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Styx - Crystal Ball CD (album) cover




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3.14 | 177 ratings

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5 stars This is one of the two Styx discs that I give a perfect rating and it's worth every bit of that 5 stars!!! I understand that most people think "The Grand Illusion" is the group's greatest achievement, and it is certainly one of the 70's most loved albums, but "Crystal Ball" is the perfect album in every way!

Released in 1976, this is the first disc to include ex MS Funk guitarist and vocalist Tommy Shaw. Turns out that Tommy is a hell of a songwriter to boot, penning the title track, for which the album was actually named! When this album wants to be heavy it is: "Put Me On." When the album wants to be melodic we have "This Old Man" and "Ballerina," in my opinion, two of the greatest Styx songs ever!!

Someone before me mentioned this album "is so dark it sounds demonic." Well said Brendan, because this album is dark, so very moody that it captures you and doesn't let you go. Certainly the band's darkest album and possibly the reason I love it so much. Throughout the rest of their career I was looking for this mood and luckily it shows up now and again in songs like "Castle Walls", "Man In The Wilderness", "Pieces Of Eight", "Half- Penny, Two-Penny", and most recently the excellent "These Are The Times" from 2003's "Cyclorama." I think it is the moodier side of Styx that keeps me coming back and it all began right here on possibly Styx's best offering!

It's a shame that Dennis DeYoung strayed from this writing style and that by the end of the 1970's Styx was a completely different band. Luckily, now, even without Dennis, the band is writing some of the best material of their career.

A new album in 2006? I think so. All I can hope for is something a third this good!!!!!

silversaw | 5/5 |


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