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Starcastle

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Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Oliver Wakeman, Oliver Wakeman With Steve Howe

All Music Guide:

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.

eMusic Features

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Prog on the Prairie: Midwestern Bands Roll Over Beethoven

By Chuck Eddy, Contributor

On the back of Kansas's self-titled first album, which came roaring out of Topeka in 1974, the band looks like six long-haired farmboys, out standing in their field: Blue jeans, Daniel Boone fringe jackets - one big guy even has overalls on. The front cover is a famous portrait of insurrectionary 19th-century Bleeding Kansas abolitionist John Brown; the last track a eulogy for Mother Nature. Though released on a label run by Don Kirshner, the… more »