained the band's name for a revamped configuration in the '80s, and this lineup produced some music that overcame the long shadow over the band's credibility in progressive circles. Unfortunately, no albums were released in this period. When Starcastle reconvened in the mid-1990s, there was talk by band members of releasing a new album, a possibility heightened by the CD reissue of their back catalog in 1998. ~ Paul Collins, Rovi
full bio

Comments

nuss9
Original sounding band all the way! Citadel is in my top 10 of all time albums. Underrated band of the era also one of the best American prog band ever!
Starcastle opening for Gentle Giant in NYC 1978 - life changing
Being a big fan of British progressive rock of the 70's era, I'm starting to realize that there were some quite creditable attempts coming out of North America in the mid to late 70's, eg Kansas, Saga, These guys definitely caught my attention through my exposure to them on pandora and I'm definitely will check out some more of their material.
Being a big fan of British progressive rock of the 70's era, I'm starting to realize that there were some quite creditable attempts coming out of North America in the mid to late 70's, eg Kansas, Saga, These guys definitely caught my attention through my exposure to them on pandora and I'm definitely will check out some more of their material.
Where is THE Starcastle album. If you haven't heard Lady of the Lake, You haven't heard Starcastle. Chronos is needed just for Breathe and Thunder, the great early tune they couldn't get onto a studio album.
djplays1
I had the pleasure of meeting up with and working with Gary in the late 90's when he worked as 2nd engineer in a studio in IL. Great guy and he was excited to tell us about the potential of getting back to the band. He was already having some health issues at that point in time. Was so sad to hear of his passing in '04.
I've seen both Yes and Starcastle live and they are not even slightly similar. Yes with Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin came of as a power rock band that cued on off time and multiple changes as their strenght. Starcastle sounded smoother and melodious. Even mystic. Love both but not comparable. I also agree they succumbed to bubble gum influences after Fountains Of Light, but so did Styx Kansas Journey REO Bad Company Foghat Head East ELO QUEEN ........... Etc. therefore the 80 s sucked musically
Terry Luttrel Was the Lead singer for REO Speedwagon for a short time
pmfith
Great potential - but like almost all prog bands from the '70s, they eventually bent to the pressure of the brainless record company dolts - and created garbage that neither their prog fans nor the intended teeny-bopper target would like. Look at any 70's prog band that still goes on stage today. What do they play? The early prog stuff that got 'em there. No one remembers the crap (such as the nonsense from Starcastle's Real to Reel)...
I got to. See starcastle open up for Boston on bostons first tour plus go backstage to meet them
to the firewind from their Fountains of Light LP ...tasty as a mofo
Saw them perform at some small college in Pennsylvania in the late seventies. They were pretty f*ckin' alright. The dual lead guitar bits...Tasty !
I have often felt that if there was never YES, there would never have been a Starcastle, but I enjoy listening to them and have been fascinated with Fountains of Light since I was a young guy.
When I first heard these guys way back when, Yes was (and still is) my favorite band. I thought of Starcastle as a blatant rip-off, trying to be Yes and always coming up short. But...I still bought Fountains of Light & Citadel, still have the vinyl, and still put them on to listen. There's something about the too close for comfort factor that keeps them in my collection. I think I can appreciate them more now for who they were then. Same feeling with Triumvirat & ELP.
YES! ... Fountains of light was a masterpiece effort....
YES, and how about Fountains Of Light??
They need to add Lady of the Lake and Portraits to the play list... from their first album...
14739578
I saw Star Castle live back in 76 in Detroit guess who they open up for ???????????? ? ? ? RUSH lol
go ahead folks pummel the guys. Then,close your eyes,who comes to your
mind? Steve Howe,of course!
pmfith
I still use 'Reel to Real' as comic material...f r o m the ridiculous cover to the horrific song lyrics (Whatcha gonna do ) and the really bad music, it's just a treasure trove of comedy... That's what they get for selling out to the kings of mediocrity in the music business...
milosdad
I think I won Citadel from a radio station in San Antonio. Only reason I liked them. That was a time when you had little choice but to listen to the whole record and then the music grew on you. I think I still have it.
I remember coming home from Navy boot camp back in 1977. Starcastle was playing at a night club in Poughkeepsie , New York. There was a small group of people, so I able to stand about 10 feet away from center stage the entire evening. It was unbelievable . Thanks to Pandora for the station.
I'm in the next room giving my son his bath and I hear a Yes song I must have missed somewhere along the way. Nope-it's Starcastle! I've never heard of them and I grew up with prog rock. I was very impressed. Much better than Styx. I agree with Andrew. Yes and ELP mixed.
rwhiteley28
I've always loved these guys ...the first three albums, and the new one. Reel-To-Reel was their attempt to be radio friendly I think, and not their style. I own a lot of Prog and it started with these guys. The first two albums are being re-issued/re m a s t e r e d and with 14 page booklets of band info...don't know if the info duplicates. Check out NEH Records online. Big agreement on Lady of the Lake...proba b l y their best.
these guys are like a combination of Yes and ELP!
The interplay between drums and keyboards sounds a LOT like Triumvirat, the German prog band of the same era. I wore out a couple of copies of Spartacus... So it's nice to hear another group with a similar sound. Like Maurice, I grew up on prog and never heard of Starcastle.
I had the pleasure of attending a private concert at a recording studio in Connecticut back in the late 70's! It was awesome. Got to talk with all of them up close, personal, and absolutely no time limits. I managed to get an album cover (no CD's back then) autographed by 3 band members! It was great!
I'm 46 years old, a big Yes, Kansas, Genesis, Pink Floyd fan and I've never heard of these guys? I wonder where I was.
AAAaaahhhhh. . . . . . . . . . n i c e memories
indianahurst
I would never call them "Yes-lite." I am very familiar with both bands and each has its own distinct sound.
seanc245
Yikes
davida524
Saw them as an opening act for ELO at one show and they where terrific. THe only album (remember those round vinyl things) I ever got was Citadel,,and I wore it out playing it
cblaw5
If you don't know "Lady of the Lake" from their first Album, you don't know Starcastle, so here's another voice saying add that soon to the library, but it's soo good to see them carrying on. What exactly does it mean to call them "Yes-lite"? Is the sound a little like "Yes"? Yeah, ok, but Rolling Stone's derisive hipper-than- t h o u posturing has always been only about selling magazines...
jjpierce
I hope the Pandora folks acquire rights to the first two albums. "Lady of the Lake" is the song that really got me to buy the first album. By the time Fountains of Light was released I was a big fan. When I gave Citadel it's first listen I pretty much decided it would be it's only listen. Too bad the weakest of the 3 albums is their only representati o n here on Pandora.
Saw them live with Kansas in 70-something (c'mon - it was the 70's) and they ROCKED the house. Too bad the earlier albums were left off of here. Sure they sound yes-est... but that early Yes sound - I just can't get enough of it
scannavo
The album was Fountains of Light. You're right I agree it was their best album, don't know why it's not up here.....
there was an earlier disc than citadel thats not posted which i think is thier best
Love this band! Clearly Yes-influenc e d , but also clearly moved by their own unique stream of inspiration, their work lovingly and sincerely crafted, with formidable musical skills. FOUNTAINS OF LIGHT, the second release (1977), not listed in the "Limited Discography" above, is excellent, with wide agreement short perhaps of consensus that it is superior to the third release, CITADEL. I couldn't put it better than Sir Iron Heart: corny sounding Yes-derived '70s prog, but I totally love it.
Starcastle!! great sound, hope they can continue after the passing of Gary
sirchrisiron h e a r t
Corny sounding '70's prog. rock, sounds like a YES rip-off..... . . . . A N D I LOVE EVERY SONG ON EVERY ALBUM! These guys are thrill to listen to! It brings me back to the days of all of those early prog. bands like GENTLE GIANT, early GENESIS, E.L.P. and of course, YES!
Sept. 19 2004 saw the passing of Gary Strater, Starcastle's innovative bassist, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The band understandab l y stopped performing, but just recently has resurfaced much to the delight of progressive rock fans everywhere. I was fortunate enough to see their performance at RosFest 2007 this past summer and I will see them again at RosFest 2008. Visit the festival website at www.rosfest. c o m .

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