Also, it's always Yes at their most tuneful, no? And the lyrics are all about the dawn and the planets and the sky and sky-related metaphors about love and life! If I could see a laser lights show designed to accompany any album, it would have to be this one!
― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 11 March 2005 06:41 (sixteen years ago) link
― xhuxk, Friday, 11 March 2005 15:52 (sixteen years ago) link
Starcastle Fun Fact: The lead vocalist of Starcastle was in the original version of REO Speedwagon, another Illini band. He sang on the first REO album, now deleted. One of the best songs was a tale written from the point of view of a guard at a women's prison. "Don't mess with the prison women!" he sang.
― George Smith, Friday, 11 March 2005 16:19 (sixteen years ago) link
― lychee mello (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:28 (sixteen years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:42 (sixteen years ago) link
― George Smith, Friday, 11 March 2005 16:44 (sixteen years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:49 (sixteen years ago) link
mostly because they were the only two American prog bands I had LPs of back in the 70s. I remember not liking either band a lot, though I didn't dislike either. They were two more examples to me of why UK/Euro prog was so much better than American prog.
― nickn (nickn), Friday, 11 March 2005 19:54 (sixteen years ago) link
― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 11 March 2005 20:11 (sixteen years ago) link
If you liked Starcastle you would probably find Flash intriguing. Look into the first album. It was Peter Banks' band after leaving Yes and Tony Kaye signed on for the first recording. It sounds like Yes because, essentially, it's former Yesmen. "Small Beginnings" is the song that jumps out and hits you, "Hey, that's Yes." By the second album Flash were mostly finished although they hung in there for a third and a live one of varying quality.
Starcastle did better in the States, stuck to it longer, got more support.
― George Smith, Friday, 11 March 2005 22:19 (sixteen years ago) link
― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 11 March 2005 22:38 (sixteen years ago) link
It's hard to compare Yes and Starcastle because Yes has "Close to the Edge," "Sound Chaser," "Tempus Fugit," "Starship Trooper," and on and on and on, whereas Starcastle's accomplishment seemed to be that, though none of their songs match the stellar heights of Yes's (not that many other band's ever do), they could recall the Yes experience in a general way, in sort of a surrogate way, allowing the listener taking a break from Yes, maybe so as not to burn out on them, nevertheless to approximate the Yes high. As the liner notes of their debut album have it: "Starcastle decided to realize their original dream without compromise. A totally disciplined lifestyle served as the foundation for their music, which yielded multiple voicing, counterpoint, countermelodies, and a decidedly refreshing approach to what could have been routine instrumentation." "Without compromise" seems to be limited to 'sounding like Yes,' as does "refreshing," whereas Yes were just completely nuts, actually without compromise up through Topographic Oceans.
― #1 100% ILM Asshole, Friday, 11 March 2005 22:59 (sixteen years ago) link
― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 11 March 2005 23:45 (sixteen years ago) link
That's critical. Gotta have a very bright, growling bass tone. Guitar -wise, semi-hollow (Peter Banks used a Gibson ES, Howe used a similarly big sounding guitar) into a very loud, chunky but fairly clean-sounding amp. Banks used Hiwatts. I thought Howe was a Fender Twin user but I might be mistaken, hmmm-hmmm.
In Starcastle, I never thought Luttrell sounded much like Jon Anderson.
― George Smith, Friday, 11 March 2005 23:49 (sixteen years ago) link
― #1 100% ILM Asshole, Friday, 11 March 2005 23:51 (sixteen years ago) link
Some pictures here. Gibsons in the photos from the Fountains of Light tour. Fenders, though, too, in the Live 1977 pictures. As for guitar amps, you can at least see one Marshall in the Live '77 photos.
― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 12 March 2005 00:07 (sixteen years ago) link
I recently found Fountains of Light and Reel to Real at a shop. the owner of the place was amused that anyone would pick them out, he told me about a Starcastle show he attended where this big lit up star slowly descended throughout the set. problem being it was only 3 feet tall. like something straight out of Spinal Tap
Fountains is actually a pretty solid album. Probably even better than the debut. I love all the slot machine sounds and "Portraits" is a real gem. You'd think a couple of these songs could've gotten some radio play. Every song outside of the 10-minute title track is written like a single. Reel to Real on the other hand is pretty bad, they just gave up on trying to be prog at all and instead just focused on being a real shitty version of Styx. It has one of the worst/most hilarious album covers though. It is one of those covers where you know the album itself cannot possibly be any good.
― frogbs, Tuesday, 14 September 2021 17:43 (four days ago) link