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STYX

Prog Related • United States


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Styx picture
Styx biography
Founded in Chicago, USA in 1972 - Hiatus between 1985-1989 and 1992-1994 - Still active as 2017

STYX is one of those bands that are always mentioned with some fear and shame by the Progressive Rock fan, because they always played in the border that divides Prog from plain POP, I believe the best way to describe them is as Prog Related (understanding this description as the simplest and more commercial form of Progressive Rock) blended with AOR, somehow in the same vein as JOURNEY or BOSTON but much more complex.

Officially born in 1972 from the ashes of "The TRADEWINS" and "TW4" was formed by the Panozzo twins (Chuck on bass and John on drums), Dennis de Young (vocals and keyboards), James Young (guitar, vocals) and John Curulewski (guitar, vocals).

In the first years they were closer to progressive rock than ever, from 1972 to 1974 the band released four albums, "Styx", "Styx II", "The Serpent is Rising" and "Man of Miracles", even though they were popular in Chicago, still the band couldn't reach commercial success. As a curiosity, in their first album they recorded "Movement for a Common Man" based in Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, almost five years before ELP. In 1975 they release their more commercially consistent album (at that point of course) "Equinox" which blended Rock & Roll, Pop and Progressive Rock in an efficient way, "Light Up", "Lorelei" and "Suite Madam Blue" are the first songs in which the band achieve some financial success and show the sound they pretended to create.

1976 was a crucial year for "STYX", John Curulewski leaves the band and is replaced by Tommy Shaw who became the front man with his California boy image (Even when he was born in Montgomery Alabama) and melodic but elaborate style, the band finally had the face capable of reaching the female public and massive acceptance, but writing some of the best STYX themes. "Crystal Ball" was released in the same year with a moderate success, "Crystal Ball", "Mademoiselle" and "Put me On" became favorites in their massive concerts, the band was reaching their commercial peak but started to abandon prog rock and turning into an ARENA band.

At this point the story is well known, "The Grand Illusion" became a platinum album with major hits like "Fooling Yourself" and of course "Come Sail Away", also their three next albums "Pieces of Eight", "Cornerstone" and "Paradise Theater" reached commercial success with tracks that go from lig...
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Styx: Greatest HitsStyx: Greatest Hits
Remastered
A&M 1995
$7.70
$1.49 (used)
The MissionThe Mission
UMe 2017
$9.09
$4.11 (used)
Styx GoldStyx Gold
A&M Records 2006
$8.94
$6.99 (used)
The Grand IllusionThe Grand Illusion
A&M 1984
$6.33
$1.99 (used)
5 Classic Albums5 Classic Albums
Polydor 2015
$19.30
$26.83 (used)
Pieces Of EightPieces Of Eight
A&M 1987
$5.49
$3.00 (used)
Equinox / Crystal BallEquinox / Crystal Ball
Remastered
BGO 2015
$11.14
$14.95 (used)
Paradise TheaterParadise Theater
A&M 2015
$22.30
$5.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
STYX Lady (Cassette) FAST SHIPPING USD $6.99 Buy It Now 11m 47s
Styx Return To Paradise USA Cassette 2 Tape set USD $14.99 Buy It Now 12m 34s
STYX - PIECES OF EIGHT Vinyl LP A&M RECORDS SP4724 1978 Gatefold Cover USD $3.00 Buy It Now 20m 38s
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Styx - Greatest Hits - Audio CD - New! Fast Shipping! USD $11.35 Buy It Now 51m
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STYX Vintage Classic Rock 8 Track Tape THE GRAND ILLUSION USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 42m
Styx - Cornerstone - LP Record VG VG USD $5.93 Buy It Now 1h 50m
Styx-Brave New World (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $127.25 Buy It Now 1h 53m
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Crystal Ball by Styx (CD, Nov-2016) USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2h 28m
STYX Crystal Ball UK 7" single 1976 near mint USD $25.33 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Styx - Cornerstone ~ 8-Track Tape - 1979 A & M Records USD $3.95 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Styx-Brave New World (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $112.06 Buy It Now 2h 42m
STYX Blue Collar Man UK 7" single gatefold sleeve PS 1978 ex+/ex Promo! USD $15.19 Buy It Now 2h 49m
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Greatest Hits by Styx - Digitally Remastered (CD, Aug-1995, A&M (USA)) USD $10.78 Buy It Now 2h 59m
Styx Cornerstone LP Vinyl Album 12" 33RPM A&M Records (1979) Very Good (VG) USD $11.95 Buy It Now 3h
Styx Lady / Children Of The Land 45 1973 Wooden Nickel Vinyl Record USD $3.00 Buy It Now 3h 3m
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R-8 STYX Paradise Theatre ..... PROMO ...... 1980 ....... SP-3719 ..... GATEFOLD USD $43.95 Buy It Now 3h 41m
Styx, Why Me; White Label Promo Mono/Stereo 45 w/ A & M Records Sleeve USD $4.48 Buy It Now 3h 49m
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STYX - The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight - LIVE [Digipak] (2 CD,2013) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 58m
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STYX "CORNERSTONE" LP USD $4.75 Buy It Now 4h
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Styx Test Pressing 45 Babe Mono & Stereo A&M 2188 1979 NM- USD $8.00 [0 bids]
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Rare STYX "Best Of Styx"- Chinese - CASSETTE TAPE - Mr. Roboto USD $15.00 [0 bids]
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STYX 1978 LP ~PIECES OF EIGHT~ A&M SP-4724 VG+ STERLING GATEFOLD LYRIC INNER USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 46m
Styx Paradise Theater lp **ETCHED** Gatefold USD $10.00 [0 bids]
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STYX 45 RECORD DON'T LET IT END A & M 1983 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5h 20m
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USD $60.00 Buy It Now
5h 44m
Classics Volume 15 - Styx (CD, Oct-1990, A&M Records) USD $4.00 Buy It Now 5h 45m
STYX - Miracles - PROMO Vinyl LP 1980 RCA Records AFL1-3596 USD $19.99 [0 bids]
5h 54m
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TOMMY SHAW ~ GIRLS WITH GUNS VINYL RECORD LP / 1984 STYX BAND MEMBER USD $9.49 Buy It Now 6h 24m
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VERY RARE 1981 STYX "PARADISE THEATER" ROCK 8-TRACK! CANADIAN A&M RELEASE! USD $3.71 Buy It Now 6h 56m
STYX "PIECES OF EIGHT" LP 1978 W/ GREAT WHITE HOPE,BLUE COLLAR MAN,RENEGADE USD $7.99 Buy It Now 7h 7m
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STYX Rockin' The Paradise / Don't Let It End 45 RPM Record (A7154) USD $4.95 [0 bids]
8h
Classic rock vinyl records 2lp LIVE STYX VANILLA FUDGE ? MOLLY HATCH,?GRAND FUNK USD $10.25 [0 bids]
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MAXELL ROCK II SAMPLER, STYX POCO HALL OATES -SEALED LP USD $13.00 Buy It Now 8h 31m
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vinyl record /Styx, "Pieces of Eight " USD $4.75 [0 bids]
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Styx "Lady"/ "Children Of The Land" 45 on Collectables Reissue In NEAR MINT USD $5.25 Buy It Now 8h 52m
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Styx Pieces Of Eight 1978 Gatefold LP VG/VG+ Ultrasonic Clean USD $10.00 Buy It Now 9h 8m
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LP STYX 'CRYSTAL BALL' GOLD VINYL, Limited Edition, A&M Canada,Record Album 1976 USD $49.99 Buy It Now 10h 14m
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11h 21m
Vintage 1979 STYX Cornerstone A&M Records SP-3711 LP Vinyl Record USD $12.99 Buy It Now 11h 21m
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STYX discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STYX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.80 | 116 ratings
Styx
1972
3.14 | 119 ratings
Styx II
1973
3.00 | 116 ratings
The Serpent Is Rising
1973
2.75 | 109 ratings
Man Of Miracles
1974
3.48 | 187 ratings
Equinox
1975
3.15 | 170 ratings
Crystal Ball
1976
3.72 | 269 ratings
The Grand Illusion
1977
3.59 | 218 ratings
Pieces Of Eight
1978
2.67 | 174 ratings
Cornerstone
1979
2.95 | 184 ratings
Paradise Theatre
1981
2.14 | 147 ratings
Kilroy Was Here
1983
2.71 | 71 ratings
Edge Of The Century
1990
2.82 | 64 ratings
Brave New World
1999
3.25 | 59 ratings
Cyclorama
2003
3.28 | 61 ratings
Big Bang Theory
2005
4.08 | 44 ratings
The Mission
2017

STYX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 41 ratings
Caught In The Act Live
1984
3.80 | 27 ratings
Return to Paradise
1997
2.31 | 7 ratings
Arch Allies - Live At Riverport
2000
3.94 | 11 ratings
Styxworld Live 2001
2001
3.67 | 6 ratings
At The River's Edge - Live In St. Louis
2002
3.16 | 6 ratings
21st Century Live
2003

STYX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.07 | 20 ratings
Return To Paradise (DVD)
1999
3.73 | 14 ratings
Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland: One With Everything
2006
2.59 | 14 ratings
Caught In The Act: Live 1984
2007
3.71 | 13 ratings
The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Live
2012

STYX Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.60 | 10 ratings
Best of Styx
1977
3.22 | 8 ratings
Classics, Vol 15
1987
2.84 | 30 ratings
Greatest Hits
1995
3.27 | 7 ratings
Greatest Hits Part 2
1996
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Best of Times: The Best of Styx
1997
4.08 | 4 ratings
The Singles Colllection
2000
4.00 | 2 ratings
Lady: The Encore Collection
2000
2.25 | 4 ratings
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Styx
2002
2.38 | 4 ratings
Rockers
2003
3.58 | 10 ratings
Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology
2004
3.34 | 22 ratings
The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings
2005

STYX Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Lady
1973
2.00 | 2 ratings
Light Up
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Best Thing
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Lorelei
1975
4.00 | 3 ratings
Come Sail Away
1977
3.50 | 2 ratings
Sing For The Day
1978
3.50 | 2 ratings
Blue Collar Man
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
Enganandote (El Joven Enojado)
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
Boat On The River
1979
2.00 | 1 ratings
Lights
1979
2.00 | 1 ratings
Renegado (Renegade)
1979
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Times
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Too Much Time On My Hands
1981
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rockin' The Paradise
1981
3.20 | 5 ratings
Regeneration
2011

STYX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Styx by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.80 | 116 ratings

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Styx
Styx Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nearly every review here on PA of Styx's 1972 debut album will tell you that the band represented by this music is a long stretch away from the classic band of the latter half of the seventies. The same could be said for any classic seventies bands because music was evolving rapidly at the time. Every great band has its humble beginnings, and debut albums are often where a band will show what they've been working on for the last few years before they begin turning away from their early sound in search of something more developed. "Styx" is no different. The album is young, raw, and of its year: hard and heavy guitar rock with some boogie rock and lots of organ with only hints of the more progressive efforts to come. What is also surprising, however, is that of the six tracks, only two are original songs written by the band. The other four were requested by the record label; the band recorded four covers of songs they had never heard before.

"Movement for the Common Man" is basically two songs connected by instrumental and spoken word interludes. The first part, "Children of the Land" is a boogie rock number written and sung by guitarist James Young. It's quite straightforward, no frills guitar and piano rocker. It's followed by a short but interesting percussion solo by drummer John Panozzo (too many early seventies albums have so much unnecessary drum solo filler, so it's nice to hear one that's not too long and that has some more interesting sounds happening). An instrumental featuring guitar and organ solos followed before a train rushes past and we then hear comments from people on the street (and a bus driver it seems) about how young people today have too much money and don't know the value of hard work or personal hygiene. A Styx reworking of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" introduces the second proper song in this first track, a song called "Mother Nature's Matinee" written by Dennis DeYoung and sung by both Young and DeYoung. This is perhaps the proggiest track on the album and the first to indicate what the band would be capable of in the future.

The other original song is "Best Thing", another Young/DeYoung collaboration that stands out very well. It features both acoustic guitar and heavy rock guitar and lots of organ. I'd say it would sound very nice in a compilation of early seventies heavy rock songs, including Uriah Heep, Bodkin, Lucifer's Friend, and even Coverdale/Hughes era Deep Purple.

The remaining four tracks are the cover tunes, and of those I like "Quick Is the Beat of My Heart" and "After You Leave Me" best, though "What Has Come Between Us" is also pretty good, with a dramatic intro and Dennis DeYoung's keyboards out for show. In a way, it's representative of future DeYoung works in spite of it being a cover.

The style and sound on these tracks have been adapted to suit this early version of Styx, and until I read that these tracks were covers, I believed them to be all band originals because I had never heard them before either. Only the side one closer, "Right Away" is a drag, sounding like a very typical southern rock-tinged song with a repeating chorus that promises nothing but too much beer drinking among partially inebriated bar dwellers, swaying drunkenly on their bar stools.

One interesting note is that Young takes lead vocal duty the most with DeYoung only taking lead on two songs and sharing lead on one. Dennis DeYoung would of course later give the band many of its biggest hits. Guitarist John Curulewski, who sings on later Styx albums, offers no lead vocals on the debut.

Some people have some pretty harsh opinions about this album, but I rather like it. If you're not looking for a true progressive rock band but content with a hard/heavy rock band that flirt with progressive rock in only two or three songs, then this albums rewards. However, if you're looking for the band that would later deliver "Equinox", "The Grand Illusion" or "Pieces of Eight", then what you'll find here is the unrefined, post-acne youth with energy and ambition but not yet enough experience or maturation.

 The Serpent Is Rising by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.00 | 116 ratings

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The Serpent Is Rising
Styx Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'The Serpent Is Rising' was the second Styx album I ever bought and it has been in my possession for just barely over a year. After 'The Grand Illusion', I could have picked any of the more highly rated classic albums, but I really didn't know much about the band and wasn't sure where to go next. When I saw the SHCD of 'Serpent' on Amazon was limited to one copy remaining, I hastened to snatch it up. Only after did I learn that not only is it one of the band's least successful and least popular albums but even the band themselves have expressed their dislike of it. Is it really so bad?

Admittedly, after the first three or four listens, the only track that stayed affixed to my memory was the hidden track, 'Plexiglass Toilet'. The silly 'Banana Boat' spoof was catchy and humorous. Yet many critics regard that song as the lowest point of Styx's career.

Recently, I have been adding to my Styx collection and I decided to pay a close ear to the often derided third Styx album. As I have become more familiar with the band's seventies output, I know that the music of Styx is based on the triad of hard rock, prog, and catchy chorus melodies with harmony vocals. With three songwriters and three lead vocalists, I feel there are some similarities between Styx and Queen, though with organ and synthesizer instead of piano, Styx's music sounds more like a cousin to Uriah Heep and Yes.

The opening track, 'Witch Wolf' has turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable rocker. In league with post- fantasy era Uriah Heep, this track packs a real punch. Similar is 'Young Man', the third track. Both songs are co-written and sung by guitarist James Young, who is frequently referred to as a hard rock guitarist in the Wikipedia pages about Styx and their albums. He takes lead vocals on two tracks on side two as well, the piano and guitar romp rocker 'Winner Takes All' and 'Jonas Psalter', a song about a pirate. Both of these tracks, however, were written by Dennis DeYoung with the latter again approaching Yes territory in its style.

DeYoung contributes lead vocals on only two tracks, 'The Grove of Eglantine' and '22 Years', where he shares the lead with Young. The former of these two most closely reflects the sound that would make the band famous later on: mid-tempo prog rock with a strong emphasis on keyboards and lots of powerful chorus vocals, plus hard rock guitar, although the song has a strong sexual reference. '22 Years' is a straight-forward, boogie rock and roll song with lots of lyrical and musical cliches. It's easy to imagine a band like Poison or Faster Pussycat or even The Black Crowes covering this live. Personally I find this one of the less interesting tracks on the album in spite of the performance.

One interesting point is how many tracks were written and sung by John Curulewski. On side one, he delivers 'As Bad As This', a song with just acoustic guitar, vocals, and some percussion. This song easily passed me by before, but I am picking up interest in it more when I listen carefully. I still think the hidden 'Plexiglass Toilet' track, which follows here, is well executed with all the right emphasis on having fun. Curulewski takes up a lot of side two, having written '22 Years', 'The Serpent Is Rising' and the spoken track 'Krakatoa'. The title track was ranked the number one Styx song by Classic Rock History, a move they justify by saying their choices were based on the quality of the music rather than popularity. I rather like the track, and it does lean more into prog territory (again close to Uriah Heep) than a couple of other regular tracks. The sound seems to become intentionally distorted near the end and the song ends rather abruptly without any musical conclusion after the final chorus.

'Krakatoa' reminds me of Hawkwind's poetic interludes, only Curulewski is shouting his head off as bizarre effects begin creeping in. The tracks concludes with an early version of the THX audio track 'Deep Note', which was taken from a track called 'Spaced' by Beaver and Krause. The final track is a rendering of Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus' with all five members given vocal credits.

Reasons why this album might not stack up well to other albums are the fairly high number of Uriah Heep-like rockers and fewer Yes-like prog tracks. 'As Bad As This' might have been regarded simply as an unusual track for Styx but the toilet song has been more damaging than helpful. 'Krakatoa' and 'Hallelujah Chorus' are interesting additions, but on an album of mostly prog-influenced hard rock, they stand out as being puzzling.

Perhaps they greatest fault of the album is that it seems more like a collection of songs created by individual members at their own devices and whims rather than a collective effort focusing on the band's sound. Dennis DeYoung's lack of mic time is certainly noticed, though I don't mind the Young emphasis on hard rock. Young has some great powerful, soaring vocals though once or twice he seems to struggle with hitting the notes.

My own opinion is that, along with the other first four albums, 'The Serpent Is Rising' features a few tracks really worth taking in while the rest are more of curiosities. I still give it 3 stars.

 The Grand Illusion by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.72 | 269 ratings

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The Grand Illusion
Styx Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars What is the Grand Illusion? In the hands of Styx, it might be the boundary between full-blown progressive rock and radio-friendly AOR pop. The album finds Styx straddling that divide in a similar manner to the way Kansas would attempt from time to time - though whilst to my ears Kansas always got the best results when they stopped trying to balance the equation and just embraced their prog side, here I think Styx actually manage to master both the substance of AOR-pop and the texture and aesthetic of prog simultaneously.

With The Grand Finale recapitulating the theme of album opener The Grand Illusion, for instance, there's a certain sense of an overarching concept here, but as with Supertramp's Crime of the Century (another classic of the borderland between prog and pop) that may be more apparent than actual; either way, you get some really solid, hook-laden tunes here which manage to be smart enough to pique the curiosity of a prog audience whilst being straight-ahead enough not to abandon their pop roots. I think it's badly underappreciated.

 The Mission by STYX album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.08 | 44 ratings

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The Mission
Styx Prog Related

Review by stewe

4 stars It's been around 40 year since hey-days of Styx. After such period the band returned with a new conceptual album The Mission. I had no big expectations, so it came as the biggest surprise this year so far. It turned out for me that this might, without any exaggeration, be one of their best records. The best since their 1978's Pieces of Eight (which I rank highest in their catalogue).

Tommy Shaw in his mid-sixties sounds better than ever, so youthful, and so does basically the whole band. It's also a courtesy of a drummer Todd Sucherman, who is really exceptional here - dynamic, technical, creative, restrained when needed - fitting really perfectly. Compared to previous hit-and-miss "Cyclorama", Lawrence Gowan sounds much more confident and prominent. His contribution is equally important to Tommy Shaw's, creating a perfect leading tandem with him, like in old times with Denis DeYoung. Gowan's voice reminds strongly DeYoung, but still sounds somewhat distinctive, powerful in his own way. His synth parts are varied, innovative and produced with respect to original Styx sound. James Young holds up well with the leading duo still complementing them in his rough way as he did in 70s.

Sound and instrumentation are extremely well done and tight, production is excellent. Compositions are classic Styx at their best with soaring multi-layered harmonies and memorable melodic ideas; proving that pure AOR is not dead and that the band with such long career can come up with an excellent work of art. Album sometimes rocks, sometimes makes you feel relaxed, reflective. It has an atmosphere and tension. No dull moments and very little filler moments. Pop side may be a little "over-the-top" on few places, but without them it wouldn't be a Styx record, would be? Highlights for me include Locomotive with early 70s (America, Crosby/Stills/Nash/Young?) inspired melodies, semi-epic Red Storm, beautiful piano filigree Khedive and infectious anthem The Outpost captivating with heavenly harmonies and wonderful twists. By the last, title track, I feel a big dose of nostalgia when this little musical journey comes to its end. The Mission I never expected to undertake has been accomplished.

 The Mission by STYX album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.08 | 44 ratings

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The Mission
Styx Prog Related

Review by gr8dane

4 stars Styx on a mission. What a nice surprise we got here.Styx making a concept album about the first manned mission to Mars. If you were not a fan of Styx before,I am sure this won't change your mind.But if like me, you were along for the ride in the 70ies,this is a fantastic album.For me the Equinox-Pieces of 8 were fantastic.(Also love the Wooden Nickel era.). There is only one pumping rocker like Miss America and Queen of Spades,the 2 minute scorcher Gone Gone Gone and no sappy ballads like Babe and such.Everything in between here and very well produced and sounding excellent. Harmonies galore,lots of guitars ,heavy drumming and great keys.The sound of Styx is alive and well.I am not going to do song for song here,there is always you-tube for sampling. I really hope they will play this whole album on tour.It's absolutely worth it. Welcome back boys.
 Kilroy Was Here by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.14 | 147 ratings

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Kilroy Was Here
Styx Prog Related

Review by Corcoranw687

3 stars I always thought everyone was too hard on Styx, but the fact is they sound too much like prog for a radio-rock fan, and their songs rarely inspire the average prog fan. I like to say Styx has something for everybody to dislike, and that is truest for this album, but I think they're great and music like this has great value. Let's look at an album that most would write off that isn't bad at all, the much-ridiculed 1983 sort-of-concept album "Kilroy Was Here". Sure we've heard all we need to hear about the singles, "Mr. Roboto" is pretty repetitive and really does have a comical chorus, but a radio single about an android who is struggling with his identity whilst defending humanity at least sounds like it would be awesome. "Don't Let it End" and "Haven't We Been Here Before" are pretty weak 80s ballads, and I don't often get through "Double Life" either. What's with 3 stars when half the album is questionable, then? "Cold War" is great, a catchy chorus and Tommy Shaw's fantastic vocals keep me interested until the first solo section, where the rest of the band plays a very "Home By the Sea" part, making me wonder what Tony Banks was listening to during those recording sessions. "High Time" introduces a dystopian world with a man who speaks to you on your "laser video", and ends with a huge horn section and Dennis acting bizarre with his stuttering vocals. "Heavy Metal Poisoning" is my favourite on the album and has JY apparently playing Dr. Righteous, possibly the man from the previous song. This song about music ruining the youth's minds is mostly spoken by JY in a very ominous way, but we soon turn to a children's choir screaming "sex and drugs!!" and "Righteous righteous righteous!!", it's great. Another standout is "Just Get Through This Night" which features a neat intro followed by a great Shaw ballad with excellent lyrics, this one really nails it. Overall I think you should listen to this album if you are ever in an 80s mood, some tracks may just surprise you. 3 stars
 Return To Paradise (DVD) by STYX album cover DVD/Video, 1999
4.07 | 20 ratings

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Return To Paradise (DVD)
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Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In the mid nineties the "classic" line-up of the band (Dennis De Young, Tommy Shaw, James Young, Chuck Panozzo, John Panozzo) was playing together again. Unfortunately, this didn't last for a very long time, because John Panozzo died in mid 1996. Anyway, since 1995 they had a new drummer, called Todd Sucherman, a very good drummer who became their official drummer after John died.

This concert video was recorded in the Autumn of 1996, a few months after John died. I really didn't expect to see STYX playing as well as they did in this concert video. They sound very well rehearsed, and they look very happy playing together. Dennis De Young is a very good lead singer and keyboards player, and he sings and plays with a lot of energy. Maybe his songs are in contrast to the more heavy musical style of the songs which are sung and composed by Tommy Shaw and James Young. This led to De Young to leave the band in 1999 after some musical differences with Young and Shaw, and also after some health problems which also forced him to leave the band. De Young was replaced with another very good singer and keyboard player (Lawrence Gowan). Anyway, the band wasn't the same anymore without De Young.

The set list of this concert video is very good. I'm not a fan of STYX, but in this concert video they played some very good songs for my taste ("Come Sail Away", "Crystal Ball", "Blue Collar Man", "Miss America", "Lady", "Boat on the River", "Snowblind"). Fortunately, no songs from the "Kilroy Was Here" (1983) album were included in this concert video. Their "Caught in the Act" concert video from 1984 had several songs from that album, an album which I don't like.

There is also a song called "Show Me the Way" which was dedicated in this concert by De Young to the late John Panozzo. It is a very good song.

This concert video is very good, with very good quality of images, camera angles and recording and mixing. It is much better than the "Caught in the Act" concert video, and it has the band playing and singing with a lot of energy to their fans. It is a good memory of the band with Dennis De Young, and also shows a very good drummer, Todd Sucherman, playing with a lot of energy, doing a very good job replacing the late John Panozzo.

 Caught In The Act: Live 1984 by STYX album cover DVD/Video, 2007
2.59 | 14 ratings

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Caught In The Act: Live 1984
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Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars STYX's "Caught in the Act" live album and the video of the same name have some differences in the tracks which were included in each other. While the live album has more variety in the songs (including some Hits) which were played from different albums in their discography up to 1983, the video has more songs from the album they were promoting at the time ("Kilroy Was Here", from 1983). That album, which is for me like a "Rock Opera" with a fictional story about "Rock music prohibition by a dictatorial goverment" (similar in some ways to the never finished Rock Opera from THE WHO called "Lifehouse" from 1971) let the band (and more particularly to lead singer Dennis De Young) show their acting skills during that 1983 tour. So, this video shows several songs from that "Kilroy" album being "acted" and not really played "live" with the band, with only the lead vocals maybe being really sung "live" while the music was played from tapes. Not being a fan of Broadway musicals, I don't like the acting during these songs. This concert video also starts with a "Kilroy Was Here mini-movie" which lasts for about 15 minutes, and it explained to the audience the story of the "Kilroy" album in a better way, I think. So, this concert video really starts in a more or less boring way (more for me, because I don't like the "Kilroy" album). I also think that the "Kilroy" story has some influences from PINK FLOYD's "The Wall" album, but obviously without all the more "dark" elements from Roger Waters's story. "Kilroy" was more like a "Broadway Production" in comparison, in my opinion.

I never have been a fan of STYX's music, but I like some of their songs. They sang and played very well, being very "American Rock" for my taste, but they had some quality (particularly with this, their most successful line- up). The songs that I liked from this video are "Rockin' the Paradise ", "Blue Collar Man", "Snowblind" , and particularly, "Come Sail Away", which is the song that I like more from STYX. I have to say that there are very clear differences between the versions of this song which were included in the live album and in the video (with both recorded in the same dates, April 9,10, 1983, at the Saenger Theater, New Orleans), with both versions sounding like being the same recording of the song in most parts, but the main difference is in Tommy Shaw's lead guitar parts. Maybe Shaw's lead guitar parts were re-recorded later in the studio, or one lead guitar part from the other date was edited to the other part of the other recorded date in the live album version. The live album version has an extended final part. I prefer the live album version. Anyway, this song was played and sung very well.

I think that the "Caught in the Act" live album is better in content than the concert video of the same name. I think that the concert video is more for the fans of the "Kilroy Was Here" album.

 Pieces Of Eight by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.59 | 218 ratings

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Pieces Of Eight
Styx Prog Related

Review by sukmytoe

3 stars You can hear the 70's written all over this album. Uplifting, soaring rock music. It's essentially arena / glam rock with a slight progressive slant. To intensely dislike this essentially means that you have no 70's blood running through your veins at all. Punchy, keyboard infused and for the main part inspiring / uplifting. For me this was the last good Styx album before the band plunged into commercial pop music territory as so many bands did in the 80's in order to move with the recording executives who demanded puerile non complex bubble gum chewing nonsense for the masses. "Lords of the Ring" has a distinct "1812 Overture" inflection where although it cannot hope to hold a candle to that symphonic masterpiece it is pleasant to pick up on. "Blue Collar Man" is the standout rocker on the album. "Queen of Spades" displays outstanding guitar work and vocals. "Pieces of Eight" is the standout classic track of the album which although it doesn't match up with or come close to "Come Sail Away" from the previous album for grandiosity it is very pleasant to listen to. "Aku Aku" is not the way I would end this album - it's kind of an anti-climax - sort of like had they ended Black Sabbath's Volume 4 album with Laguna Sunrise it would have had the same effect.

A solid 3 stars from me for a pleasant mind trip back into the 70's.

 Pieces Of Eight by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.59 | 218 ratings

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Pieces Of Eight
Styx Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Sometimes when I give a 2-star release it's often because the album is really a 3-star album, but with a few things holding it back from being something more than for folks who are already fans of the band. With Pieces of Eight, the opposite is true: this is a 1-star album that has enough crumbles of songwriting or instrumental interest to make it just barely good enough for fans. In general I dislike Styx: I don't care for the tone of DeYoung's voice or keyboards, think they're song writing talents are over rated, and find their instrumental skills just "good enough." This album exemplifies these feelings. Listening is like being kicked in the groin repeatedly while being water-boarded in a bucket of soda-pop syrup as cheesy Saturday morning cartoons play in the background incessantly.

If it weren't for the Tommy Shaw rockers "Blue Collar Man" and "Renegade", or the thoughtful gusto of "Queen of Spades" this album would never get a second listen from me. The bland keyboards and sing-songy choruses are too much. The good stuff is few and far between, but is good enough for me to keep this album around for the sake of completeness.

I won't trash Styx or Pieces of Eight anymore, because as much as I think Styx is mediocre I respect their legacy and the fact that there are plenty of fans of theirs on this site. If you like Styx then keep on liking them! But if you're wishy-washy about the band, you'll probably find Pieces of Eight too much to bear.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 2 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

Thanks to Iván_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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