Huge THANKS to brother Mike Lebrain for sending me this kickin’ Styx album!
I like Styx. We grew up listening to the Dennis DeYoung stuff, of course, but I also grew up listening to A LOT of Gowan, so hearing Gowan perform with the other vocalists and the band Styx is the best of two worlds for me.
Overall, this concept album (about a mission to Mars in 2033 – prog rock in 2017! ) can be summed up by the word EPIC. The songs are huge, the production is huge, and you can just tell that a lot of thought and care went into every moment.
I loved Gone Gone Gone. I could play that full-tilt song anytime, anywhere. Hot damn. Hundred Million Miles From Home rocks and swings at the same time, Radio Silence is a full-on big rock mid-tempo beauty, The Greater Good is a beautiful huge ballad… ah hell, I don’t need to mention every song. Lemme sum it up like this: It’s a Styx album. It rocks, it’s beautiful, it’s powerful, it’s solid throughout. It stands on incredibly strong songs, cool ideas, and excellent music.
Damn, this thing is fantastic. Two thumbs way, way up.
I can keep my own input on this one short: this is, short of the later stuff with Gowan, pretty much most of the Styx songs I’d want to hear in any one sitting. Now, I know, their albums will have deep cuts that are stellar and I should probably have those too, but honestly, throwing this on as I worked away the other day was just right for me in the moment. I knew every song, hell, I knew most of the words.
And now, I will shamelessly use other people’s work to tell you things:
Lady was re-recorded for this compilation, and titled Lady ’95. According to Wiki, that session led to Styx reuniting. And there’s more:
Greatest Hits is a compilation album by the American rock band Styx. It was released by A&M Records on August 22, 1995. It contains 16 tracks, 8 of which were Billboard Top 10 Pop Singles, another 4 that were Billboard Top 40 Pop Singles, and 4 that received heavy airplay on FM album oriented rock stations.
This album essentially replaced Styx’s previous greatest hits album, Styx – Classics, Volume 15, which was released by A&M in 1987. That previous album had excluded the hit song Lady because the song was originally recorded for and released through Wooden Nickel Records (which also had a distribution arrangement with RCA Records). Because A&M/Polygram had been unable to secure distribution rights to the song, most of the classic lineup of Styx (Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, Chuck Panozzo and James J.Y. Young) reunited to re-record the track at Dennis’ home studio, The White Room. They were joined by uncredited session drummer Todd Sucherman, who filled in for John Panozzo due to Panozzo’s failing health; Sucherman joined the band permanently in 1996, during the Return to Paradise tour. The track, which is very similar to the original, was titled Lady ’95.
With the exception of Lady ’95, Styx – Greatest Hits features the original album versions of all the other songs included in the compilation. Come Sail Away is presented here in its full 6:05 version and Miss America is here in its original studio version (despite the CD’s packaging showing incorrect time listings for both tracks).
And the track list:
1. Lady ’95 – originally from @
2. The Best of Times #
3. Lorelei $
4. Too Much Time on My Hands #
5. Babe %
6. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) ^
7. Show Me the Way &
8. Renegade *
9. Come Sail Away ^
10. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) *
11. The Grand Illusion ^
12. Crystal Ball ~
13. Suite Madame Blue $
14. Miss America ^
15. Mr. Roboto +
16. Don’t Let It End +
Fantastic. A real nostalgia trip, and amazing how many songs I knew when I didn’t know the titles off the top of my head. Fantastic stuff, great band, cool comp. Win win win.
@ Styx II 1973
$ Equinox 1975
~ Crystal Ball 1976
^ The Grand Illusion 1977
* Pieces Of Eight 1978
% Cornerstone 1979
# Paradise Theater 1981
+ Kilroy Was Here 1983
& Edge Of The Century 1990