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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$5.69
$0.58 (used)
Grand IllusionGrand Illusion
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$0.50 (used)
Styx GoldStyx Gold
A&M Records 2004
Audio CD$11.69
$5.34 (used)
EquinoxEquinox
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$0.99 (used)
Paradise TheatreParadise Theatre
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$0.50 (used)
Crystal BallCrystal Ball
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$1.06 (used)
Pieces of EightPieces of Eight
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.81
$1.10 (used)
Complete Wooden Nickel RecordingsComplete Wooden Nickel Recordings
Remastered
Hip-O Records 2005
Audio CD$5.92
$4.95 (used)
CornerstoneCornerstone
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.80
$1.79 (used)
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STYX Kilroy Was Here CD Oct-1990 A&M (USA) Tommy Shaw Dennis DeYoung James Young USD $2.75 Buy It Now 9h 48m
STYX Pieces of Eight by Styx (CD, Oct-1990, A&M (USA)) USD $2.75 Buy It Now 9h 51m
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12h 26m
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LP cornerstone
STYX
~ USD $20.46


More places to buy STYX music online Buy STYX & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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STYX shows & tickets


  • Def Leppard + Styx + Tesla at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto on 14 Jul 2015
  • Rock USA 2015 on 15 Jul 2015
  • Def Leppard / Styx / Tesla on 17 Jul 2015
  • Def Leppard / Styx / Tesla on 23 Jul 2015
  • Def Leppard + Styx + Tesla at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs on 24 Jul 2015
  • Def Leppard + Styx + Tesla at Starlight Theatre, Kansas City MO on 11 Aug 2015
  • Def Leppard + Styx + Tesla at Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, CA on 22 Sep 2015
  • Def Leppard + Styx + Tesla at Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix on 23 Sep 2015

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)

2.74 | 81 ratings
Styx
1972
3.06 | 84 ratings
Styx II
1973
2.97 | 81 ratings
The Serpent Is Rising
1973
2.70 | 76 ratings
Man of Miracles
1974
3.46 | 131 ratings
Equinox
1975
3.15 | 120 ratings
Crystal Ball
1976
3.69 | 197 ratings
The Grand Illusion
1977
3.63 | 160 ratings
Pieces of Eight
1978
2.63 | 130 ratings
Cornerstone
1979
2.90 | 137 ratings
Paradise Theater
1981
2.08 | 108 ratings
Kilroy was Here
1983
2.71 | 51 ratings
Edge of the Century
1990
2.80 | 44 ratings
Brave New World
1999
3.25 | 40 ratings
Cyclorama
2003
3.31 | 40 ratings
Big Bang Theory
2005

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

3.71 | 31 ratings
Caught In The Act Live
1984
3.75 | 21 ratings
Return to Paradise
1997
2.17 | 5 ratings
Arch Allies - Live At Riverport
2000
3.91 | 7 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 | 11 ratings
Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland: One With Everything
2006
2.75 | 10 ratings
Caught In The Act: Live 1984
2007
3.67 | 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
2.84 | 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 | 1 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
3.15 | 120 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
3.46 | 131 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
2.97 | 81 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
3.15 | 120 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
3.06 | 84 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
2.74 | 81 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
2.74 | 81 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 | 130 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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 The Grand Illusion by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 197 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
2.71 | 51 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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Thanks to Iván_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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