Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Domestic reissue of the prog rock outfit's third album, originally released in 1978 on Epic. The Yes-like 'Citadel' features eight tracks, including the then-FM radio staples 'Lady Of The Lake' & 'Shine On Brightly'. The A... more »
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Domestic reissue of the prog rock outfit's third album, originally released in 1978 on Epic. The Yes-like 'Citadel' features eight tracks, including the then-FM radio staples 'Lady Of The Lake' & 'Shine On Brightly'. The All-Music Guide gave the album four & a half stars (out of five possible). Also includes the original cover art. 1998 Renaissance release.
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Last of Their 3-Album Prog Career
William Scalzo | Niagara Falls, NY | 11/08/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Starcastle had the worst timing that a progressive rock band could have, beginning their career in 1975 with the classic prog era over and the death knell of punk/new wave looming on the horizon. Therefore, they followed the typical prog career path in condensed form, going from prog to pop in only a few short years. Their self-titled debut album was very good, the follow-up, Fountains of Light, was excellent, then they went through this transitional record before flaming out with the wretched Reel To Real.
Musically, Starcastle were virtually a clone band of Yes, even down to using the same make and model guitars, basses and keyboards, and I wouldn't be surprised if they used the same cymbals and mics too. They did add a certain amount of "American-ism" hailing as they did from the Midwest and having started out as a bar band. There were so very few decent American prog groups in that era that Starcastle at least earns the somewhat dubious honour of being one of my top 4 American prog bands along with Utopia, Kansas and Happy The Man.
Starcastle did have a knack for catchy, accessible melodies, and a terrific keyboardist in the way under-rated Herb Schildt. Schildt was so good, every prog fan should hear him at least once. The singer, however, had a pronounced lack of projection to his voice (maybe why he was kicked out of REO Speedwagon?), saved only by the remarkably solid harmony vocals that sounded like Yes after a solid month of listening to nothing but Crosby Stills & Nash.
Citadel found the band trying out some shorter numbers overall, and a few obvious ploys for pop radio airplay. This never seemed to work but all of these prog bands, presumably under pressure from their labels, were trying the pop thing out at the time. Citadel does have some very good prog rock tracks and fans of their earlier work will definitely enjoy this one, but be forewarned it's not in the league of the first two records.
Originally produced by Roy Thomas Baker of Queen fame, this re-issue is a CD-R replication, so be prepared for some less than professional artwork (just try reading those credits on the inside back cover!) The sound isn't bad at all though, and it's about the only form you can find this CD in anymore so there's not much choice. A good pickup for fans, and prog fiends who've never heard them might want to get this one after the first two. But the Starcastle experience ends here with Citadel and on a few rare odds-and-sods live albums. The last studio album, Reel to Real, is not prog and is not good."
Citadel - a Long Lost Friend.
Mark Haase | Detroit, MI - USA | 06/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really like Starcastle. This group was my first introduction to progressive rock, prior to Yes and Kansas. I think Terry Luttrell's vocals are polished and smooth. Herb Schildt's work on Synthesizer is clean, dynamic and not overpowering. As a whole, I think Starcastle's musicianship is mezmerizing. A long time ago I had this album on Vinyl and wore it out. I am happy I found it on CD and plan to buy every CD in Starcastle's catalog."
Not as good as Fountains of Light
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 11/19/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1977, Starcastle gave us not one, but two albums. First, at the beginning of the year was the excellent Fountains of Light, and by the end of the year, the somewhat disappointing Citadel. What on earth happened here? Well, it looks like those money grubbing folks over at Epic were less than thrilled with the lack of sales Fountains of Light generated. So they wanted the band to record something that might sell. So how did the album turn out? Well the songs are shorter, the compositions are somewhat more straightforward, and there are two very straightforward cuts that were meant for radio airplay, "Can't Think Twice" and "Could This Be Love". I actually happen to like "Could This Be Love", but the former wasn't all that remarkable to me. But luckily the band hadn't totally abandoned progressive rock either, as there are many great songs here, like "Evening Wind", "Shine On Brightly", "Change in Time", and "Why Have They Gone". But the problem is the album is slightly weaker than what came before. I really can't blame the band here, I blame Epic Records. At least Citadel is supposedly nowhere as bad their 1978 disaster Real to Reel, which I hadn't heard. So basically, start with Fountains of Light, then their self-entitled 1976 debut, before you come to Citadel."