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Styx album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MikeInFla, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. Best Thing and Fanfare / Mother Nature's Matinee are the two standout tracks that make my Best of WoodenNickel comp.
     
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  2. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    One other thing I want to note while we’re at “the beginning”: how is it that there are no pre-Styx bootleg recordings? I recently re-watched their infamous Behind The Music show, and there are some musical bits there I don’t recognize. Are those early TW4 recordings?

    I used to seek them out, without ever finding them, unless some have recently appeared. It’s pretty unusual for a band with their level of success to have virtually no outtakes or alternate recordings that ever made it into the world. I’d certainly love to hear pre-1972 stuff, even if it’s all cover versions, but it just doesn’t seem like it ever got booted...
     
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  3. Schmeig

    Schmeig Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    Styx II was one of my earliest album purchases which I bought in the year of release having heard “Lady” on the radio. There was some nod to progressive rock on it with the instrumentation and spacey effects ( A Day, for example) that initially drew me in. I only have II, Equinox, Crystal Ball, The Grand Illusion and Paradise Theater and each only on LP. I sort of lost interest after Grand Illusion and Paradise Theater was a gift but I liked it well enough.

    After hearing Styx II, a good friend liked them bought the first, third and fourth albums. We listened to tapes I made of these driving around. I don’t have much recollection of these albums anymore but who can forget that absurd Plexiglas Toilet song?

    I look forward to reading posts on this thread.
     
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  4. redfloatboat

    redfloatboat Forum Resident

    Styx II is the only Styx album i have, i love it and imo it's their highlight in their career.
     
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  5. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
  6. jmcecil

    jmcecil Analog Jitter

    Yeah, and that's even with the fact that I don't like Lady very much. You need Love and A Day on side one and Father OSA and I'm gonna make you feel it make up for the weaker Earl of Roseland and Next Time You Better Ask. A Day is probably my favorite Styx song. I like some the stuff between there and Pieces of Eight, but nothing really stood out. And they totally lost me after that.
     
  7. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Senior Member

    Location:
    Long Island
    Looking forward to jumping in on this thread! I'm a fan of the band but I haven't listened to those earlier albums in years. Now I have no excuse lol!!! I pretty much play Grand Illusion through Kilroy pretty regularly but the albums before and after that not so much. The Mission got a lot of play around my house and I think its a very soled return to form. Good surround mix too! I remember being really excited when Edge of the Century came out but again, its been awhile since I listened to anything but the singles off of it.
     
  8. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    The Wooden Nickel era is pretty hit or miss for me, often more miss than hit, but there are some standouts in there. The debut feels pretty spotty, but I do like Best Thing quite a bit. I don't mind early material by these old bands sounding raw when it comes to the mix, as it can add to the charm, but in the case of this early Styx material, it's a bit of detriment. I will have a lot more to say once we get to Equinox.
     
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  9. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Senior Member

    Location:
    Long Island
    Just finished listening to Styx 1 in quite a few years.

    Movement For the Common Man-Great opening riff!! Love the organ on this one. That Panozzo rhythm section is cooking pretty good! The lesser production values do the drums and John Panozzo a service in my opinion. Its nice to hear his playing not sound so "safe". JY's vocals are nice and raw while Dennis sounds great as usual. That first moment where he comes in on the backgrounds it is like ahh.....there's that Styx sound!! Some cool guitar licks. The spoken word bit reminds me A LOT of the narration on the Savatage album Streets.

    Right Away- Definitely a bit of a southern rock tinge on this song...and I like it! It's not overly complex but the chorus melody sticks with you. The solo by Curulewski is nice.

    What Has Come Between Us- I really like the vocal harmonies throughout this song.

    Best Thing-Not a bad song but it certainly doesn't scream single to me.

    Quick is the Beat of My Heart-I dig the music on this one but JY's singing is a little clunky on this one for me. The vocal phrasing is a little off here and there. I do like the breakdown between the guitar and keyboard in the middle bit....which leads into a pretty raucous guitar solo.

    After You Leave Me- A decent melody but while I like JY's voice, it grows a bit tiresome when he sings a majority of the album.
     
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  10. mr.dave

    mr.dave Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I like Styx, but honestly, I expect the opposite (no pun intended :)). As for the Debut, I cannot contribute much. Picked it up on vinyl a couple of years to complete the collection, but neither being a fan of the cover, nor the music.

    For the Wooden Nickel Period, I prefer Styx 2 followed by Man of Miracles. The rest didn't stick into my mind.
    So I'll chime in later...

    :D
     
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  11. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Yep! Think back to 1987 or so. Music styles were changing. What if someone in 1987 told you "Between 2020 and 2021 Dennis will release 2 solo albums and Styx will release an LP and an EP". You wouldn't believe it. I always thought they were done after "Caught In The Act" and even my own musical tastes were changing to the heavier sounds of metal bands (but I still loved Styx and 70's AOR).

    JY gets a lot of flack for his vocals when he is actually the anchor to their harmonies. I did not realize this until I listened to his solo albums in the late 80's. His backing vocals on those solo records have "that" sound (while all of the solo songs on his albums aren't great that sound is there).
     
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  12. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Honestly if you didn't like it then I doubt you will like it now. But if you give it a shot skip around. Listen to AD 1928/Rockin The Paradise, Snowblind & Half Penny, Two Penny followed by the outro. If you like those 3 songs the rest of the album might be worth investigating.
    As far as I know, no. None exist. If they do Dennis or JY has them but I suspect Bill Traut has them somewhere. I haven't seen Behind The Music in a long time so I don't remember the music used but I doubt it was TW4 tracks. But I will do some investigating and see what I can find out!
     
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  13. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Some Wooden Nickel era photos
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    And if you notice in this old poster/flyer JY is front and center. So maybe Wooden Nickel felt he was the breakout player in the band.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. redfloatboat

    redfloatboat Forum Resident

    I do have probably around 10 other Styx tracks from albums up til Pieces of Eight too. My favourite track of the band, apart from Styx II songs, is Put Me On. It's great!

    I remember going to a burger shop at the time of Lady being a single. A mate and myself were a little worse for wear, we ordered some burgers and i went over to the jukebox. I saw Lady, so i decided to put the flip-side on instead. When i heard You Need Love, i thought i'd better check this band out next time i'm in a record shop. Then over the next few years i'd automatically buy whatever new Styx album was just released. Lost interest after Pieces of Eight.
    De Young always seemed more of a musical theatre actor, than a rock n roller.
     
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  16. Karn Evil 9

    Karn Evil 9 Black Labs Matter

    Location:
    Alachua, FL
    I definitely remember Snowblind. I liked that one. Great lyrics. I remember Rockin' the Paradise, also. Both got a good bit of airplay back in the day.
     
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  17. Wil1972

    Wil1972 'Nader Dodgin' Champ

    Location:
    Alabama
    I'll try to participate here. Styx is an interesting band. My wife is the super fan, so I have all their records because of her.
    I haven't listened to the debut in some time but "Best Thing" is, well, the best thing here (couldn't resist!). I keep it in my Styx playlist. "Movement" is the only other track here I remember having much interest in because the rest of the album seemed to be occupied by cover songs. The band don't sound very enthused either on those covers. I think "Movement" had potential; I'm not a fan of the street chatter part. I'll have to revisit this one. But for me Styx II is where the journey really begins.

    My rating for Styx: 4/10
     
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  18. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Location:
    wales
    I reckon it might be worth a revisit. Even though I would rate it as the band's weakest record, I do think there are some genuinely interesting songs on it, even beyond the opening epic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  19. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    Aside from the KISS thread we did, I've been horrible at sticking with these threads, but I'll try to post some in this one, as I like Styx a lot--they're one of my top 250 artists (out of literally more than 10,000 I have roughly ranked).

    Re the first album, it always bummed me out that at least some members of the band were so dismissive of it--and I'm particularly thinking of a Dennis DeYoung interview I read recently. I think it's a great album overall. In particular, I think that the cover tunes were well-chosen. They're good tunes, the band does a fantastic job with them, and contra DeYoung's opinion, I think they fit the band well. My only constructive criticism would be that "Movement for the Common Man" could have been developed a bit more so that the whole flows better, but I still enjoy that track quite a bit, and I love the album overall. "Best Thing" and "Right Away" are great tunes, too. I can understand DeYoung's reservations about the band filling half of their debut with cover tunes that they were barely familiar with, but the final result was very positive.

    Re the album artwork, although I prefer the original covers (aside from Styx II--the original cover there is rather ugly in my opinion), I've always liked those alternate covers for the first four albums that came out in the late 70s/early 80s.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  20. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    Hard to tell from that photo, but did John Panozzo play left-handed at some point, or was he just goofing around and experimenting with setting up his toms backwards?
     
  21. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    No idea, good eye I didn't notice that. (And now the images are not showing for me).
     
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  22. sbsugar

    sbsugar Representing Benton County since 2010

    Like a lot of you, I had to listen to this album to re-familiarize myself with it. Some initial thoughts:

    Movement For The Common Man (4/10) Seems very cluttered and unfocused. The concept was interesting, but the execution was not.
    Right Away (7.5/10) I had totally forgotten about this tune! Nice harmony work by the guys.
    What Has Come Between Us (2/10) Does nothing for me, seemed to go on forever.
    Best Thing (7/10) A good indicator of things to come.
    Quick Is the Beat of My Heart (5/10) Inoffensive filler.
    After You Leave Me (6/10) Strong finish to the album.

    Overall, I think Dennis DeYoung was right when he said that they should have made 1 great album out of the first 2 Wooden Nickel releases. As many have stated, there is a LOT more JY than I remember, and his lead vocals have always been an acquired taste for me. But you see glimpses of what was to come in the future, and everyone has to start somewhere.

    Thanks for starting this thread. I am a huge Styx fan and I look forward to the ongoing discussion.

    NJB
     
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  23. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    So I was gonna see if I would be able to track down Bill Traut and ask if there were any TW4 demos. Looks like I am several years too late as he passed away in 2014. I had no idea.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  24. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Yeah, I’m not seeing the images, either. Fwiw, I always use Imgur.com if posting my “own” images. Unlike some other image hosting sites, their links stay active forever.

    Bummer about Traut...
     
  25. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    I just copied and pasted those from a fan website. Odd they are not showing now.

    You can view them and more photos here Styxtoury.com

    I did some looking around and while we are still on the first album, I found out that The George Clinton Band recorded "After You Leave Me" in 1974. There are no audio clips out there at all.

    George Clinton – The George Clinton Band Arrives (1974, Pitman Press, Vinyl)

    No digital files either and it isn't on Spotify. Several other tracks from that album are on YouTube but not "After You Leave Me".
     
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