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Album Review

A good first effort by a band very much in Yes' orbit — as when "Elliptical Seasons" shows Lutrell's uncanny mastery of Anderson's vocal style — this debut also shows the less complex electric timbre and thinner production that typified American progressive rock by such practicioners as Kansas. The album leads off with the wonderfully sprawling song that broke them on local radio in the hometown of Champaign, the ten-minute Moogs and Merlin epic, "Lady of the Lake." The closing instrumental, "Nova," also gives the band's very tight rhythm section a chance to shine, with Tassler opening the piece with a brief but effective solo. Though later releases would show the band was capable of better work, it's a decent enough debut and an interesting curio for fans of American progressive rock.

Customer Reviews

I got this when it first came out - glad to see it on iTunes!

In 1976, there were five bands aside from Yes that I became intensely interested in; Boston, Kansas, Styx, Rush and Starcastle. The things that interested me the most about these bands were their technical mastery of music, lyrics and style - a combination I later coined as "heart-music" or music that stirs the heart and soul. Yes along with Emerson Lake & Palmer were the forerunners of the other five (in my humble opinion) but my love for the technical mastery of music drew me to them like a magnet. Starcastle was a bit different in that their lyrics sung of mystical and ethereal encounters. Technically outstanding and one of the most talented bands of their time - great to find them on iTunes!


Starcastle was perhaps the first American band to successfully blend western classical music, rock, and sci/fi fantasy all into one. And my god, is it amazing. The musicianship displayed by Starcastle is, quite possibly, the best in the entire sci-fi/fantasy prog genre. Each of these musicians is obviously very gifted in his field, and it is only out of bad timing (as, unfortunately were most of their albums) that they're not recognised as leaders in the genre. Though often compared to British prog giant Yes, the two bands were actually very, very different. Starcastle, for example, put FAR more emphasis on the guitar than Yes's work of the time; true, the same instruments were used, and true, the incredibly artful keyboarding of both Yes's Rick Wakeman and Starcastle's Herb Schildt is the glue holding both bands together, but not a single song done by Starcastle shows any real derivation from Yes. LISTEN TO THE ALBUM.


Back in the day when Yes, ELP, and Jethro Tull were the bands to see, and I did see them, this band seemed like they were going to give them some great competition. I have the album but haven't heard it for years because no one spins records anymore. This album always had a fresh, light and captivating sound. I was thinking about it the other day and was THRILLED to see it on iTunes. Thank you for making this available. This album is so wonderful that it should not be forgotten. If you love Yes and ELP you will love this album. The cover art is beautiful too!


Formed: 1972 in Champaign, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Starcastle, Starcastle
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