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Styx - Styx CD (album) cover




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2.80 | 125 ratings

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Symphonic Team
1 stars Movement for a common band

I own this debut album as part of a 2CD set called The Wooden Nickel Recordings comprising Styx' first four albums. Of these four albums, only Styx II is consistently good. But at least three of these four albums feature at least some good material and if you are interested in early Styx, this 2CD set is definitely the best way to go. It is indeed a very nice package with superb cover art very much in line with the band's name ('Styx', of course, being the river of death). However, this self-titled debut is easily the weakest of the four Wooden Nickel albums and contains mostly rather weak songs.

The album opens with the four part Movement For The Common Man. Despite appearances this is not a particularly progressive piece, though. The first part is nothing more than a straightforward Rock 'N' Roll number. This is followed by Street Collage which is exactly what its title implies; some interviews with people of the street about contemporary youngsters behaviour and attitudes to life and work. After this we have a short segment of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare For The Common Man. Prog fans will recognize this piece from Emerson Lake & Palmer's version made several years later. Were Emerson Lake & Palmer inspired by Styx? I very much doubt it, but it is possible. Movement For The Common Man is concluded by Mother Nature's Matinee which is its best part and possibly the best part of the whole album. Overall, this 13+ minute song is bound to dissatisfy anyone expecting a Prog epic or anything along those lines. The four parts are not very well integrated and it all tends to give a rather immature impression. It is a debut album we are talking about here after all and Styx has all the marks of a first attempt.

The rest of the album is even less impressive. Almost half the material is written by outsiders and nothing here is at all memorable. It all sounds very middle-of-the-road. After the last song ends and the disc is given over to Styx II the difference in quality is immediately apparent.

Styx did not start out very strong here. One (and a half) stars is all I can give them for this.

SouthSideoftheSky | 1/5 |


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