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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$6.06
$0.47 (used)
Grand IllusionGrand Illusion
A&M 1990
Audio CD$0.99
$0.16 (used)
Paradise TheatreParadise Theatre
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.81
$0.63 (used)
Pieces of EightPieces of Eight
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.68
$0.48 (used)
Styx GoldStyx Gold
A&M Records 2004
Audio CD$7.80
$5.50 (used)
CornerstoneCornerstone
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$0.55 (used)
EquinoxEquinox
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.76
$0.80 (used)
Crystal BallCrystal Ball
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.79
$3.00 (used)
Kilroy Was HereKilroy Was Here
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$1.18 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
STYX Pieces of Eight EX+ US $1.99 [0 bids]
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STYX BEST OF US $7.99 [0 bids]
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1h 33m
STYX - STYX PIECES OF EIGHT LP US $39.99 Buy It Now 1h 34m
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1h 36m
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Styx Classics Volume 15 US $3.99 Buy It Now 2h 22m
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Dennis DeYoung - Desert Moon - Vinyl LP 1984 - Ex - Styx US $1.67 [0 bids]
2h 43m
RENEGADE by STYX US $1.09 [0 bids]
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BABE by STYX US $1.09 [0 bids]
3h 3m
Styx, Cyclorama Audio CD US $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 23m
Styx Lights 7 inch Vinyl US $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 42m
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Styx Man Of Miracles BWL 1-0638 US $29.95 Buy It Now 4h 35m
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STYX GRAND ILLUSION A&M AUDIOPHILE SERIES GATEFOLD VINYL LP STUNNING MINT COPY US $26.95 [0 bids]
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4h 41m
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STYX Greatest Hits CD Come Sail Away, Mr Roboto, Babe, Show Me The Way US $2.49 [0 bids]
5h 6m
Sealed LP Maxell Rock II Sampler Styx Poco Hall Oates US $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 13m
STYX CORNERSTONE LP NAUTILUS SUPERDISC WITH INSERTS UNPLAYED US $30.00 [0 bids]
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STYX COLLECTIBLE PICTURE ALBUM - PIECES OF EIGHT US $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 20m
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STYX Boat On The River 7" GERMAN Vinyl 45! US $1.67 [0 bids]
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6h 13m
Paradise Theater by Styx (Cassette, Oct-1980, A&M Records) US $2.25 Buy It Now 6h 20m
Rock NM! 45 STYX You Need Love on Wooden Nickel 7" US $5.00 Buy It Now 6h 37m
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6h 47m
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9h 16m
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9h 40m
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? Dennis DeYoung - Back to the World (of Styx) (sealed) US $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 47m
? Tommy Shaw - Girls with Guns (of Styx) (sealed) US $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 52m
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Paradise Theater by Styx (CD, Oct-1990, A&M (USA)) US $2.54 Buy It Now 9h 56m
STYX Japan 1980 NM LP+Laser Edging Vinyl PARADISE THEAT US $18.99 Buy It Now 10h 10m
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Styx 70s POP ROCK DJ 45 Sing for the Day / Renegade US $14.98 Buy It Now 10h 14m
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1984 STYX Live Caught In The Act 2 LPs A&M SP-6514 Gatefold NM Vinyl Play Tested US $12.00 Buy It Now 10h 26m
Styx Serpent LP EX+ RCA AYL1-4111 US $7.99 Buy It Now 10h 33m
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10h 41m
STYX Japan 1983 NM LP+Obi+Sticker+Promo Book KILROY WAS HERE US $59.99 Buy It Now 10h 49m
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11h 3m
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11h 7m
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11h 9m
STYX Blue Collar Man 7" Blue Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Orig 1978 Ltd Edition, B/W US $10.12 Buy It Now 11h 9m
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STYX Pieces Of Eight 1978 12 Vinyl LP Gold Vinyl Canadian Edition SP 4724 US $10.99 [0 bids]
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11h 33m
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11h 35m
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11h 46m
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STYX Japan 1981 NM LP+Obi ?? REPPOO US $24.99 Buy It Now 11h 58m
STYX Japan 1977 NM LP THE GRAND ILLUSION US $39.99 Buy It Now 12h 3m
Styx Paradise Theater LP Record Laser Etched Vinyl US $4.95 [0 bids]
12h 8m
STYX Japan 1980 NM LP+Obi+Laser Edging Vinyl PARADISE THEATRE US $24.99 Buy It Now 12h 9m

More places to buy STYX music online Buy STYX & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for STYX DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

STYX shows & tickets


  • Styx + Foreigner + Don Felder at Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA on 1 Aug 2014
  • Foreigner + Styx at Iowa State Fair, Des Moines on 17 Aug 2014
  • First Niagara presents Tuesday in the Park on 19 Aug 2014

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)

2.73 | 77 ratings
Styx
1972
3.09 | 79 ratings
Styx II
1973
2.90 | 75 ratings
The Serpent Is Rising
1973
2.72 | 75 ratings
Man of Miracles
1974
3.48 | 124 ratings
Equinox
1975
3.08 | 113 ratings
Crystal Ball
1976
3.69 | 187 ratings
The Grand Illusion
1977
3.63 | 151 ratings
Pieces of Eight
1978
2.61 | 123 ratings
Cornerstone
1979
2.89 | 131 ratings
Paradise Theater
1981
2.07 | 103 ratings
Kilroy was Here
1983
2.69 | 49 ratings
Edge of the Century
1990
2.80 | 43 ratings
Brave New World
1999
3.26 | 38 ratings
Cyclorama
2003
3.31 | 39 ratings
Big Bang Theory
2005

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

3.72 | 30 ratings
Caught In The Act Live
1984
3.76 | 20 ratings
Return to Paradise
1997
2.13 | 4 ratings
Arch Allies - Live At Riverport
2000
3.91 | 7 ratings
Styxworld Live 2001
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
At The River's Edge - Live In St. Louis
2002
3.00 | 3 ratings
21st Century Live
2003

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

4.07 | 14 ratings
Return To Paradise (DVD)
1999
3.72 | 10 ratings
Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland: One With Everything
2006
2.74 | 9 ratings
Caught In The Act: Live 1984
2007
3.67 | 11 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
2.83 | 28 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 | 1 ratings
Lady: The Encore Collection
2000
2.25 | 4 ratings
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Styx
2002
2.33 | 3 ratings
Rockers
2003
3.29 | 8 ratings
Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology
2004
3.32 | 19 ratings
The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings
2005

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

3.33 | 3 ratings
Regeneration
2011

STYX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Styx II by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.09 | 79 ratings

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Styx II
Styx Prog Related

Review by Unitron

5 stars Styx-Styx II

Styx's debut had a tough act to follow, seeing as it is one of the best prog rock debuts ever created. Now of course all the prog-snobs will just turn their backs and say it sucks without even listening to the album, but I'm not one to do that. I don't think this 2nd release is as good as their debut, but it still rocks!

1: You Need Love starts the album off with some joyous keyboard and catchy guitar riffs. The swirling guitar and the jazzy feel of the drums are just great. The chorus is really catchy as well. The short bridge is surprisingly kind of menacing. The lyrics remind me of a Beatles song, and this is just a really feel good song. (10/10)

2: Lady is the only single from the album, that didn't become a hit until a few years later. A song DeYoung dedicated to his wife, his voice is really strong on this song. The beautiful piano intro eventually leads into some really rocking guitar. During the chorus, John Panozzo really kicks ass with his drums being complimented perfectly by JC's guitar. A great song to sing a long to. (9/10)

3: A Day. The longest song on the album at 8 minutes and 25 seconds, this song begins with a great bluesy feel with the great bass. A song where guitarist John Curulewski sings and really shows his singing and songwriting talent. His voice sometimes reminds me of Steven Wilson of prog metal band Porcupine Tree. When the piano and acoustics come in they don't really lead just enhance the moody blues atmosphere, because the bass is really the dominating part of this song. The piano during the chorus are among some of the best of DeYoung's performances. The bridge is where the drums and guitar come in and keep that blues-jazz feel. J Panozzo really shines with his drumming here, and Curulewski strikes gold with his guitar work almost getting somewhat proto-metal at times. DeYoung comes back in with great keyboard work before the bass starts jamming again. Very moody, and easily my favorite song on the album. (10/10)

4: You Better Ask is the weakest song on the album. The lyrics are really weak and the chorus and instrumentation gets really annoying, sounding like something Aerosmith would make. Other then the interesting Percussion work, I don't find anything enjoyable about this song. (2/10)

5-6: Father OSA begins with the intro 'Little Fugue in G' which is originally from a Bach piece. This is a really nice way of starting off the song. The actual song begins with uplifting guitar riffs and great organ. Once the vocals come in it gets that classic Styx feel with grandiose organ, great lyrics, and the guitars complimenting the keyboard. There isn't really much else to say, it's just a great song. (9/10)

7: Earl of Roseland starts out with really rocking guitar and great drums. After the chorus, there is a really beautiful piano break which is a great touch. The solo is great, but there isn't really much else to say. A great rocker. (9/10)

8: I'm Gonna Make You Feel It. Okay, the lyrics aren't strong, but it's a nice rocker. Great catchy guitar and Deep Purple-like organ. Not much to say. (6/10)

Overall, Styx II shows Styx experimenting a bit. They were trying out new things, some things worked out, some didn't. Fortunately, their next album would be my favorite Styx album, and one of my favorite prog rock albums of all time.

Hope you found this review helpful.

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 Styx by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.73 | 77 ratings

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Styx
Styx Prog Related

Review by Unitron

5 stars Styx-Styx

Time to give Styx their proper respect as one of my favorite progressive rock bands of all time. Yep, I said that, right up there with Rush, IQ, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd. Rush and Styx were the two bands that introduced me to progressive rock, and I still love them both to this day. Styx's debut is very different to the later art-rock they would later produce on other masterpieces like 'The Grand Illusion'. Styx's first three albums are among some of the best prog rock albums ever created and should be given their proper respect.

1. Movement for the Common Man. The album opens up with Drummer John Panozzo banging the drums to usher in this 13-minute epic. Guitarist James Young gives us his classic heavy vocals while original lead guitarist John Curulewski 'JC' is giving us some classic 70's riffs. When the chorus for part one 'Children of the Land' come in you get all the vocalists together which would become a prominent feature of Styx's music. Throughout part one, 'JC's' guitar is constantly having solos which I haven't seen very much, then Dennis DeYoung gives some great keyboard while 'JC' keeps kicking-ass with his riffs and solos. Panozzo comes back in with some interesting percussion and just uses more kinds of drums I've ever heard in one band. An amazing blues like bass bridge comes in with awesome organ and guitar, with some proto-metal guitar work by JC, which ends part one. A train moving sound effect signals part two to come which is one of the most experimental things in any song I've heard, where it's just a random conversation between two guys. Appropriately titled 'Street Collage', this part acts like a perfect bridge for this experimental epic. Styx then makes their own rock rendition of Aaron Copland's 'Fanfare For the Common Man' with great guitar and organ work. After some power drumming, DeYoung strikes gold with his keyboard till great acoustics come in complimented by DeYoung's synth. The epic ends with DeYoung starting to sing with beautiful piano and guitar in 'Mother Nature's Matinee', and JC going crazy on the guitar and a synth blast. So much going on in this epic, I could swear I was listening to something 20 minutes long. One of the best prog rock epics I've ever heard. (10/10)

2. Right Away. Starting with nice relaxing guitar, Right Away quickly gets a bluesy feel with JY's voice till the piano gets stronger. The drumming just keeps a steady beat throughout the entire song which sounds great. JC conducts an awesome solo. There's not much else to say about this song, A good song still. (7/10)

3. What Has Become Between Us. Beginning with DeYoung quickly pounding on the piano, this song quickly gets heavy guitar riffs and go perfectly together. Great acoustics begin while DeYoung's beautiful voice ushers in the heavy guitar to come back in. The bridge is amazing, with the keyboard and organ flowing perfectly together. At the end the song surprises you when JC gives us a great rocking guitar solo. One of my favorites from this album. (10/10)

4. Best Thing. Ok, the lyrics aren't that progressive, but the music certainly is. Starting out with great acoustics before DeYoung brings in his keyboard. JC quickly delivers us a great heavy rocking guitar bridge. At the end the acoustic guitar just swirls down. Short, but this song has great solos and musicianship. (9/10)

5. Quick Is the Beat of My Heart. A surprisingly dark song for Styx, QITBOMH starts out with shaking guitar riffs and JY's bluesy voice. The drums and guitar compliment each other well and keep a steady beat. The mood darkens when DeYoung starts playing his organ and the lyrics get darker. Soon, JC gives one of the best guitar solos I've ever heard with DeYoung's keyboard complimenting it really well. The drums roll at the end is a great touch, and once JY yells 'DIE' it echoes before dark chanber music starts playing. One of Styx's darkest songs, and one of my favorites. (10/10)

6. After You Leave Me. AYLM begins with Deep Purple-like guitar and organ before guitar clicks enter. It has that classic heavy prog feel. Nothing much else to say, If you love early Deep Purple you'll like this song. (10/10)

Overall, Styx's debut is probably my favorite prog debut album, and already Styx has shown their strength. Even though my favorite Styx album will always be 'The Serpent is Rising', Styx's debut is essential to any prog collection.

Hope you found this review helpful.

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 The Grand Illusion by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 187 ratings

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The Grand Illusion
Styx Prog Related

Review by thwok

4 stars I am a proud member of the "Styx Doesn't Get Enough Credit" camp. While I wouldn't put them in my top 10 list, I do enjoy their music and believer they're progressive enough for this site. As many others have stated, The Grand Illusion is top-drawer Styx. By progressive standards, I'll give the album 3 1/2 stars and round it up to 4 for overall quality.

One of the outstanding traits of Styx is the way their music has changed over time. They branched out and improved as musicians and composers over the years. Although it might not be apparent over the course of one album, Styx definitely progressed! Of course, The Grand Illusion contains some of Styx's best known material. The best tracks are "The Grand Illusion", "Fooling Yourself", "Miss America", and "Castle Walls." I don't think Tommy Shaw has ever sung better than he did on the emotional "Fooling Yourself", and I really like the keyboards on this one.

James Young may not have the most melodic voice, but his forceful bass is perfect for the sarcastic "Miss America". Lastly, "Castle Walls" is the most progressive track on the album, as we normally think of "progressive". "Superstars" is my least favorite track, but it doesn't defeat the overall high quality of The Grand Illusion. There is no doubt about the band's skill as performers. They are more progressive than Journey or Boston (just shoot me now!) ever were, as the band biography explains well. Styx changed and grew, and The Grand Illusion is Styx at the top of their game.

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 Edge of the Century  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.69 | 49 ratings

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Edge of the Century
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

1 stars After checking out some of the positive reviews for this album I just had to find out for myself whether Edge Of The Century was really that good of a Styx record!

It must have been tough to find a replacement for Tommy Shaw, the guitarist/vocalist/songwriter that brought Styx the mainstream attention back in the late '70s. Still, it must have been even tougher for Glen Burtnik to become that replacement once everything was settled! Burtnik has been an active performer ever since the late '70s and had a minor solo career going on by the time he's got the offer to join Styx. His role was to bring the band a new career boost which would actually prove to be quite difficult in the early '90s once grunge began to dominate the mainstream radio stations and thus leaving behind the classic rock bands of the '70s and '80s.

Burtnik did his best in order to make Styx sound fresh and exciting but I'm ultimately far from impressed by his performance. Most of his material sounds like he's really trying too hard to sound commercially viable and edgy in his performances but it all just sounds so uninspired that I would much rather just listen to a whole record filled with DeYoung's ballads than anything written and performed by Burtnik. This is pretty much why I can't enjoy Love Is The Ritual, the album's title track and glam metal inspired World Tonite.

What makes this album slightly more bearable are the tracks written by Dennis DeYoung. All of his material here consists of melodic ballads which, I guess, are meant to counter Burtnik's heavy rock sound. Still it would have been interesting to hear more of DeYoung's art rock style, which is unfortunately completely non-existent on Edge Of The Century. Yes, songs like Show Me The Way, Love At First Sight, Carrie Ann and my personal favorite Back To Chicago are all quite enjoyable but this feels like the type of material that DeYoung could pretty much write in his sleep by this point.

James Young almost seems completely missing on this record, which I find to be quite pleasant. Homewrecker is, as far as I can tell, his only vocal performance on the album plus he shares a co-writing credit for Love At First Sight. The final result of such mixed songwriting makes Edge Of The Century sound extremely uneven with '80s rock sound of Burtnik's work sounding extremely dated by todays standards. DeYoung's work manages to fare slightly better even though I would much rather listen to any of the great ballads from the past than any of this album's biggest highlights. The final verdict cannot be anything more than a poor one. This is the only album that I'd discourage even the biggest Styx fans from buying. Remember, you have been warned!

**** star songs: Show Me The Way (4:35) Love At First Sight (4:35) Carrie Ann (4:26) Back To Chicago (4:18)

*** star songs: All In A Day's Work (4:11)

** star songs: Love Is The Ritual (3:48) Edge Of The Century (4:20) Not Dead Yet (3:32) World Tonite (3:38) Homewrecker (5:12)

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 Kilroy was Here by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.07 | 103 ratings

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Kilroy was Here
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars After two weaker Styx albums, in the shape of Cornerstone and Paradise Theater, it was obvious that the band was losing their momentum. Even though they still delivered hit songs, one somehow got the feeling that the chemistry between the members was lost and Kilroy Was Here is a perfect example of just that.

The album kicks off with a short introduction to the Don't Let It End melody before we dive into the album's biggest hit Mr. Roboto. Almost everyone should have heard this song at one point or another so there's really no point to go into details, let's just say that I happen to enjoy it a bit more than I probably should. I think that the main reason for this is Dennis DeYoung's passionate vocal delivery and that's also the case with Don't Let It End and the slightly less memorable High Time. It would have really been interesting to hear more songs from DeYoung featured on this album since his material is what carries this record, thus also explaining why only his material actually managed to make an impact on the charts.

Tommy Shaw does manage to score two nice ballads with Just Get Through This Night and Haven't We Been Here Before? while Cold War is probably one of my least favorite tracks of his. I have no idea how James Young managed to get two songs of his on this album because they are really not all that impressive. Double Life might be quite harmless and one can easily forget that it's even on this album but Heavy Metal Poisoning is where I draw the line! This is a completely disastrous track and one of the few instances that I always make sure to skip the song while listening to Kilroy Was Here.

Did I mention that this is a concept album with a short film and thematic music videos been produced to support the album? Well, I guess that it's for the better! This is as pretentious as Styx would ever get with their conceptual releases so my recommendation is to stick with the individual compositions for their songwriting and forget that there is any theme between them.

This album clearly shows the split within Styx and even though the final product is not the worst record they've released, it's only because this quintet were the professionals that they were. I can only recommend Kilroy Was Here to fans of Styx who have played all previous albums to death and feel that they need to hear a bit new material from the band.

**** star songs: Mr. Roboto (5:28) Don't Let It End (4:56) Just Get Through This Night (6:06) Haven't We Been Here Before? (4:06) Don't Let It End (Reprise) (2:22)

*** star songs: Cold War (4:27) High Time (4:33) Double Life (3:46)

* star songs: Heavy Metal Poisoning (4:57)

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 Paradise Theater  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.89 | 131 ratings

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Paradise Theater
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Paradise Theater might initially seem like a huge improvement over Cornerstone but it ultimately sums up to a lackluster and rather shallow attempt at regaining back the band's art rock audience.

The record is built up as a concept album about a fictional story of Chicago's Paradise Theater from its opening to prime to closing and ultimately demolition. This really does sound like an interesting idea that I doubt that many artists would be able to do justice to. Unfortunately, Styx aren't an exception to the rule and completely butcher any chances of success with this half-hearted attempt at a concept record. It's pretty obvious that both Tommy Shaw and James Young were completely disinterested with the whole idea since none of their songs actually fit into the Paradise Theater storyline. Young's co-writing credit for Half-Penny, Two-Penny does have some important plot-points buried in the song's middle section but you'll really have to listen in carefully in order to actually hear any of the dialog under the sounds of ringing bells and stomping bass!

After completely trashing the concept and two of the three songwriters works, let's talk about why I actually enjoy this record and consider giving it an average rating; Half of this album was written by Dennis DeYoung who, once again, manages to show that he can be an excellent songwriter whenever he actually puts his mind to it. Songs like Rockin' The Paradise, The Best Of Times, Nothing Ever Goes As Planned and Lonely People depict him on top of his game and it's quite unfortunate that he wasn't able to write this entire album on his own.

Styx manages to, once again, deliver a mixed bag of an album with Paradise Theater. This time the highs don't manage to outmatch the lows which ultimately results in this average rating. DeYoung manages to deliver some of his best work while Shaw and Young assume that it's business as usual and continue to deliver some of their more forgettable material from the early '80s era.

***** star songs: A.D. 1928 (1:07) Rockin' The Paradise (3:34) The Best Of Times (4:21)

**** star songs: Too Much Time On My Hands (4:33) Nothing Ever Goes As Planned (4:47) Lonely People (5:25) Half-Penny, Two-Penny (5:58) A.D. 1958 (1:06)

*** star songs: She Cares (4:21) Snowblind (4:59) State Street Sadie (0:26)

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 Cornerstone  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.61 | 123 ratings

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Cornerstone
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars I don't see why anyone would call this album Cornerstone... to me it sounds more like just another brick in the wall!

After returning from their England tour, Styx became aware of the critique that their sound had received in the English rock press. This made them consider shifting their sound even closer to the soft rock format of the late '70s. This was of course a huge mistake since it alienated some of their art rock fans and instead introduced casual fans to Babe. It's generally not a good idea to listen to critique coming from the British press of the late '70s since UK was completely dominated by the punk sound of it time which shunned everything that was even merely art rock and/or prog related.

Styx were still able to deliver quite a few really nice tracks like the album opening Lights, Why Me and First Time. Still, to me this is another album where Tommy Shaw managed to beat Dennis DeYoung on the songwriting front by delivering this album's two biggest highlights with Boat On The River and the album closing Love In The Midnight. I might not be a big fan of his third sole songwriting credit, Never Say Never, but at least it's nowhere nearly as atrocious as the James Young-penned Eddie! The song pleads Ted Kennedy not to run for the office, but it ultimately sounds like complete bogus to my ears with terrible lyrics like - Eddie, now don't you run/You know you're a bootlegger's son/And you saw just what it's done to the others/Eddie, now don't you run/It's the end of all your fun/And you saw just what they've done to your brothers!

Having said that, I still find Cornerstone mildly amusing. It might not be anywhere near as memorable as the two preceding releases but there are just enough solid tracks to give it the average rating that it ultimately deserves.

***** star songs: Boat On The River (3:10)

**** star songs: Lights (4:38) Why Me (3:54) Babe (4:25) First Time (4:24) Love In The Midnight (5:25)

*** star songs: Never Say Never (3:08) Borrowed Time (4:58)

** star songs: Eddie (4:15)

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 Pieces of Eight  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.63 | 151 ratings

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Pieces of Eight
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars With The Grand Illusion Styx managed to show that they could put their great songwriting skills to good use writing melodic art rock music; Pieces Of Eight was the album where they proved that they could pretty much write this material in their sleep!

The late '70s was the period where most British progressive rock bands where clutching at straws. Surprisingly, this was also the period where Styx could do no wrong and Pieces Of Eight shows this notion even more than any of its predecessors. There are a few songs that I might not enjoy as much as the rest, but this fact has been a staple of this band's career and I'm fortunate to note that the great moments manage to outnumber the dull ones here.

Unlike the draw that I could see between Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw songwriting efforts on The Grand Illusion, Pieces Of Eight was clearly Shaw's moment in the spotlight since he managed to score hits with Sing For The Day, Blue Collar Man and Renegade. But just like The Grand Illusion, where I gave Shaw some praise for his songwriting, Pieces Of Eight is where I'd like to credit DeYoung for some of his most ambitious material to date. Dennis DeYoung is generally known for his ballads and quirky keyboards-driven pop tunes but this album actually scores him quite a few points on my list for grand scale compositions like I'm O.K., highly prog inspired Lords Of The Ring and the album's title track. These are, simply put, some of my favorite compositions from DeYoung and Styx!

I've never really been a fan of James Young's songwriting, a point that I'll make sure to expand on in some of my later reviews, but this is probably the only album where I find some of his best material with the album's opening track Great White Hope and co-writing credits for I'm O.K and Queen Of Spades. All three compositions lack his, otherwise, straightforward rock 'n' roll approach that he seems to be so fond of.

Pieces Of Eight depicted Styx as kings of the U.S.-based art rock scene of the late '70s making it on par with The Grand Illusion. Their stay at the top would unfortunately not last for much longer but I'll get to that chapter it in due time. Let's just try to enjoy this moment and remember Styx as the great art rock band that they were back then.

***** star songs: I'm O.K. (5:45) Lords Of The Ring (4:35)

**** star songs: Great White Hope (4:24) Sing For The Day (5:02) The Message (1:08) Blue Collar Man (4:08) Renegade (4:18) Pieces Of Eight (4:44)

*** star songs: Queen Of Spades (5:41) Aku Aku (2:57)

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 The Grand Illusion by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 187 ratings

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The Grand Illusion
Styx Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Styx haven't exactly been critical darlings, but that haven't made them less successful with the mainstream audience. Unfortunately this combination is often considered lethal for progressive and/or art rock bands, meaning that most prog fans consider Styx to be somewhat of a scape goat for the stigma that the label progressive rock has received over the years. Some of it might be justifiable but I honestly can't bring myself to hating this quintet! If anything, Styx have prolonged the U.S. market's love for art rock, thus completely ignoring all the 3 chord punk bands that became a staple of the late '70s Britannia pop culture!

Formed as early as in 1961(!) by twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo and their neighbor Dennis DeYoung, the band really took off in 1970 when guitarists John Curulewski and James "J.Y." Young finally completed the lineup. The Curulewski era (or at least that's the label I've decided to assign to the period of up until 1975) depicted a struggling hardworking band with an ambition to create and develop the American brand of progressive rock, not that far off from what Kansas were doing with their '70s material.

Unfortunately their ambitions where doomed from the get-go since Styx lacked the songwriting and virtuosity to be the adventurous prog band that they were so eagerly trying to achieve. Luckily they did manage to score a few minor hits back in their early days, where Lady was probably the biggest one of the bunch, which eventually got them to lighten up their sound and dip into art rock territory. The departure of John Curulewski, in 1975, and addition of Tommy Shaw, in 1976, sparked a creative spark within the band that would eventually lead them to becoming the well known band that they are today.

Even though my journey with Styx have so far only been merely 6 month short, I can definitely say that the post 1975 Styx have been all about the creative rivalry between Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw. With Grand Illusion (1977) and Pieces Of Eight (1978) being the height of this competitive rivalry where both DeYoung and Shaw were struggling to outdo each other both in the songwriting and their live performances. Both were putting their skills to good use and Grand Illusion is, in my opinion, the album where we definitely could see a draw between the two.

Dennis DeYoung penned title track, Castle Walls and especially the mega hit Come Sail Away are some of the band's most recognized compositions. Tommy Shaw penned Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) and Man In The Wilderness might not be as noteworthy in the commercial sense, but I happen to love them just as much as anything DeYoung had prepared for Grand Illusion! Shaw was clearly inspired by Kansas when he wrote Man In The Wilderness, which some might consider a ripoff but I can clearly hear that this is composition that could have never been written by Kerry Livgren due to it's complete lack of the traditional folk/country-inspired sound that Livgren featured in most of his suites.

There's really no reason for me to go further in my discussion of this album since most of the readers have probably already formed their opinion of these eight compositions in one way or another. All I can say is that I enjoy this album and consider it an important part of the U.S.-based prog scene of its time.

***** star songs: Come Sail Away (6:07) Man In The Wilderness (5:51)

**** star songs: The Grand Illusion (4:37) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (5:32) Superstars (3:55) Castle Walls (5:59)

*** star songs: Miss America (5:02) The Grand Finale (1:58)

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 Pieces of Eight  by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.63 | 151 ratings

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Pieces of Eight
Styx Prog Related

Review by maryes

4 stars "Pieces of Eight" along with "Equinox", "The Grand Illusion", "Cristal Ball" and "Paradise Theather", certainly is one of the best albuns from STYX ... and are fairly superior to their next album "Cornerstone". Bring in his set list some classic tunes from the band, as for instance: "The Great White Hope", "Lords of the Ring", "Renegade" and the great radio hit "Blue Collar Man" ( probably the most famous track from STYX after "Babe" from "Cornerstone" but totaly different (Babe is a very beautiful ballad and "Blue Collar Man" is a realy hard-prog).. However, the album reserves another great instrumental moments like in track 2 "I'm OK" with Tommy Shaw's great guitar solo (very expressive and full of feeling) , on the track 3 "Sing for the Day" where keyboards stand out and the midlle section in "Piieces of Eight" (starting at 2:31 until 3:05 min) before the first guitar solo. My rate is 4 stars !!! :

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