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Fountains of Light

Starcastle Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 29.70
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Frequently Bought Together

Fountains of Light + s/t + Citadel
Price For All Three: CDN$ 85.60

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  • s/t CDN$ 33.04
  • Citadel CDN$ 22.86

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Product Details


1. Fountains
2. Dawning Of the Day
3. Silver Winds
4. True To the Light
5. Portraits
6. Diamond Song (Deep Is the Light)

Product Description

Product Description

Listening to this album is always a strange experience for any Yes fan. Clearly Starcastle are following Yes. But did Yes then follow Starcastle? Probably not...but released a year before Yes' Tormato, this album's thin synth sound and electric timbre seem to foretell Yes' fate, even as it mimics the polyrhythms and vocal phrasings of Yes from years gone by. Still, the album has its own charms, largely due to the tight unison work of the rhythm section: Stephen Tasster's cascading tom fills in "Fountains" and Gary Strater's supple bass behind the delicate opening of "Portraits" are both marvelous. Herb Schildt's synth sounds, on the other hand, haven't always aged well. Still, he leads the band into some rousing instrumentals in the latter halves of "True to the Light" and "Diamond Song." ~ Paul Collins, All Music Guide

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Masterpiece Nov. 23 2003
Format:Audio CD
Starcastle's best album is no mere Yes-American Style knock-off. The playing is astounding and the album breezes with confidence and technical brilliance. It's the fastest 38-minutes of music I've ever experienced. Twenty-five years down the road, it's still impressive prog rock.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celestial Rock at its Best Dec 5 2001
By Lee J. Stamm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I got this album when it first came out in 1977, and have been enjoying it ever since. Though often compared to, and obviously influenced by Yes (of whom I was also a big fan), I felt that Starcastle's music was less rhythmically complex, and richer in texture, both instrumentally and vocally, especially on this album, which I consider their best. Their 3rd album, "Citadel," is also excellent. After that, they sold out to pop influences and justly faded away. The music on this album, especially when played at sufficient volume, is a fine, sensual experience, with an ethereal quality unlike any to be found in contemporary rock. Highly recommended for discriminating progressive rock lovers.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Starcastle Masterpiece Sept. 3 2000
By Chris Gerbig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album is, undoubtedly, Starcastle's masterpiece. Three long songs per side that flow one into the other. They have my vote as the best American progressive rock group of the 70's. The comparisons to YES are inevitable: a high tenor vocalist, mystical lyrics, trebly bass to the forefront and tons of complex keyboard pomp. The production of Roy Thomas Baker is superb. The album flows seamlessly with not a weak link to be found. This is melodic, symphonic rock at its most precious and refined. The vocal harmonies are ethereal. The overall energy is bright and positive. Highlights (on an album of tremendous consistency) for me are the epic "Fountains" and the absolutely beautiful "Portraits" which (along with "Lady of the Lake" from their 1st album) stand alongside the best of Yes or Kansas. Their main distinction from Yes is that the music is more accessible and less self-indulgent. The band plays and harmonizes as a whole, without long, pompous, instrumental duelling between the members. This is an album that uplifts the spirit. It truly is a Fountain of Light in an era where progressive music was largely in decay. HUGELY recommended!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten prog masterpiece Oct. 2 2005
By William Scalzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Even in their own time, Starcastle was slagged as a Yes-clone but these days with a whole genre of neo-prog and entire labels such as Magna Carta devoted to clone-bands, it seems acceptable to finally give this band some credit as a great prog band. Of course they were Yes clones, but they were so darned GOOD at it that it's hard to think of that as a minus.

On this, their second album, Starcastle shrugged off the last vestige of originality from the debut, the atmospheric instrumentals, and aimed for nothing less than 100% Yes. They nearly succeeded too. Still, neither guitarist could touch Steve Howe, and while Jon Anderson could hardly be called a belter, Terry Lutrell makes him sound like Louie Armstrong! In other words, the vocals are more than a bit wimpy. As on the other Starcastle albums, the real star is keyboardist Herb Schildt who was one of the most underrated prog keyboardists and turns in terrific performances all over the band's catalogue.

Fountains of Light is a rather short recording even by vinyl standards, but the length is just perfect as each song blends nicely into the next so that while this isn't a concept album, it still has that conceptual "togetherness" that the best of 70's art-rock featured. Nobody makes this type of record anymore, mainly because it's almost impossible to sustain through the hour-or-more length of CD's these days. Classic prog fans should definitely check out this band's first three albums, with this one recommended as the first to get.

Consumer note: this is a CD-R and like many CD-R's I find that the volume needs to be turned up even on good systems. The cover scan is poorly done and an affront to the original artwork, done by the same guy who did several Kansas covers. The trimming almost cuts off the lyrics at the far right of the inside cover as well, and I could have made a better back cover than this on my home computer. Still, this is about the only way you're going to find this CD and it's worth the inconvenience since it's such a good record.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best clone band albums Nov. 18 2001
By BENJAMIN MILER - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Starcastle, from Champaigne-Urbana, Illinois, from the same area that brought you REO Speedwagon (in fact REO's original vocalist, Terry Luttrell is a member of Starcastle) is one of those progressive rock bands that'll hardly stun and amaze you with originality, as they did everything they could to sound just like Yes. Of course I had my skepticism on this album, because the band recorded for Epic Records, a major label not exactly known for giving musicians artistic freedom, but once I got to hear it, I was amazed. It has everything I wanted in prog rock. Great Yes-type vocal harmonies, great instrumental passages, and some catchy numbers like "Fountains", "True to the Light", "Portraits", and "Diamond Song (Deep is the Light)". It's not just the vocal harmonies and the Anderson-like voice that bears more than a stunning resemblance to Yes, but the keyboards Herb Schildt played on. He played Moog and Hammond organ, and you can hear the rather obvious references to "And You And I" ("Portraits") and "Roundabout" ("Diamond Song (Deep is the Light)"), apparently Schildt had a little trouble having an imagination of his own in the keyboard department. Drummer Stephen Tassler's style is very much in the style as Alan White's, while bassist Gary Strater played on a Rickenbacher, just like Squire himself. The music is better produced than what was on their excellent 1976 debut, and obviously showed more maturity as well. Starcastle came at a time when Yes themselves had not been releasing albums, mainly because Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, even Patrick Moraz, and Alan White been releasing solo albums (that's why there were no Yes releases between Relayer and Going For the One, except for the Yesterdays compilation). Fountains of Light is that perfect album to fool your friends. If they never heard this band, they'd swear they're listening to a Yes album they never heard before. By the way the cover to Fountains of Light was done by Peter Lloyd, the same guy who did Kansas' Song For America and Point of Know Return, as well as Jefferson Starship's Dragon Fly. Of course if you don't like clone bands, you won't like Fountains of Light, but if that doesn't bother you, give this a spin. By the way, I feel this is one of the best American prog albums I have heard from a major label.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Masterpiece Nov. 23 2003
By James Coyle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Starcastle's best album is no mere Yes-American Style knock-off. The playing is astounding and the album breezes with confidence and technical brilliance. It's the fastest 38-minutes of music I've ever experienced. Twenty-five years down the road, it's still impressive prog rock.
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