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Styx Best of Styx album cover
2.64 | 12 ratings | 4 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. You Need Love (3:47)
2. Lady (2:58)
3. I'm Gonna Make You Feel It (2:23)
4. What Has Come Between Us (4:53)
5. Southern Woman (3:10)
6. Rock & Roll Feeling (3:02)
7. Winner Take All (3:10)
8. Best Thing (3:13)
9. Witch Wolf (3:57)
10. The Grove Of Eglantine (5:00)
11. Man Of Miracles (4:55)

Total Time: 40:28

Releases information

LP - RCA LP PL13116 (UK)
CD - RCA PCD1-3597

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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STYX Best of Styx ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STYX Best of Styx reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by daveconn
4 stars Best of the screechy Styx anyway, taking the Wooden Nickel albums and trying to pass it off as the coin of the realm. Of course, if they'd named it "Best of the early, crappy Styx albums that no one ever plays on the radio," it would have simply been one more early, crappy Styx album, and it's not. (I'm just kidding about the "crappy" thing, since I like the early stuff a lot, but the critical consensus outside of prog's quarter is that the early Styx albums were uneven and overly ambitious. I've read the same thing about the early Rush albums too. In my best Dr. Smith impression: Indeed!) The album does include one track familiar to radio listeners, "Lady," from the only early Styx album I'm really familiar with at the moment, Styx II. I always thought that was a good album, and so did compiler Bruce Somerfeld apparently, since he leads this record off with three tracks from the album. The good news is, having listened to Styx II, I can tell you that more surprises await you on that album. (It's always nice when a "Best Of" record doesn't blow the best bits on a one-time money shot.) The remaining selections from Styx (their debut), Serpent and Miracles are more equitable in placement, including the minor single "Best Thing" and such indelible slices of Styx as "The Grove of Eglantine." Styx wore their inspiration on their sleeve in the beginning, sometimes mixing their musical metaphors on the same song, such as "Winner Takes All," which references Yes and The Beatles. If Styx' story had ended here, they would have been little more than a pleasant footnote in prog's history, filed somewhere between Renaissance and Triumph. Instead, they took their music to a whole new level ("of confidence and power" the crickets sing) with recordings like The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight, which has banished the first chapter of Styx to the back of the book. Too bad, since in many ways these are the magical woods of Styx: dark and light with pleasant surprises and pitfalls for the casual traveler.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The best of Styx. . . before they made their best recordings

Dating from 1977, this album is Wooden Nickel/RCA's attempt to recoup some of their investment in Styx. The band originally signed to Wooden Nickel who were later bought over by RCA. Unfortunately for them Styx's greatest success came after they moved on to A&M records. Consequently this "Best of" draws its tracks only from the band's first four albums up to "Man of miracles" released in 1974. There is therefore no Tommy Shaw who would not arrive until 1976.

The tracks lack the sophisticated AOR feel of the later albums, being far more basic pop rock songs. Most were released as unsuccessful singles, which perhaps tells its own tale of the anonymity which tended to dominate their early work. There are some relative highlights such as the gentle "What has come between us" which features some striking harpsichord and organ. The song actually has fairly complex arrangement, with fine guitar work in the latter section. Most of the tracks though are clearly geared towards finding that elusive hit single, "Southern woman" for example could be by any one of a thousand bands.

"Winner take all" moves dangerously close to Bee Gees territory, John Curulewski clearly having had some sort of assistance reaching the high falsetto screams. "Best thing" from the first album was a very minor US hit. It is actually rather a creditable single, with good instrumentation, and a forward looking arrangement.

The track order is pretty random, although the songs from the first two albums are mainly on side one. This is presumably done to create a more satisfactory album. Since the tracks are all from the same mould, their album of origin is largely irrelevant.

Do not be misled by the album title here. To claim this is "The best of Styx" is at best economical with the truth (even in 1977). The album does however offer a decent way of sampling the band's early albums.

By the way, there seems to be some confusion about the original release date of this collection, as it has been re-released on several occasions. My LP copy is dated 1977, and has a different sleeve to the one shown here. It seems the sleeve colours were changed when the album, which was originally released by Wooden Nickel was re-released by RCA. The image is essentially the same, but without the cartoon colours, the hand being covered in gold plating.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Again, this compilation is a label-centric as it contains only those released under RCA label. But it could be understood because the release of the compilation was just after the band changed label to A&M. I knew Styx the first time from Man of Miracles album and explored other albums and found many great tracks as well. This compilation does not represent 100% of my taste even though some tracks are excellent. Man of Miracles is the best I love from this compilation because the song means a lot for me - it's my first introduction to the band. Of course I also love Southern Woman because it's from the same album even though the composition is nothing special.

Some people do not recognize Styx during this period, actually, but it's actually worth collecting on each individual album because the vintage sound is there and they all actually not bad album at all (see my reviews on early albums of Styx). At least, you can hear how Lady sounded from the original version. Most people know Lady from the re-recorded version. Actually, I would have expected Christopher Mr Christopher, A Day, Evil Eyes included here in this RCA compilation. The title of the compilation should be Styx under RCA. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Yet another compilation to avoid

Even without the recent reissue CD of "The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings", this "best-of" collection was dubious at best. Since the reissue, it is completely useless. The Wooden Nickel Records era included the first four albums released by Styx, all with their original guitarist John Curulewski. The band during this period was markedly different than the Tommy Shaw era band, though those who mistakenly write off the early era are missing out on some great stuff. The Styx of this era was a mixture of progressive rock, hard rock, and several other styles presented in interesting songs, the albums made more colorful by having three strong-willed songwriters with varied tastes.

The specific problem with this set is not the music itself, but as usual, the choices someone made on what to exclude. How could anyone call this set the best of the Wooden Nickel era? Missing is their debut epic "Movement for the Common Man," Curulewski's classic "A Day," "The Serpent is Rising," and DeYoung's classy "Golden Lark/Song for Suzanne." Not mention leaving off the plexiglass toilet song. C'mon Wooden Nickel, get with it! "Lady" was their big hit of this era and the album was basically a last ditch attempt of this label to capitalize on the superstar status the band reached in 1977, by which time they were at A&M.

Just ignore this one and find the complete CD reissue and you will have the best possible presentation of the formative early band.

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