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Starcastle - 1978 Real To Reel
ALBUM: Real To Reel
SERIAL: JE 35441
CD REISSUE: 1999, Epic/Sony (Japan), ESCA-7740
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Terry Luttrell - lead vocals * Stephen Hagler - guitar, piano, electric piano, lead vocal on 'Song For Alaya' * Matthew Stewart - guitars, slide guitars, electric sitar, vocals * Herb Schildt - organ, synthesizer, electric piano, electronic strings, A.L.F. computer synthesizer * Gary Strater - bass guitar, clavinet, vocals * Stephen Tassler - drums, percussion, synthesized percussion, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Half A Mind To Leave Ya * 02 Whatcha Gonna Do (When It All Comes Down On You) * 03 We Did It * 04 Nobody's Fool * 05 Song For Alaya * 06 So Here We Are * 07 She * 08 The Stars Are Out Tonight * 09 When The Sun Shines At Midnight
This is the fourth and final album from Illinois' Starcastle, during their formative era. 'Real To Reel' as a piece of collective music is probably best described as being caught betwixt and between
. Not sure whether they had completely lost their progressive roots by this stage, but the material tries hard to be commercial without a complete appreciation of what being commercial mean't. I can only assume that the Epic label and management had a hand in precedings, but to get the band to change at this late stage was like asking a leopard to change its spots. And as it proved, it was a move bordering on disastrous.
Their three previous albums highlighted their progressive leanings, culminating in the fantastic 'Citadel' album the year before. On that album, they just about managed to create the perfect progressive/commercial crossover. With 'Real To Reel' though, the progressive element is considerably less, and as such, there is not a lot to hold it all together. There are a couple of good songs though that do stand the test of time. One of these is 'When The Sun Shines At Midnight' - a grandiose affair, which is probably the most prog-oriented track here. The other is the opener 'Half A Mind To Leave Ya', which is also memorable due to it's insistent chorus. However, 'So Here We Are' is an obvious attempt at AOR, which doesn't quite land on the runway. Of the others, unfortunately they do not hold a lot of attention.
Without doubt, not the pick of the bunch album-wise. The band still picked up a lot of critics for being a Yes
rip-off. Starcastle's fate was not helped by the fact that 1978 saw the release of some poor albums by their contemporaries - Yes
and Gentle Giant
included. So by default, they got lumped in with that bunch. However, for completists, you'll have the album regardless of what I say.
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on November 13, 2008
on February 04, 2011
on February 04, 2011
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