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STYX

Prog Related • United States


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Styx biography
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 light prog' to soft pop ballads.

This era ends in 1983 with the infamous "Kilroy Was Here" a weak ...
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Styx: Greatest HitsStyx: Greatest Hits
Remastered
A&M 1995
Audio CD$6.74
$1.09 (used)
Paradise TheatreParadise Theatre
A&M 1985
Audio CD$2.99
$0.97 (used)
Pieces Of EightPieces Of Eight
A&M 1987
Audio CD$2.83
$0.09 (used)
The Grand IllusionThe Grand Illusion
A&M 1984
Audio CD$2.99
$0.63 (used)
CornerstoneCornerstone
A&M 1987
Audio CD$2.71
$0.99 (used)
Kilroy Was HereKilroy Was Here
A&M 1983
Audio CD$3.87
$2.00 (used)
Crystal BallCrystal Ball
A&M 1988
Audio CD$2.69
$3.99 (used)
Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings [2 CD]Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings [2 CD]
Remastered
Hip-O 2005
Audio CD$6.84
$4.99 (used)
EquinoxEquinox
A&M 1987
Audio CD$3.74
$2.40 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Styx - 20th Century Masters: The Best of Styx CD NEW USD $16.81 Buy It Now 35m 49s
Styx - The Grand Illusion CD NEW USD $18.15 Buy It Now 35m 58s
STYX The Grand Illusion original album-nice USD $12.00 Buy It Now 53m 19s
STYX THE BEST OF TIMES BRAND NEW CD GREATEST HITS USD $2.79 Buy It Now 1h 35m
Styx - Best Of-Green Series [CD New] USD $12.76 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Soundtrack of Summer CD Styx / Foreigner / Don Felder USD $12.88 Buy It Now 2h 23m
Styx Pieces Of Eight USA vinyl LP album record SP4724 A&M 1978 USD $23.20 Buy It Now 3h 18m
Styx Babe 7" vinyl single record UK OG9545 OLD GOLD 1985 USD $15.93 Buy It Now 3h 36m
Styx The Grand Illusion vinyl LP album record USA SP-4637 A&M 1977 USD $24.66 Buy It Now 3h 43m
Styx Paradise Theater USA vinyl LP album record SP-3719 A&M 1980 USD $27.57 Buy It Now 3h 43m
KUSCHELROCK 4 2CD Sinead O'Connor Rolling Stones Art Garfunkel Roxette Styx  USD $16.99 Buy It Now 3h 51m
Styx: Crystal Ball (mini LP) [SHM-CD] [Ltd] (Japan) USD $52.38 Buy It Now 3h 58m
Lights Styx UK 7" vinyl single record AMS7528 A&M 1979 USD $16.64 Buy It Now 4h
Styx: Kilroy Was Here [SHM-CD] [Reissue] (Japan) USD $41.09 Buy It Now 4h 22m
Styx: Greatest Hits [SHM-CD] (Japan) USD $41.27 Buy It Now 4h 22m
Styx: Cornerstone [SHM-CD] [Reissue] (Japan) USD $36.89 Buy It Now 4h 22m
Styx: Paradise Theater [SHM-CD] [Reissue] (Japan) USD $41.27 Buy It Now 4h 23m
STYX Lights 7" B/w Renegade (ams7678) Pic Sleeve DUTCH A&m 1979 USD $7.26 Buy It Now 4h 40m
RECORD MIRROR 1981 JAN 24 BEAT COSTELLO UFO PHIL COLLINS JANE KENNAWAY STYX USD $14.53 Buy It Now 4h 45m
Babe Styx USA 7" vinyl single record 2188-5 A&M 1979 USD $14.46 Buy It Now 4h 46m
Styx Pieces Of Eight vinyl LP album record UK AMLH64724 A&M 1978 USD $23.20 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Renegade - Red vinyl Styx 7" vinyl single record UK AMS7446 A&M 1979 USD $15.93 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Styx Love Is The Ritual 12" vinyl picture disc record UK AMX709 A USD $37.75 Buy It Now 4h 56m
Styx Love Is The Ritual 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK AMY709 A USD $16.21 Buy It Now 4h 56m
Styx: Paradise Theatre (mini LP) [Platinum SHM-CD] [Ltd] (Japan) USD $56.97 Buy It Now 4h 57m
Styx - Paradise Theatre (mini LP)[SHM-SACD][Limited Release] UIGY-9552 JAPAN USD $69.67 Buy It Now 5h 6m
Styx: Paradise Theatre (mini LP) [SHM-CD] [Ltd] (Japan) USD $45.72 Buy It Now 5h 6m
Styx Babe 7" AMS7489 VG/EX UK USD $9.18 Buy It Now 5h 8m
Styx Best of times 7" Etched Vinyl AMS8102 VG/EX UK USD $10.78 Buy It Now 5h 8m
Styx Love is the ritual 7" AM709 VG/EX UK USD $10.78 Buy It Now 5h 8m
Compact Hits Styx CD single (CD5 / 5") UK AMCD904 A&M 1980 USD $21.08 Buy It Now 5h 14m
Styx Cornerstones 12" Vinyl Record Album SP-3711 VG+ Condition 1979 / LIGHTS USD $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 31m
Styx - Grand Illusion (NEW CD) USD $10.04 Buy It Now 6h 18m
STYX_The Best of Times_used 45 VINYL_7"_ships from AUS!_Z1c USD $6.30 Buy It Now 6h 40m
=SEALED CD CHRISTMAS ROCKS EDDIE MONEY SKYNARD STYX SMITHEREENS SEE ALL MUSIC USD $2.00 Buy It Now 7h 35m
Styx ORIGINAL publicity PROMO photo press slide negative #1095 USD $7.26 Buy It Now 8h 20m
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Styx - Cornerstone (Vinyl LP / Album) (New) USD $24.53 Buy It Now 8h 36m
Styx - Pieces Of Eight (Vinyl LP / Album) (New) USD $22.56 Buy It Now 8h 39m
Styx - Kilroy Was Here (Vinyl LP / Album) (New) USD $18.26 Buy It Now 8h 41m
Kilroy Was Here, 0075021373426, Styx USD $13.59 Buy It Now 8h 52m
STYX Yesterday & Today HARD ROCK new cassette tape USD $5.99 Buy It Now 9h 6m
STYX paradise theatre Japan MINI LP SHM-CD USD $31.00 Buy It Now 9h 35m
STYX "LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT" CASSETTE SINGLE / USED USD $3.99 Buy It Now 9h 36m
STYX - Blue Collar Man 12" SIngle 1978 USD $20.37 Buy It Now 9h 42m
STYX show me the way/ Back to Chicago / Don't Let it end VERY GOOD ( 12' SGLE) USD $7.06 Buy It Now 9h 50m
LOT OF 3 STYX Mr. Roboto / Don't Let it End / Nothing Ever Goes ROCK 45's USD $9.95 Buy It Now 9h 54m
K-TEL Hot Tracks LP Police Eurythmics Styx Roboto Bryan Adam Def Leppard Idol USD $13.99 Buy It Now 10h 4m
Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings [2 CD], 0075021034310, Styx USD $19.57 Buy It Now 10h 5m
Styx - Greatest Hits (1995) - New - Compact Disc USD $11.86 Buy It Now 10h 41m
Styx - Icon (2 Cd) (2010) - New - Compact Disc USD $10.98 Buy It Now 11h 10m
Styx World: Live 2001 by Styx (CD, Jun-2001, CMC International) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 11h 12m
Styx 2015 5x CD BOX SET Five Classic Albums USD $22.39 Buy It Now 11h 15m
Styx 'Kilroy Was Here' Peel-Off Backstage Pass USD $14.55 Buy It Now 11h 36m
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Damn Yankees - S/T + 1 (AOR,MR, Rock Candy 2014, Styx, Night Ranger, Hybrid Ice) USD $10.55 [0 bids]
11h 45m
XBOX Soundtrack CD Pat Benatar, Boston, Journey, Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Walsh USD $4.50 Buy It Now 12h 5m
STYX EQUINOX LP A&M 1975 CANADIAN RARE GOLD VINYL PRESSING USD $24.72 Buy It Now 12h 9m
STYX CORNERSTONE LP A&M UK 1979 ORIGINAL PRESSING USD $14.53 Buy It Now 12h 10m
Tommy Shaw (Styx) Vinyl LP A & M Records, 1985, SP-5097, What If USD $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 18m
STYX LP - THE GRAND ILLUSION - W/ POSTER - 24"x24" USD $10.00 Buy It Now 12h 35m
STYX - THE GRAND ILLUSION (SAUDI CASSETTE/TAPE ALBUM) IAR 48-315 USD $2.90 Buy It Now 12h 37m
STYX - CORNERSTONE (SAUDI CASSETTE/TAPE ALBUM) 747 4175 USD $2.90 Buy It Now 12h 39m
STYX - ROCK GALAXY (SAUDI CASSETTE/TAPE ALBUM) 747 6461 USD $2.90 Buy It Now 12h 41m
STYX - PARADISE THEATRE (SAUDI CASSETTE/TAPE ALBUM) IMD 7247 USD $2.90 Buy It Now 12h 42m
STYX Vinyl Pieces of Eight LP PICTURE DISC Limited Edition USD $18.50 Buy It Now 12h 44m
E.L.O. BOY BLUE 7" THAILAND E.P. RARE CASHBOX 45 MINT VINYL CHICAGO STYX WAR EP USD $72.73 Buy It Now 12h 47m
Styx - Kilroy Was Here LP USD $11.64 Buy It Now 12h 48m
Classics, Vol. 15 by Styx CD USD $3.96 Buy It Now 12h 57m
STYX-BEST OF-WOODEN NICKEL BXL1-2250 NM/VG+ LP USD $14.98 Buy It Now 13h 15m
Styx "Paradise Theatre" 1980 Vinyl LP A&M Records SP 3719 Gatefold USD $8.99 Buy It Now 13h 46m
Styx Interview/article 1981 BOATS USD $10.91 Buy It Now 13h 54m
STYX QUEEN OF SPADES/TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS 1980 45 RPM AM RECORDS 2323S USD $2.90 [0 bids]
13h 54m
Styx Interview/article 1980 LOTUS USD $10.91 Buy It Now 13h 54m
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STYX - MAGAZINE CUTTING (FULL PAGE PHOTO) (REF XB) USD $10.11 Buy It Now 13h 56m
Styx 45 Come Sail Away/Put Me On A&M 1977 PS USD $4.05 Buy It Now 14h 21m
STYX "WHY ME" 45 RPM USD $4.49 Buy It Now 14h 24m
Styx Paradise Theatre A&M SP 3719 Laser Etched FP LP USD $19.99 Buy It Now 14h 32m
Cornerstone By Styx (LP, Vinyl, New&Sealed) USD $20.00 Buy It Now 14h 35m
STYX-PARADISE THEATRE-GATEFOLD-1980 A&M RECORDS SP 3719 ~ ETCHED NM/NM USD $17.29 Buy It Now 14h 57m
STYX *DJ COPY* "WHY ME" 45 RPM USD $4.49 Buy It Now 15h 2m
Paradise Theater By Styx (LP, Vinyl, New&Sealed) USD $26.00 Buy It Now 15h 24m
Lot of Arena rock Albums #2--Supertramp, Styx & More USD $9.99 [0 bids]
15h 32m
45 RPM Records - Zappa Styx Police Stray Cats Golden Earing After The Fire USD $6.66 [0 bids]
USD $12.12 Buy It Now
15h 33m
Dennis DeYoung ( STYX ) Performing with a 40-Piece Orchstra (DVD) NEW USD $39.99 Buy It Now 15h 37m
Styx LP advert Creem magazine 1976 USD $10.18 Buy It Now 15h 38m
TOMMY SHAW "The Great Divide" LP 2011 Pazzo (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl) [Styx] USD $1.25 [2 bids]
16h 29m
True Power Ballads 3xCD - Kiss Styx Rainbow Peter Frampton Commodores Squeeze USD $7.20 [0 bids]
16h 39m
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Styx - I am the Walrus CD 2004 Super Rare Item (Beatles Cover) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 17h 35m
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17h 43m
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STYX - PIECES OF EIGHT R 130395 GATEFOLD LP EX USD $9.99 Buy It Now 17h 57m
Styx - Babe (The Collection) NEW! 24HR POST!! USD $8.71 Buy It Now 18h
Styx 'Paradise Theater' Vinyl LP records. Special Laser Etched version VG/VG USD $8.73 Buy It Now 18h
TOMMY SHAW Girls With Guns (1984) 2007 USA CD issue styx aor USD $36.75 Buy It Now 18h 3m


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STYX shows & tickets


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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)

2.79 | 93 ratings
Styx
1972
3.08 | 97 ratings
Styx II
1973
2.99 | 93 ratings
The Serpent Is Rising
1973
2.72 | 88 ratings
Man of Miracles
1974
3.47 | 154 ratings
Equinox
1975
3.08 | 137 ratings
Crystal Ball
1976
3.68 | 223 ratings
The Grand Illusion
1977
3.57 | 183 ratings
Pieces of Eight
1978
2.64 | 143 ratings
Cornerstone
1979
2.91 | 151 ratings
Paradise Theater
1981
2.09 | 118 ratings
Kilroy was Here
1983
2.70 | 56 ratings
Edge of the Century
1990
2.81 | 47 ratings
Brave New World
1999
3.26 | 43 ratings
Cyclorama
2003
3.31 | 46 ratings
Big Bang Theory
2005

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

3.68 | 33 ratings
Caught In The Act Live
1984
3.73 | 22 ratings
Return to Paradise
1997
2.17 | 5 ratings
Arch Allies - Live At Riverport
2000
3.91 | 8 ratings
Styxworld Live 2001
2001
3.00 | 3 ratings
At The River's Edge - Live In St. Louis
2002
3.00 | 4 ratings
21st Century Live
2003

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

4.05 | 16 ratings
Return To Paradise (DVD)
1999
3.71 | 12 ratings
Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland: One With Everything
2006
2.54 | 12 ratings
Caught In The Act: Live 1984
2007
3.68 | 12 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
3.23 | 7 ratings
Classics, Vol 15
1987
2.84 | 29 ratings
Greatest Hits
1995
3.30 | 6 ratings
Greatest Hits Part 2
1996
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Best of Times: The Best of Styx
1997
4.08 | 3 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
3.41 | 8 ratings
Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology
2004
3.33 | 21 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
3.50 | 2 ratings
Come Sail Away
1977
2.00 | 1 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
3.25 | 4 ratings
Regeneration
2011

STYX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pieces of Eight  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.57 | 183 ratings

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Pieces of Eight
Styx Prog Related

Review by poito

4 stars One more return of the band STYX to the soft rock scene. This album is a collection of rocker tracks somewhat in the mood of Queen, Asia, and other easy listening AOR bands, much to the taste of the pretty mid-age lady of the cover in wild days. Anyway, it has little resemblance to their early rocker albums, that was good traditional rock with strong American roots (STYX I and II); that was a different history. This one does not wear woodcutter shirts, it is the birth of the sissy rock that was so successfully exploited in the 80's by thousand long-haired clone bands banging around a shouting beardless blondie teen male with less music in their souls than a christmas card. Pity, because this band has made great contributions to the Prog-Rock, but the vulture industry and probably their own musical tendencies took them into the money-paved road. I've already commented on the schizoid musical production of STYX, at least in the early years which I'm more familiar with. Styx reminds me to these big movie stars that are known as the toughest men in the world, who alternate their movies as total destroyers with others as babysitters in bland comedies, such as Swartzenegger, Johnson The Rock, Diesel and so. At least, the easy albums by Styx contain a good collection of inspired rockers, and this Pieces is probably the best of all, with very catchy themes, some of which even became all-time pop-rock anthems such as Sing For The Day, I'm OK, Blue Collar Nights, Queen of Spades, and Renegade. Don't come here for prog. Obviously my generous rating is not because that. I'm always generous with pioneers, whatever they did.

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 Crystal Ball by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.08 | 137 ratings

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Crystal Ball
Styx Prog Related

Review by poito

2 stars It's curious the back and forth movements of this band. Styx begun as a rather standard American style rock band, drifted to prog in 2-3 years, but never abandoned rock to which they returned recurrently. This Crystal Ball is essentially a rock album with a few prog arrangements, much of the AOR style of the 70's. I understand there were two musical souls in the band, Deyoung and Shaw, and there was a growing tension between members, possibly on account of the music direction. The thing is that the previous album EQUINOX and the one that followed it THE GRAND ILLUSION have little resemblance to this. Two excellent prog albums, sandwiched by rock compositions. It's somewhat schizophrenic, isn't it? In my view, there are only two interesting tracks in this album, the opener Put Me On, a strange composition with unblended bits of rock, ballad, and prog, and This Old Man, a slow gentle rocker. No much to remember, indeed.

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 The Grand Illusion by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 223 ratings

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The Grand Illusion
Styx Prog Related

Review by poito

5 stars The great disbanding had already begun in 77, the prog heavens were falling apart, and all the great symphonic bands were going through hard times. The Punk era had placed Prog music in standby. It was not fashionable anymore; the excesses of discographics to control everything on stage and to collect to the last coin that got by saw the first deathly stub, everybody was listening to punk or heavy in pubs. But this band, Styx, an American act that paradoxically was born out of pure Chicago rock, appeared completely unaware of what was going on out there and released this genuine prog album. Was it that Prog had finally hit the streets in the US after all failed attempts from the Britain armada to disembark there? It should be done with their own guys, naturally. Well, this album is a perfect blending of melodic rock and prog, with carefully crafted compositions, subtle arrangements all over, great riffs especially at the keys, and a strong and solid guitar line, all assembled by experienced musicians. Fooling Yourself is a theme song to be placed amongst the greatest in Prog music with Wakeman-style organ bits, followed closely by Superstars and Come Sail Away. Miss American is a rocker that sneaked in. Man In The Wilderness wants to be an epic ballade and gets close to. Curiously, the title album opening is the only weak track with a strange blend of flavors from mediaeval Jethro Tull to bland Beatles: it seems someone wanted the band to go other direction, or they simply wanted to take the American audience by surprise with this AOR opening? Anyway, yes, this album is one of the fewer US 70's prog albums deserving 5 stars.

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 Equinox by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.47 | 154 ratings

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Equinox
Styx Prog Related

Review by poito

4 stars Definitely this album by the band STYX has much more prog than their earlier productions. Those were Protoprog American fine rock, which in 72 spread and seeded all over. Styx landed in Prog in this Equinox in 75. We all know what had been created in the prog scene before this year, don't we? Even if I'm a bit wounded by the underrating of their early rock work I had to acknowledge the great additions here. Somehow the band had reached a sound that will be later familiar to us in bands like KANSAS, RUSH, or BOSTON, and precursor of many other bands in the 80's. The opening track Light Up is a clear example. My favorite is the end track Prelude-Suite Madame Blue, a slow piece (for the band's standards) with interesting synth motifs. The acclaimed Lorelei could be considered today an AOR piece for mainstream ingest, but let's give it its place in history. Mother Dear is another track with great sensitive synth passages. All in all, this is a great album, probably an essential one that should populate the shelves of any prog lover, an historical transitional work from the symphonic era to modern prog. Listen to it a couple of times to grasp all its values.

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 Styx by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.79 | 93 ratings

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Styx
Styx Prog Related

Review by poito

4 stars It is 1972 (a bit of history for scatterbrained writers) the year that saw Thick As A Brick and Close To The Edge. Still good times for Prog. But the rock scene was going through a hole, only a few well developed bands keeping it alive, The Purple confirmed their walk out of prog airs with the Machine Head, The Stones launched their Exile on Main Street, but not much else to highlight; lots of folky-country-whatever American songwriters, some Slade here, and the Credence there. The Styx weren't a prog band in the beginning, but their early production fells by own merits in the Protoprog category. In 72, the first album by STYX was simply a blast of fresh air for the rock and a true gem of early prog-rock casting an unmistakable American sound. You should get a remastered copy, such as the 2005's The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings, so you can really grasp what this band added to the music. Right Away, is an anthem of all times. Best Thing is one of those tracks that seeded it all, impressive hammonds, what a sound in the bass, that's power, the guitar riffs and transitions, woaao. What Has Come Between Us, what a great entrance. And the opening track, a cover of the Movement for the Common Man, well, it does not get to the majestic Fanfare version by ELP, but it is decent enough with great guitar work. I do not understand why this impressive album is so poorly rated. Maybe some are too young to thank their parents for being there. This is 1972, dears. Directly from the vinyl and the cassette times to your fancy wireless player, play it really LOUD, and you'll know what we are talking about,.

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 Return To Paradise (DVD) by STYX album cover DVD/Video, 1999
4.05 | 16 ratings

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Return To Paradise (DVD)
Styx Prog Related

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.

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 Caught In The Act: Live 1984 by STYX album cover DVD/Video, 2007
2.54 | 12 ratings

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Caught In The Act: Live 1984
Styx Prog Related

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.

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 Pieces of Eight  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.57 | 183 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.

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 Pieces of Eight  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.57 | 183 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

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 Paradise Theater  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.91 | 151 ratings

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Paradise Theater
Styx Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album by my perpetual prog/pop punching bag Styx shifts the band's emphasis even more into the "pop" spectrum, featuring fewer over arranged keyboard sections, less Dennis DeYoung vocals, and even fewer attempts at ambitious composition... it's very ironic then that I feel like this is one of the best albums by the band I've heard. Moving away from the middling prog stylings was a great decision for the band. They didn't have the creative gusto or sound needed for sweeping, artistic prog, so why bother? Paradise Theater is a loosely themed collection of great rock songs which while not prog, are probably the better because of it.

The opener is fun and energetic, and evokes a nostalgic tone with its old-time rock n' roll feel and chorus line over dubs. "Too Much Time on My Hands" is made for FM schlock but is devoid of cartoonish keyboards or DeYoung's whining croon, so it gets a pass in my book. "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned" is a different matter, it's a stylish, quirky, and strutting tune with a smoking horn section. Maybe the highlight of the album?

"Best of Times" is the low point, for prog and pop fans alike. It's basically an imitation of a Queen song with unapalogietically syrupy sweet vocals and emotional hooks that miss the mark. "Lonely People" shows of some interesting song writing, with a dramatic style and instrumental flair. One of the better tracks and probably one of the few that prog fans may be interested in.

"She Cares" is the required Tommy Shaw-led rocker, an upbeat, romantic, and bright song that makes the band end up sounding like Fleetwood Mac. Ironically, this is one of the more genuine and enjoyable songs in the whole album. It's radio-friendly hooks are appealing if harmless and unchallenging. "Snowblind" and "Half-Penny, Two-Penny" close the album on a dark tone, given their vocal content and the intense tone.

In the end there's a lot of variety, and not a lot of progressive ideas in Paradise Theater, and honestly, I think that's a good thing. Styx music generally doesn't work for me and after listening to this album several times I think I know why. Much of their music strives to be something the band just isn't, and by focusing on the rock and fun a stronger record appears. Strange for me to say, on a prog website, but it's the truth, making Paradise Theater a fun diversion now and again.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 2 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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Thanks to Iván_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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