STARCASTLE – Starcastle [Rock Candy remastered] *0dayrox Exclusive*
As requested many, now we have the Rock Candy Records remastered & reloaded reissue of American prog / pompsters STARCASTLE first, self-titled debut album “Starcastle“.
Fronted by former REO Speedwagon vocalist Terry Lutrell, STARCASTLE was the American answer to English prog rock, and crafted a spectacular debut album pushing at the boundaries of the genre adding melody and pomp. Think Kansas, Styx, Yes for a close approximation of their complex yet easily accessible and melodic sound.
No wonder that Boston apparently kicked them off a tour for upstaging them. Starcastle’s debut album boasts complex musicianship applied to evocative and melodic songs, all wrapped up in one of the most beautiful and imaginative album sleeves of the era.
Certainly one of the greatest characteristics of the 1970s was the diversity of musical talent on offer. From proto metal through to punk rock all bases were covered, not least of all the establishment of progressive rock.
From the giants of the genre such as Yes, ELP and Genesis through to a multitude of lesser known acts, progressive rock became, against all odds, a standard bearer of quality and class.
Starcastle were a fitting addition to the progressive rock ranks. Based in Champaign, Illinois and formed from a couple of local acts, sporting improbable names such as Sea Daddy, St. James and Mad John Fever, the band overcame their geographical isolation by playing anywhere and everywhere, and attracting not only a fevered following but also the attention of label leviathans Epic Records.
The album opens up with “Lady of the Lake”, complete with Steve Howe-like guitars and Rick Wakeman-like organ, you might think you’re listening to a lost Yes recording. The vocal harmonies, not to mention Luttrell’s vocals are very much like Yes. And that sound is obvious with songs like “Elliptical Seasons”, “Forces”, and “Sunfield”. “Sunfield” oddly reminds me of something off “Tormato”, although that album wouldn’t even see the light of day for two more years.
“To the Fire Wind” has vocal harmonies in one passage that’s more American-like. There are also a couple instrumental pieces as well too.
Definately underappreciated prog rock, but given the label this band was on (Epic Records), it could have been a lot worse. “Starcastle” sound & feels a lot like early Yes, however there’s some kind of Americanized touch listening to this debut album.
Keyboards galore, analog sythns, moog, etc, all that magic paraphernalia is present on this debut, an album that needed a proper remastering and Rock Candy did a great job.
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Lady Of The Lake
02 – Elliptical Seasons
03 – Forces
04 – Stargate
05 – Sunfield
06 – To The Fire Wind
07 – Nova
Terry Luttrell – Lead vocals
Herb Schildt – Synthesizers, organ, piano
Gary Strater – Bass guitar, Taurus pedals, vocals
Stephen Hagler – Guitars, vocals
Matthew Stewart – Guitars, vocals
Stephen Tassler – Drums, percussion, vocals
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