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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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Buy STYX Music


Styx - Greatest HitsStyx - Greatest Hits
A&M 1995
Audio CD$4.98
$0.83 (used)
The Grand IllusionThe Grand Illusion
A&M 1984
Audio CD$1.95
$0.32 (used)
Paradise TheatreParadise Theatre
A&M 1985
Audio CD$2.21
$0.99 (used)
Pieces Of EightPieces Of Eight
A&M 1987
Audio CD$1.99
$1.47 (used)
EquinoxEquinox
A&M 1987
Audio CD$2.19
$1.09 (used)
Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings [2 CD]Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings [2 CD]
Remastered
Hip-O 2005
Audio CD$5.45
$5.80 (used)
Styx GoldStyx Gold
A&M Records 2006
Audio CD$9.26
$5.34 (used)
CornerstoneCornerstone
A&M 1987
Audio CD$2.18
$1.88 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
STYX: Pieces Of Eight LP A&M RECORDS SP4724 US 1978 Gatefold Orig Inner NM- USD $8.55 Buy It Now 46m 49s
STYX Pieces Of Eight LP A&M SP-4724 1972 VG+ WHITE LABEL PROMO USD $29.98 Buy It Now 47m 54s
Styx - Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight (2012) - New - Digital Video Disc USD $8.32 Buy It Now 49m
STYX nr mint vinyl lp CORNERSTONE USD $9.99 Buy It Now 57m 50s
STYX Reppoo NEAR MINT LP Vinyl A&M AMP-28044 + INSERTS Japan 1981 Q-243 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 5m
MAXELL Rock II Sampler LP Gatefold Audiophile 1980 RCA Special Products STYX +! USD $4.50 Buy It Now 2h 10m
Whole Lotta Rock 1982-1983 CD Styx Motels Sheena Easton Laura Branigan Yes USD $79.99 Buy It Now 2h 16m
STYX - KILROY WAS HERE - A&M RECORDS GATEFOLD LP USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2h 23m
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GLEN BURTNICK "WALLS CAME DOWN / SAME" 45 MINT PROMO UNPLAYED STYX USD $2.00 Buy It Now 3h 35m
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STYX - PARADISE THEATRE (RARE LASER ETCHED LP) USD $12.17 Buy It Now 3h 51m
Paradise Theater - Styx (CD 1990) USD $6.50 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Styx Paradise Theater LP Vinyl USD $4.00 [3 bids]
4h 42m
STYX 1983 RADIO SAMPLER & INTERVIEW ALBUM WHITE LABEL PROMO MR ROBOTO UNPLAYED! USD $15.00 Buy It Now 5h 3m
CRYSTAL BALL [STYX] [075021321823] NEW CD USD $2.88 Buy It Now 5h 6m
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Cornerstone by Styx (Cassette, May-1984, A&M Records) USD $1.75 Buy It Now 8h 25m
Styx "Mr. Roboto" 45 W/ ORIGINAL JACKET USD $3.99 Buy It Now 9h 23m
Styx The Grand Illusuion 1979 CRC Press, ULTRASONIC CLEANED, POSTER, EXC USD $10.62 Buy It Now 9h 55m
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STYX - CRYSTAL BALL: 180 GRAM VINYL LP (May 25th, 2015) USD $31.96 Buy It Now 10h 24m
STYX - EQUINOXE: 180 GRAM VINYL LP (May 25th, 2015) USD $31.96 Buy It Now 10h 28m
STYX - KILROY WAS HERE: 180 GRAM VINYL LP (May 25th, 2015) USD $35.00 Buy It Now 10h 33m
STYX - PARADISE THEATER: 180 GRAM VINYL LP (May 25th, 2015) USD $31.96 Buy It Now 10h 38m
STYX - PIECES OF EIGHT: 180 GRAM VINYL LP (May 25th, 2015) USD $31.96 Buy It Now 10h 43m
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STYX - THE GRAND ILLUSION: 180 GRAM VINYL LP (May 25th, 2015) USD $31.96 Buy It Now 10h 46m
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11h 19m
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STYX blue collar man (long nights) 1978 UK A&M 12" SINGLE USD $12.18 Buy It Now 13h 38m
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Styx The Grand Illusion 8 Track CD w/ Standard Jewel Case C188 USD $5.69 Buy It Now 14h 6m
45 RPM 1983, 7" SINGLE RECORD LP. MR. ROBOTO BY STYX. COLORED VINYL, EX, ROCK USD $7.99 [0 bids]
14h 7m
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STYX Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) Limited Edition UK 12" Vinyl 45! AOR Kansas USD $4.55 [0 bids]
14h 49m
1973-Styx II, Untitled, RCA Records-12", 33RPM, LP,Original,Rock,(EX)(VG++) USD $19.95 Buy It Now 14h 55m
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Joblot rock 12 inch singles.Z Z Top,Styx,Police,etc. USD $12.18 [0 bids]
15h 42m
STYX CORNERSTONE ORIG DIE-CUT GATEFOLD COVER VINYL LP 1979 DENNIS DeYOUNG USD $6.49 Buy It Now 15h 46m
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EQUINOX BY STYX (CD) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 16h 41m
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GRAND ILLUSION BY STYX (CD) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 16h 41m
CORNERSTONE BY STYX (CD) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 16h 41m
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Sinister Cross the Styx LP Cannibal Corpse Morbid Angel Vader Suffocation Sodom USD $39.98 [3 bids]
16h 45m
Roadie - Sound Track - EX Vinyl LP - Alice Cooper Cheap Trick Roy Orbison Styx + USD $7.49 Buy It Now 16h 54m
STYX, PARADISE THEATER - LP USD $12.00 Buy It Now 17h 17m
Styx - 4LP Vinyl Record Collection - NM- USD $29.95 Buy It Now 17h 21m
Styx - Greatest Hits (CD, Aug-1995, A&M (USA) USD $5.71 Buy It Now 17h 22m
Greatest Hits, Pt. 2 by Styx (CD, Jun-1996, A&M (USA)) USD $2.75 [2 bids]
17h 33m
60 Vintage Classic Rock Cassettes 70's 80's Styx, Rush, Thorogood USD $99.99 Buy It Now 17h 57m
"STYX II" VINYL ALBUM! 1971 USD $4.45 [1 bids]
17h 59m
Styx Tommy SHAW Jack BLADES 2 UNRELEASE JAPAN PRESS CD USA Seller Night Ranger USD $39.99 Buy It Now 18h 4m
STYX CORNERSTONE USD $14.99 Buy It Now 18h 11m
STYX PARADISE THEATER 1980 A&M 3719 LASER ETCHED NRMT/EX BEST OF TIMES USD $5.99 Buy It Now 18h 16m
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45 RECORD 7" SINGLE - STYX- THE BEST OF TIMES USD $2.69 Buy It Now 18h 34m
45 RECORD 7" SINGLE - STYX- SING FOR THE DAY USD $2.69 Buy It Now 18h 34m
Styx limited edition collectors copy picture disc record USD $9.99 [0 bids]
18h 38m
STYX-PARADISE THEATRE-JAPAN MINI LP PLATINUM SHM-CD Ltd/Ed I50 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 18h 39m
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19h 36m
STYX ROCKIN' THE PARADISE/DON'T LET IT END 1983 45 RPM AM RECORDS 2543 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 19h 37m
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20h 10m
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20h 12m
Styx - Crystal Ball USD $6.00 [0 bids]
20h 18m
Styx - Equinox USD $6.00 [0 bids]
20h 24m
Styx - Man of Miracles USD $8.00 [1 bids]
20h 31m
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Styx by Styx CD USD $4.09 [0 bids]
20h 38m
Styx - "Pieces Of Eight"- (Gatefold) {SP-4724} **STERLING** 1978 12" LP USD $4.25 Buy It Now 20h 50m
Styx don"t let it end rockin the pardise AMX 120 picture disc record USD $6.99 [0 bids]
21h
RARE CD Radio DJ Promo Single PARADISE by STYX 1997 from Return to Paradise CD USD $25.00 Buy It Now 21h 2m
STYX**COMPLETE WOODEN NICKEL RECORDINGS**2 CD USD $10.50 Buy It Now 21h 12m


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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)

2.75 | 82 ratings
Styx
1972
3.07 | 87 ratings
Styx II
1973
2.98 | 84 ratings
The Serpent Is Rising
1973
2.71 | 81 ratings
Man of Miracles
1974
3.45 | 138 ratings
Equinox
1975
3.10 | 129 ratings
Crystal Ball
1976
3.69 | 206 ratings
The Grand Illusion
1977
3.63 | 167 ratings
Pieces of Eight
1978
2.63 | 134 ratings
Cornerstone
1979
2.90 | 142 ratings
Paradise Theater
1981
2.08 | 112 ratings
Kilroy was Here
1983
2.71 | 54 ratings
Edge of the Century
1990
2.80 | 46 ratings
Brave New World
1999
3.27 | 41 ratings
Cyclorama
2003
3.32 | 43 ratings
Big Bang Theory
2005

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

3.69 | 31 ratings
Caught In The Act Live
1984
3.74 | 21 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)

4.07 | 14 ratings
Return To Paradise (DVD)
1999
3.71 | 12 ratings
Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland: One With Everything
2006
2.75 | 10 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)

2.61 | 9 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
3.38 | 7 ratings
Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology
2004
3.32 | 20 ratings
The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings
2005

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Lady
1973
4.00 | 1 ratings
Light Up
1975
5.00 | 1 ratings
Best Thing
1975
3.00 | 1 ratings
Lorelei
1975
5.00 | 1 ratings
Come Sail Away
1977
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sing For The Day
1978
5.00 | 1 ratings
Blue Collar Man
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Enganandote (El Joven Enojado)
1978
4.00 | 1 ratings
Boat On The River
1979
2.00 | 1 ratings
Lights
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
Renegado (Renegade)
1979
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Times
1980
4.00 | 1 ratings
Too Much Time On My Hands
1981
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rockin' The Paradise
1981
3.25 | 4 ratings
Regeneration
2011

STYX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Crystal Ball by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.10 | 129 ratings

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Crystal Ball
Styx Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Crystal Ball is a good representation of Styx's output: lush, heavily orchestrated pop-rock, sometimes interesting, sometimes nauseating. With Tommy Shaw's joining of the band, Crystal Ball skews more towards the pop-rock. This isn't something to immediately shy away from, because Shaw's guitar playing is excellent, and his vocals are solid, too. In fact, I'd a Shaw-led Styx over a DeYoung led Styx anytime; however, Crystall Ball as a whole fits into a wishy-washy middle ground of classic rock that is enjoyable to listen to at the time, but not memorable or appealing enough to remember for long afterwards.

The album opens with a bouncy, lush, and dynamic rock tune "Put Me On." Terrible lyrics aside, the song writing starts off nicely and shows off the band's flair for blending styles. Unfortunately the next two songs are throw aways; especially the somewhat insulting "Jennifer." If songs about underage girls or that feature gibberish choruses are your thing, than you'll like it more than me. Luckily the title track, "Crystal Ball" stands out as an excellent song thanks to its contrast of hard rock/ballad feel. Easily the best song on the album. The closing tracks are also fair tunes that are sort of semi-ballads with some interesting variety and occasionally standout instrumental work. The album closes to more lazy songwriting in the form of gibberish vocals.

After several listens of this brief album the only thing I can remember with clarify is the Shaw-led title track, and DeYoung's cartoonish vocals everywhere else. Not a great place to start for newcomers interested in learning more about this iconic prog/pop group, and not a very good album in general, though still fun for the occasional listen.

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

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 Equinox by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.45 | 138 ratings

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Equinox
Styx Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Styx has never been one of my favorites; in fact, the first time I heard of the band was when Homer Simpson referenced hearing them on an episode of the "King Biscuit Flower Hour." This was when I was about 13-years old, so give me a break. Later, my first boss introduced the band to me, knowing I was a fan of Journey and eager for more music. I got a "best of" album of theirs that I pretty much hated. I gave it a 1-star review here at Prog Archives, saying that it "contains every stinky-sweet radio anthem the group ever recorded... and it's terrible." After listening to Equinox a half-dozen times, I happily hold to the opinion of that album, because Equinox contains a much more diverse, interesting, and enjoyable collection of songs than the schmaltzy, synth-dominated mess of the band's hits. In fact, Equinox is pretty darn good!

Equinox opens with two very catchy songs. "Light Up" is a laid back party song (surprise), and "Lorelei" is an upbeat sing your heart out kind of FM anthem. Once the band gets those out of the way, the album gets interesting. "Mother Dear" is a great demonstration of the band's blend of artist/progressive elements with legitimately enjoyable hard rock. A nice blend of sounds, singing, and energy. This blend continues to the conclusion of the album, with "Born for Adventure" and "Suite Madame Blue" standing out to me as the winning tracks. "Midnight Ride" dips back into a Deep Purple-ish party song, but I caught myself toe-tapping regardless. The songs are catchy without sounding obnoxiously poppy, and big without sounding overly-ambitious. I still think DeYoung's solo vocals are awful, but they don't spoil the show. Luckily there are enough instrumental moments and vocal harmonies that Equinox isn't dependent on a front man to be enjoyable.

All in all a good, proggish album. It didn't blow me away but I've let go of my Styx hatred after listening.

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

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 Crystal Ball by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.10 | 129 ratings

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Crystal Ball
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars This was the record that kicked off the classic Styx era that featured great songwriting, concept albums and a bunch of hit singles. Fortunately Crystal Ball lacks the latter and thus makes it one the band's most cohesive records to date. This was also the point when the young Tommy Shaw entered the scene and began contributing to the band both as a musician and songwriter.

The band has always had memorable opening album tracks and Put Me On is by no means an exception even though it does tend to be overshadowed by Light Up and The Grand Illusion. The opening track is upbeat and featuring quite a few quirky moments, which is in line with the rest of the material. Put Me On transitions into the album's first single Mademoiselle written by DeYoung and Shaw. Remember that I wrote that this record had no hit singles? Well, Mademoiselle was actually a Top 40 hit in the US and Canada but is completely overshadowed by the hit singles that came on the next couple of albums. I actually think that Mademoiselle works really well in the context of the album, making it a worthy album track independent of the fact that it was a single. I don't really know why but the structure of this composition somehow manages to remind my of Seaside Rendezvous by Queen.

Jennifer is another solid album track from Dennis DeYoung that works well with his quirky vocal delivery. The title track is probably the most famous track of the bunch and was the first solo songwriting credit for Shaw. It's a strong composition with great solo spots for DeYoung on synthesizer and Shaw on electric guitar. After such great momentum, the album delivers its only weak track in the shape of a straightforward rocker Shooz written by Tommy Shaw and James Young. In its defense, this is actually one of the better compositions that was written/co-written by Young and features Shaw on lead vocals.

After the first five compositions, which ranged from great to solid album tracks, comes two compositions that transform Crystal Ball to the status of excellence. It's worth to mention that these tracks are rarely performed live thus making them two of the band's most underrated moments. This Old Man is a moody piece by DeYoung that feels very pompous and almost symphonic in its style. Clair De Lune/Ballerina begins with a piano intro of Clair De Lune Claude Debussy which is then followed by Ballerina. This is another track where DeYoung shows his love for theatrical performance and I can easily see this composition being performed as a part of a musical with soaring vocal harmonies from the performers.

Crystal Ball is where the songwriting kicked into the next gear and turned Styx into a real contender on the late '70s pop music scene. The next two albums would really show just that. Highly recommended to fans of melodic art rock music.

***** star songs: This Old Man (5:11) Clair De Lune/Ballerina (7:09)

**** star songs: Mademoiselle (3:57) Put Me On (4:56) Jennifer (4:16) Crystal Ball (4:32)

*** star songs: Shooz (4:44)

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 Equinox by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.45 | 138 ratings

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Equinox
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars After enjoying what I've heard on The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight, I continued forwards in Styx discography with Cornerstone and all the way to Edge Of The Century. I found their '80s material slightly weaker than the golden era tracks, from the late '70s, and so the logical step was to reverse my direction and go backwards in Styx discography!

Equinox was released in 1975 and is the final album featuring John Curulewski before Tommy Shaw took over the songwriting, guitar and vocal duties in the band. The overall feel of the album isn't far from that on The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight but I lack a real standout track here even though a few come close!

Dennis DeYoung does a great job with the opening track Light Up which definitely sets the mood for the listener and the record continues to shine with the rock anthem Lorelei, eclectic sounding Mother Dear and the ballad Lonely Child. Unfortunately this is where it all comes to a halt once James Young gets a moment in the spotlight with his pretty bland songwriting and vocal skills on Midnight Ride. The song just doesn't do it for me and feels completely out of place with the rest of the material; a track that I tend to skip.

Born For Adventure continues the trend of blandness even though the composition itself is not too bad. It's a pity that the chorus really ruins this song and no matter how much I try I just can't enjoy this track. Fortunately the remaining two tracks manage to rebuild some of the momentum that was featured on the first four tracks.

Prelude 12 is a short but very necessary instrumental by John Curulewski that works as an interlude between the two bland rockers and the Styx classic known as Suite Madame Blue. This final track is one of those instances that I kind of wish that the band could have been even more creative in their writing. The track has a strong melody and the opening interlude makes it seem that we are going to be treated to an opus. This promise unfortunately never manifests itself and the 6+ minutes go faster than I would have liked them to. I strongly believe that Suite Madame Blue could have been one of the definite progressive rock tracks if only Styx had the nerve to transform it into a 10+ minute composition by adding a couple of instrumental passages.

The overall feel that I get from Equinox is that Styx is definitely getting on the right track with this record but they lack the creative chemistry between Tommy Shaw and Dennis DeYoung. Good, but non-essential album for fans of melodic art rock music.

**** star songs: Light Up (4:19) Lorelei (3:23) Mother Dear (5:30) Lonely Child (3:49) Prelude 12 (1:20) Suite Madame Blue (6:30)

*** star songs: Midnight Ride (4:19) Born For Adventure (5:16)

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 The Serpent Is Rising   by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.98 | 84 ratings

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The Serpent Is Rising
Styx Prog Related

Review by Fearabsentia

5 stars Styx-The Serpent is Rising

After the good but overall weaker effort of 'Styx II', Styx released one of their most groundbreaking albums yet. The mighty 'The Serpent is Rising' came and became a pretty odd release in Styx's discography.

The Serpent is Rising is a widely varied album, with songs ranging from heavy proto-metal rockers like 'Witch Wolf' and 'Young Man' and softer melodic tracks like 'The Grove of Eglantine' and 'As Bad As This'. Dennis DeYoung wrote most of the songs for the previous album, but guitarist John Curulewski took most of the songwriting duties for this album. This probably led to this album being much heavier then anything Styx had done before, hence James Young or Curulewski singing on most of the tracks. I find it hard to imagine DeYoung's vocals being very suited for the gritty heavy songs, his vocals give a great performance on 'The Grove of Eglantine' though.

My favorite song on the album is 'Young Man', which begins with some great acoustics and pretty dark lyrics. The song builds up quite a bit, especially after a soft melodic bridge when Young screams, quite a contrast. Another standout song is the title track combined with the final two tracks. The title track is sang by Curulewski and his voice fits in perfectly with the swirling keyboards and moogs and heavy menacing guitar. Then comes 'Krakatoa', which is a one and a half-minute track of screams before 'Hallelujah' starts playing.

I'm not sure if this is true, but I've always seen this album as a concept album. It may be subtle, but it appears that it's a concept album about life and death. Many of the lyrical themes connect to different parts of a mans life, 'The Grove of Eglantine' being about finding love, 'Young Man' being about war, 'As Bad as This' having to do with depression, and the title track relating to death.

Overall, this is my personal favorite Styx album and one of my favorite progressive rock albums of all time. It's an extremely underrated album and an album I find flawless.

Hope you found this review helpful.

(Originally written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com)

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 Crystal Ball by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.10 | 129 ratings

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Crystal Ball
Styx Prog Related

Review by thwok

4 stars I will state right up front that I love this record. It was one of my favorite LP's in high school, and I probably listened to it 100 times. I don't understand why Crystal Ball isn't given the same respect as Equinox. Crystal Ball isn't any less progressive in my book. Every song on this album is excellent.

"Suite Madam Blue" from the last album is great, but "Born for Adventure",is simply irritating. Is there a bias against Tommy Shaw at work here? The man can obviously sing, and I don't see the ability to write commercially successfuly music as a bad thing! If I'm picking favorites, I would probably go with "Ballerina" and the title track. This is an excellent hard rock album with prog overtones. I'm giving it four stars.

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 Styx II by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.07 | 87 ratings

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Styx II
Styx Prog Related

Review by Fearabsentia

4 stars Styx-Styx II

After their stellar debut, Styx continued down a similar path of progressive rock, except this album features more variety between styles.

The album begins with a Beatle-esque rocker 'You Need Love', which is catchy but is lacking compared to the more Deep Purple-like rockers of the previous album. The other shorter rocking tracks are unfortunately the weaker tracks, the other shorter songs being the annoying 'You Better Ask' and the decent yet bland 'I'm Going to Make You Feel It'. One of the better songs is the popular 'Lady', which is Styx's first venture into power ballads that they would become so known for in the later 70's. It has a great build up, and nice lyrics. My favorite from the album is definitely the 8-minute 'A Day', which is one of my favorite Styx songs. I love guitarist John Curulewski's vocals in this bluesy and meandering prog rock masterpiece. 'Father OSA' is another highlight, having some great organ work by Dennis DeYoung.

The lyrics fluctuate quite a bit, ranging from happy-go-lucky lyrics on songs like 'You Need Love' and 'Earl of Roseland' to darker more ominous tracks like 'A Day'.

Overall, I don't have much else to say about this album. I don't find it nearly as good as their debut, but it still has it's shining moments and I recommend mostly for the great track 'A Day'.

Hope you found this review helpful.

(Originally written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com on October 18th 2014.)

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 Styx by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.75 | 82 ratings

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Styx
Styx Prog Related

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Styx is probably most remembered (and revered) for their albums from the second half of the 70's and first half of the 80's. I suppose that's when they were in their prime, so to speak. A nice surprise, then, is this album which happens to be their first. Not slightly different to the more well known but very different. Is that any good?

The polished and very well produced albums from later years, such as Paradise Theatre or Pieces of eight, are great stuff to enjoy. What you will find on their debut album is very much a raw, unpolished album. Yet it is both visionary and progressive, at least up to a point.

The first track is the most progressive, "Fanfare for the common man": Stretching out, the 13 minutes or so, the song or epic is made up of several parts and many ideas. There is even a spoken part in the middle, where people off the street are talking about work and economy. That is quite intriguing. The whole of the track is a sort of showcse for the album as a whole. Hard rock with great organ work and sometimes distorted bass. It is a showcase for their love of hard rock. Of further note, when discussing the songs, is "Quick is the beat of my heart". That is one song that really sticks out in my ears. Heavy, raucious hard rock of the finest quality. Wery good indeed! I find that while no track is bad, they are all good, none really stand out in form or sound. It is all very similar, except for "Fanfare for the common man".

As ever with Styx the album is well produced but not as polished as later ones. In fact, it is not polished at all. It is very raw and kicking like an animal. While I find it very enjoyable and being a fan of early hard rock/metal this obviously brings sensations to me. On the other hand it is not that exceptional. It is good, early 70's hard rock, spiced with progressive leanings. It is not that complex, rather it is quite accessible and is easy to dig. However, the run-of-the-mill hard rock, no matter how good it appears, is that it is similar to other bands and better albums. Nothing is wrong but nothing is exceptional either. You could find more inventive and exciting albums from the likes of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Budgie or any of the greats from the period. One good thing is that Styx is leaning away from pure blues and are not tempted to put in some awful boogie track, to (un)even things off.

As a conclusion I would like to add that Styx (the album) is cohesive, connected and good. By no means essential. It is simply a very enjoyable album and that can sometimes be good enough.

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 Styx by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.75 | 82 ratings

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Styx
Styx Prog Related

Review by Fearabsentia

5 stars Styx-Styx I

The late 60's and early 70's were great years for starting a progressive rock band. Bands like Yes, King Crimson, and Gentle Giant all formed during this time, however, Styx seems to either be forgotten or hated among the prog community. I have never understood why, they are no less progressive then Yes or Genesis in my opinion. In fact, Styx's debut happens to be on of my favorite debuts of all time.

The album begins with the nearly 14-minute epic 'Movement for the Common Man', which is split into four parts. Most of the parts fluctuate from hard rock and acoustic flowing passages, with the exception of the experimental spoken word part 'Street Collage' and a rendition of Aaron Copland's 'Fanfare for the Common Man' . The song 'What Has Come Between Us' is another highlight, with Dennis DeYoung really showing his keyboard skills. Most of the other songs on the album are very Deep Purple like, with great organ work and heavy guitar mixed with the unique prog rock that Styx has already developed. 'Quick is the Beat of My Heart' is probably my favorite of these tracks, don't be fooled by the name it's actually a very dark song ending with chamber organ that sounds very ominous.

Original guitarist John Curulewski's performance is amazing, he conducts some awesome solos in songs like 'Best Thing' and 'Quick is the Beat of My Heart'. It's too bad that he left after 'Equinox', because his riffing was amazing. One of the best prog rock guitarists in my opinion. Drummer John Panozzo also gives a great performance with very unique and avant-garde drum-work, especially on the 'Movement for the Common Man'.

Overall, If you enjoy some good hard rocking prog I would definitely go pick this up. Flawless, and one of my favorite debut albums of all time.

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 Cornerstone  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.63 | 134 ratings

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Cornerstone
Styx Prog Related

Review by aglasshouse

3 stars "Cornerstone" is the ninth studio album by the american progressive/hard rock band, STYX.

After their second huge hit-producing album "Pieces of Eight", STYX released the followup album, "Cornerstone", in 1979. It can immediately be assumed that the follow album to a triple-platinum certified record is usually not as up to scratch as the former. Many times, a band loses their cool after taking their success too lightly, and releases a complete piece of garbage. In the case of "Cornerstone", it's a mix.

Let's start off with the worst. The ballads. Dennis DeYoung made two of them on the album, one of which became the only US #1 single on the charts. 'First Time' is a power-ballad that was meant to become the second single on the album, but instead was replaced with 'Borrowed Time' as a single release. Sadly, the song got a meager #63 on the charts. 'Babe' is the #1 single hit ballad that I was talking about before. Unlike 'First Time', 'Babe' is just a lame, poppy ballad that sounds like some soul artist wrote and sang it and not STYX. Both ballads are unremarkable, and in my opinion, un-listenable.

Synth is a huge annoyance on this album. Songs like 'Why Me', 'First Time' and 'Lights', have over-whelming synthesizer constantly blasting you with every note. Not enjoyable by any means.

Asides from the bad tracks, there are songs on the album that are enjoyable, like 'Boat On A River', which uses a menacing acoustic sound with nice light lyrics to make for an awesome mix. The song is, in a way, a sort of gypsy campfire ballad, which is surprisingly good seeing as it's odds wouldn't look great in the eyes of any prog fan. There are driving tracks, like 'Eddie' and 'Borrowed Time', of which have a nice constant rocking tone.

I would say that this album is totally worth picking up.

Go give it a listen.

(Originally written for the Metal Music Archives on 10/5/14)

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Thanks to Iván_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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