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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$6.94
$0.25 (used)
Grand IllusionGrand Illusion
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.79
$0.28 (used)
Pieces of EightPieces of Eight
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.83
$0.94 (used)
Paradise TheatreParadise Theatre
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.80
$0.90 (used)
Styx GoldStyx Gold
A&M Records 2004
Audio CD$8.80
$5.37 (used)
EquinoxEquinox
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.79
$0.18 (used)
Complete Wooden Nickel RecordingsComplete Wooden Nickel Recordings
Remastered
Hip-O Records 2005
Audio CD$5.78
$6.51 (used)
CornerstoneCornerstone
A&M 1990
Audio CD$1.89
$0.81 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
STYX "Kilroy Was Here" 1983 A&M Record Vinyl Album LP USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Edge of the Century by Styx (CD, Oct-1990, A&M (USA)) USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1h 42m
STYX - PIECES OF EIGHT - 1978 - VINYL LP - A&M RECORDS USD $0.99 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Styx - Cornerstone - Vinyl LP Record Album USD $2.99 [0 bids]
1h 49m
Greatest Hits by Styx (CD, Aug-1995, A&M (USA)) digitally remastered like new USD $6.99 [0 bids]
1h 52m
Artist Collection - 3 DISC SET - Styx (2012, CD New) USD $29.98 Buy It Now 1h 58m
DENNIS DE YOUNG-AND THE MUSIC OF STYX LIVE IN... -JAPAN DVD+ 2CD BONUS TRACK Q06 USD $73.50 Buy It Now 2h 9m
STYX - PARADISE THEATRE CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2h 21m
Styx: Paradise Theatre USD $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 31m
DENNIS DE YOUNG-AND THE MUSIC OF STYX LIVE IN LOS ANGELES-JAPAN BLU-RAY M65 USD $54.99 Buy It Now 2h 33m
The Heart Of Rock - Styx + Various Other Artists (Cassette 1982, K-Tel) in NM USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 33m
BOSTON Japan 2Title mini lp CD with Obi 1st Pressing set STYX JOURNEY KANSAS AOR USD $79.80 Buy It Now 2h 38m
Styx/PARADISE THEATER/CD/Mint/NEW/SS/1980 USD $13.99 [0 bids]
USD $18.19 Buy It Now
2h 40m
DENNIS DE YOUNG-AND THE MUSIC OF STYX LIVE IN LOS ANGELES-JAPAN DVD K03 USD $44.50 Buy It Now 2h 45m
DENNIS DE YOUNG-AND THE MUSIC OF STYX LIVE...-JAPAN BLU-RAY+ 2CD BONUS TRACK S69 USD $83.99 Buy It Now 2h 49m
Classics, Vol. 15 by Styx (CD, Oct-1990, A&M (USA) USD $6.00 Buy It Now 2h 53m
MAXELL LP Poco~Styx~Outlaws~Gordon 1980 USD $7.96 Buy It Now 2h 54m
2014 STYX PARADISE THEATRE HR CUTTING JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD USD $32.00 Buy It Now 3h 7m
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL:LOVE & INSPIRATION CD 1998 CHICAGO BREAD STYX NILSSON USD $5.95 Buy It Now 3h 16m
DENNIS DE YOUNG-AND THE MUSIC OF STYX LIVE IN... -JAPAN 2 CD BONUS TRACK G88 zd USD $30.99 Buy It Now 3h 21m
The History of love 3-disc CD NEW digipak Honeydrippers Mathis Styx Ballamy Gaye USD $28.72 Buy It Now 3h 23m
STYX RADIO SPECIAL A&M BOX 3 LP PROMO WHITE LABELS MINT USD $99.99 Buy It Now 4h 7m
Return to Paradise by Styx (CD, Apr-1997, 2 Discs, CMC) Hard Rock, Rock USD $1.25 [1 bids]
4h 42m
STYX - Caught In The Act ~ 2 x VINYL LP + POSTER USD $18.86 Buy It Now 5h 7m
STYX-Grand Illusion JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI Boston Kansas Journey TOTO Genesis USD $49.99 Buy It Now 5h 17m
STYX-Crystal Ball JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI Boston Kansas Journey TOTO Night Ranger USD $39.99 Buy It Now 5h 17m
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40 STYX "PARADISE THEATRE" ALBUM ADVERT 14X11" USD $18.88 Buy It Now 5h 21m
Styx II, Styx, Good USD $21.97 Buy It Now 5h 21m
STARCASTLE Citadel JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI Yes Rush Kansas Styx Dream Theater USD $59.99 Buy It Now 5h 22m
STYX Big Bang Theory (Official 2005 US UMe label 14-track promo/SECURITY CD) USD $9.00 Buy It Now 5h 28m
American Dreams Vol 1-Best of the 70's CD. Looks hardly played. Styx. Parton. USD $2.36 Buy It Now 5h 33m
STYX / PIECES OF EIGHT LP w/OBI Insert Gatefold Orig JAPAN ISSUE USD $22.99 Buy It Now 6h 10m
STYX PARADISE THEATRE HR CUTTING JAPAN MINI LP PLATINUM SHM CD USD $46.80 Buy It Now 6h 20m
Glen Burtnick - Heroes & Zeros LP 1987 A&M Styx Southside Johnny Bruce Hornsby USD $10.22 Buy It Now 6h 55m
STYX PARADISE THEATRE JAPAN MINI LP SHM SACD USD $52.80 Buy It Now 7h 15m
Styx - Extended Versions CD COLLECTABLES RECORDS USD $10.79 Buy It Now 7h 32m
STYX/38 SPECIAL MUSIC TIME/BACK WHERE YOU BELONG 12" PROMO ONLY WITH 1 ARTIST ON USD $50.33 Buy It Now 8h 4m
STYX SHOW ME THE WAY 12" P/S WITH BACK TO CHICAGO + DON'T LET IT END UK USD $15.73 Buy It Now 8h 16m
STYX Fooling Yourself 7" B/w The Grand Finale Pic Sleeve ITALIAN A USD $8.24 Buy It Now 8h 22m
STYX Blue Collar Man 7" Promo B/w Superstars Has Radio Station Writing On Label USD $8.24 Buy It Now 8h 22m
STYX Lady 7" B/w Children Of The Land Short Version US Rca 1973 USD $8.24 Buy It Now 8h 22m
STYX Rockin' The Paradise 7" Promo B/w Snowblind UK A&m 1981 USD $8.24 Buy It Now 8h 22m
STYX Boat On The River 7" B/w Borrowed Time Pic Sleeve DUTCH A&m 1980 USD $16.52 Buy It Now 8h 22m
STYX Too Much Time On My Hands 7" Promo B/w Queen Of Spades UK A USD $8.24 Buy It Now 8h 22m
STYX Borrowed Time 7" B/w Eddie US A&m 1979 USD $8.24 Buy It Now 8h 22m
STYX Don't Let It End 7" B/w Rockin' The Paradise Pic Sleeve DUTCH A USD $8.24 Buy It Now 8h 22m
Styx - Millennium Collection (Digi) (2007) - Used - Compact Disc USD $2.02 Buy It Now 8h 36m
STYX RENEGADE 12" 1979 WITH SING FOR THE DAY UK USD $12.58 Buy It Now 8h 43m
Styx-Crystal Ball- plus free UK post USD $16.52 Buy It Now 8h 57m
STYX LOVE IS THE RITUAL 12" P/S WITH HOMEWRECKER + BABE UK USD $15.73 Buy It Now 8h 58m
STYX LOVE IS THE RITUAL(W/L) 12" WHITE LABEL TEST PRESSING WITH P/S WITH HOMEWRE USD $18.88 Buy It Now 9h 3m
LP STYX THE GRAND ILLUSION **EXC VINYL** 2 USD $10.99 Buy It Now 9h 12m
Paradise Theater by Styx (CD, Oct-1990, A&M (USA)) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 9h 20m
STYX WITH THE CYO - ONE WITH EVERYTHING [LIVE IN CLEVELAND] 2006 SEALED DVD USD $8.21 Buy It Now 9h 26m
Icon:styx - Styx New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping USD $17.82 Buy It Now 9h 30m
STYX: Pieces of Eight (SP 4724) (A&M-1978) VG+/VG USD $6.75 Buy It Now 9h 43m
STYX LOVE IS THE RITUAL 12" PIC DISC IN PRINTED PVC COVER UK USD $18.88 Buy It Now 9h 45m
STYX PARADISE THEATER excelent RARE LP ISRAEL USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 53m
STYX - THE BEST OF TIMES: THE BEST OF STYX - NEW CD USD $5.70 Buy It Now 9h 56m
STYX BLUE COLLAR MAN 12" G/FOLD P/S UK USD $15.73 Buy It Now 9h 59m
Styx Paradise Theater LP Rare Album was" Etched" #SP3719A AM Recording USD $4.99 Buy It Now 10h 8m
Styx(Vinyl LP)Cornerstone-A & M-AMLK 63711-UK-VG/VG USD $10.99 Buy It Now 10h 13m
STYX LOVE IS THE RITUAL 12" PROMO + PRESS RELEASE UK USD $15.73 Buy It Now 10h 15m
2 LP Lot Styx "Equinox" & David Lee Roth "Eat Em And Smile" USD $13.99 Buy It Now 10h 19m
NM 1977 Classic Vinyl Lp! STYX~THE GRAND ILLUSION ~ WITH Lyrics Sleeve USD $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 36m
Styx Cornerstone 1st Sterling 1979 A&M Analog Press ULTRASONIC CLEAN USD $17.50 Buy It Now 10h 54m
Styx Kilroy Was Here 1983 QUIEX 1st Sterling TJ ARCHIVE MASTER Ultrasonic CLEAN USD $39.00 Buy It Now 10h 54m
STYX Kilroy Was Here CD BRAND NEW USD $16.38 Buy It Now 11h 9m
Styx Pieces of Eight 1st Sterling Ted Jensen A&M Analog Press ULTRASONIC CLEAN USD $17.50 Buy It Now 11h 10m
Styx ?- Kilroy Was Here LP GATEFOLD GREEK PRESSING 1983 USD $10.19 Buy It Now 11h 24m
LP STYX CORNERSTONE **EXC VINYL** 245 USD $10.99 Buy It Now 11h 27m
STYX GRAND ILLUSION 12" SPECIAL RADIO DISC 33/3 RPM PROMO FROM 1977(SAME ON BOTH USD $26.74 Buy It Now 11h 40m
lot of 6 Classic Rock Records Albums, The Firm, Styx, Night Ranger, T. Dolby.. USD $13.25 [0 bids]
USD $20.00 Buy It Now
11h 41m
Lot of 6 Rock Record Albums LP Styx Loverboy Little River Band Jeff. Starship.. USD $7.99 [0 bids]
USD $15.00 Buy It Now
11h 41m
Styx Paradise Theater Etched LP 1st 1980 Sterling Press ULTRASONIC CLEAN USD $12.50 Buy It Now 11h 43m
American Rock Band Styx Ferryman Live Tour 2014 BA4 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL Size USD $16.55 Buy It Now 11h 48m
American Rock Band Styx Ferryman Live Tour 2014 BA2 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL Size USD $16.55 Buy It Now 11h 48m
American Rock Band Styx Ferryman Live Tour 2014 BA3 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL Size USD $16.55 Buy It Now 11h 48m
American Rock Band Styx Ferryman Live Tour 2014 BA5 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL Size USD $16.55 Buy It Now 11h 48m
American Rock Band Styx Ferryman Live Tour 2014 BA1 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL Size USD $16.55 Buy It Now 11h 48m
STYX Cornerstone 180g VINYL LP NEW/SEALED USD $22.99 Buy It Now 11h 53m
Greatest Hits, Pt. 2 by Styx (CD, Jun-1996, A&M (USA)) USD $5.79 Buy It Now 12h 10m
STYX II 1973 Wooden Nickel LP WNS-1012 EX USD $1.00 [0 bids]
USD $1.99 Buy It Now
12h 29m
STYX DENNIS DeYOUNG "DESERT MOON" / "GRAVITY" 7" PICTURE SLEEVE 45 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 12h 38m
Cassette Tape Lot Styx Scorpions Springsteen Aerosmith Airsupply Beach Boys Cars USD $25.00 Buy It Now 12h 53m
ELP / Doors / Shocking Blue / Styx / Bob Marley - RARE Israeli Israel Only 3xLP USD $18.74 Buy It Now 13h 7m
Styx Renegade / Sing For The Day 45 NM 1978 2110-S USD $7.95 Buy It Now 13h 21m
Styx: Cornerstone ~ cassette tape ~ 2b USD $1.00 Buy It Now 14h 4m
Styx record album The Grand Illusion XF USD $12.50 Buy It Now 14h 7m
Sinister - Diabolical Summoning / Cross The Styx - Digipak Death Metal USD $14.99 [0 bids]
14h 24m
Styx The Grand Illusion LP USD $6.00 [0 bids]
USD $8.00 Buy It Now
14h 24m
STYX CLASSICS VOL.15 A&M RECORDS 25TH ANNIVERSARY CD USD $1.99 [0 bids]
USD $3.99 Buy It Now
14h 26m
1983 STYX Don't Let It End 45 SINGLE MONARCH RECORDS PROMO USD $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 28m
Styx - Pieces Of Eight -- NM Condition USD $15.99 [0 bids]
14h 29m
1983 STYX High Time 45 SINGLE A&M RECORDS PROMO USD $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 37m
styx kilroy soundtrack USD $8.00 Buy It Now 14h 38m
STYX - BABE / THE BEST OF TIMES - OLD GOLD 7" USD $4.70 Buy It Now 14h 40m
Styx - Cornerstone - NM Condition USD $15.99 [0 bids]
14h 52m
@ CD Dennis DeYoung - Desert Moon AOR STYX / A&M RECORDS 1984 ORG RARE USD $24.99 Buy It Now 15h
LP cornerstone ~ USD $23.45


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STYX shows & tickets


  • Styx at Belly Up Aspen, Aspen, CO on 15 Jan 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)

2.80 | 82 ratings
Styx
1972
3.12 | 83 ratings
Styx II
1973
2.98 | 80 ratings
The Serpent Is Rising
1973
2.71 | 75 ratings
Man of Miracles
1974
3.48 | 127 ratings
Equinox
1975
3.10 | 116 ratings
Crystal Ball
1976
3.69 | 192 ratings
The Grand Illusion
1977
3.64 | 155 ratings
Pieces of Eight
1978
2.63 | 126 ratings
Cornerstone
1979
2.89 | 134 ratings
Paradise Theater
1981
2.08 | 104 ratings
Kilroy was Here
1983
2.70 | 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
 The Serpent Is Rising   by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.98 | 80 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 | 116 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
3.12 | 83 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
2.80 | 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
2.80 | 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 | 126 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 | 192 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
2.70 | 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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 Kilroy was Here by STYX album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.08 | 104 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 | 134 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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