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Styx "The Mission" June 16

Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by AM Matt, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. AM Matt

    AM Matt Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Styx new album or CD "The Mission" out June 16 (their first new studio album since 2003 "Cyclorama"). Matt Clark Sanford, MI
     
  2. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Saw them in concert a few years ago. They put on a realy good show, although not as elaborate as their glory days.

    My friend Keith (a magician) opened the show for them. He sawed Tommy Shaw's wife in half during the act. It was cool.
     
  3. LPJim

    LPJim Well-Known Member Moderator

    This is good news. They've been touring a lot. Look forward to hearing new music from the current lineup.

    jB
     
  4. I dunno. Kinda scared. CYCLORAMA was a huge letdown for me. And BIG BANG THEORY? What the heck was that? Covers of hard rock anthems done in weird fashion. Maybe it's just me, but I just couldn't get into it.
    Of course, this isn't the same Styx we all knew and loved back in the 70s-80s. Don't get me wrong. I am willing to listen to new music and give it a chance. And if it's good, then it's good... even if it's done by a good cover band. They're just not anywhere near as good without Dennis DeYoung, IMHO.
     
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  5. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    That is one major reason I don't call the current band "Styx." It's a nostalgia band at this point, with only one founding member left (and with a major chip on his and Shaw's shoulders towards DeYoung--I mean seriously, it's about time they manned up and mended fences since this hatred is only happening on their side of the fence). Not that they can't make good music, but let's drop the Styx charade already. DeYoung was one of their major voices since the very first album. I'd rather see Dennis's gigs since his sound is more true to what Styx originally was.
     
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  6. Agreed, Rudy. I couldn't have said it better.
     
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  7. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Ditto Rudy
     
  8. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    To be honest, I'd have no issue if they would just call themselves the Shaw & Young Band, and keep on rockin' and playing the Styx songs in their own way. Plenty of other bands do that when they splinter apart, and there are plenty of solo artists (ummm, Paul McCartney perhaps? :wink: ) who play music from groups they were part of in the past.

    My only issue is calling that band "Styx," and the fact that Shaw and Young would rather carry a lifelong grudge than mend fences, even if they never worked with DeYoung in the future.

    It's kind of like the reverse thinking of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page recording together. They specifically avoided calling it Led Zeppelin since that took it to a whole different place. With Shaw and Young, calling it Styx raises expectations above and beyond just touring under their own names.
     
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  9. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Very true to me Styx is just not The Real Styx Without Dennis DeYoung he was truly the main voice of the group to me the original styx era ended in 1984 and their 1990 reunion with Show me the way was close enough to the original sound as well as Lady 95 but after DeYoung left for good I lost interest completely
     
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  10. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    The 1996 Return to Paradise reunion tour video is pretty good. It's too bad they couldn't have stuck together. My ex saw them in 1997--at the time, the Red Wings were playing in the Stanley Cup finals, and some had brought small battery-powered TVs with them to the gig. At the encore, the entire band came out in Red Wings jerseys. :D (I can't recall if that was the night they won the Cup, or just one of the games in the final series.)
     
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  11. I feel like I gave them more than a fair chance. I really did. I was on board with their 1999 album BRAVE NEW WORLD, where 2/3 of the material was Tommy & JY, 1/3 Dennis. Unfortunately, the cohesion of the band had been lost by that point, and it sounded like solo albums strung together. I remember thinking, "something is odd about this album". As a matter of fact, Dennis' songs actually sounded out of place compared with the rest of the album, and it's been rumored that even this was no accident. Whether they were conspiring to push him out of the band is not for me to say. At any rate, Dennis' material at least had the identifiable stylings of his songwriting approach, coupled with his ballad arrangements. And he sang background on Tommy & JY's material and played some of his signature keyboard wizardry. To at least some degree, it still sounded like 'Styx'.

    Fast forward to 2003. Dennis had been gone for quite some time by this point, so I expected CYCLORAMA to be different... and that alone would have been understandable. But the album just lacked in so many ways, and it seemed like the band had just sloppily thrown together the material and put it out (released on 2/18, Dennis' birthday) as a thumb-of-the-nose to Dennis. This was never more apparent than it was in the title "Doing Things My Way". Stupid humor on the end of the album, bizarre chord progressions within several tracks, and it just did not sound like 'Styx' at all. It was at that point that I finally gave up altogether. I never bought the BIG BANG THEORY album. Previewed most of the tracks on You Tube, was not impressed, and that's it.

    All of that being said, Dennis' 2009 album ONE HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW sounded awesomely more like the Styx of old... the sound that we all knew and loved back in the day.
     
  12. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    At least there is still SOME connection to the original Styx, and Tommy Shaw was in the band in its major heyday. That's better than the Little River Band.... those guys are touring with a group that has NONE of the members who were in the band during most of their hit-making era. The closest thing to an original member they have is Wayne Nelson, bass player, who didn't join until right at the tail end of their hit making days. They were the opening act for the Cheap Trick show we saw a few years ago. They sounded terrific, though, I had to admit.
     
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  13. True, but I'd wager that a current day LRB show would bring a lot closer and tighter performances of their original hits. I say this because I saw them in Metro Park in Jacksonville back in the late 90s and their performances were spot on. To my knowledge, they were all replacements at that point as well. And my attitude has changed over the years somewhat. I would much rather see the understudies of a band, or a completely separate cover band, who come out on stage and really bring it to the audience instead of the original or 'long term' members of a band who can't hit the notes anymore (I'm thinking of Bill Champlin and Jason Scheff, who each spent the better part of three decades in the group Chicago).
    As for the current lineup of Styx, I have no doubt that they can put on a decent show, worthy of a moderate ticket price. But it will never have the quality or finesse of what the former band had.
     
  14. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I saw the Paradise Theater tour in '81 I think it was.... as classic concerts go, it was the coolest thing I ever saw from a staging/showmanship standpoint, except maybe for the Kiss show which I saw in '77.
     
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  15. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    Maybe the difference is that bands like LRB are attempting to stay true to the original sound, whereas Shaw and Young are doing their own version of how they feel Styx should be. But they also suffer partly from the fact that most people in the live audience really want to hear the old 70s era hits, and not the new recordings--even if they made something really noteworthy, sadly, it would go unrecognized by many.

    The 1997 Styx tour is captured on video--it's a great "last hurrah" of the classic lineup (minus John Panozzo, who died the previous year). And if there was any animosity between them, it certainly isn't visible on tape. While it was the 25th anniversary tour for Grand Illusion, the concert is bookended with the opening and closing of the Paradise Theater album (as is the stage setup--it's like a grand reopening of the theater, so to speak).
     
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  16. jfiedler17

    jfiedler17 Active Member

    Well put, everyone! I myself was a hardcore Styx fan when I was a kid (it's one of the things that first attracted me to A&M in general) and still love their A&M-era albums (even Edge of the Century), but I've never been able to bring myself to buy one of the post-DeYoung albums. It's not Styx without him. If they had simply had the grace, as Rudy said, to continue as "The Shaw-Young Band" or something similar, I could still follow them. But it was Dennis, Chuck, and John who started the group together, so to still be calling it "Styx" at this point seems a bit obscene and crass, especially since, as you all said, Shaw and J.Y. seem to be doing more their version of what they want Styx to be rather than what made them big. They've not only done away with the softer elements of their sound that DeYoung brought to the table with ballads like "Lady," "Babe," etc., but they've also all but eliminated any trace of prog in their sound, either. It's like they just want to be known now as a straightforward hard-rock outfit akin to Foreigner or Bad Company. Which - no offense to those bands - was never what Styx was meant to be. I get that Shaw and J.Y. are rockers at heart and really resented the concept albums and the theatrical style that DeYoung brought to the table, but ... DeYoung knew better than anyone what the Styx brand was supposed to represent and he never steered the band wrong commercially the entire time the band was fully in his control, so it would have been more dignified for everyone all the way around if Shaw and J.Y. had gone off and done their own thing in the late '90s rather than wrestle the band away from Dennis. And the fact that the band, all these years later, are still holding this grudge against Dennis even though Dennis has said almost nothing but nice things about his former bandmates in interviews in the intervening years seems really ridiculous to me. But I get the feeling that, even if there weren't any hard feelings between them, they still wouldn't want to play with Dennis again, if just so they could avoid playing songs like "Babe," which I feel like Shaw and J.Y. both feel as if they're way too cool-for-school to be playing. Sure, it might not be a terribly hard-rocking song, but it was also the band's biggest hit - and their only Number One hit, in fact - and it's hard to like any band that intentionally regularly avoids playing their biggest hit at concerts simply because they themselves don't like it or are sick of playing it.

    As for the Little River Band, Nelson might be the only member from their commercial heyday still left in the band, but I feel like they've still aged with more dignity than Styx has. Not only have they avoided any ugly public battles between members or ex-members and refused to flood the market with an endless barrage of live albums, but as you said, they've stayed remarkably true to their old sound and identity even as the lineups have changed radically over time. Their latter-day (I believe it came out in 2013, but I might be off by a year) song "You Sleep, I'll Drive" - which you absolutely have to hear if you're a fan of the band - not only sounds just like the stuff they were putting out circa Time Exposure but is actually every bit as good, too. (The harmonies on that song kill me.)
     
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  17. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    The only thing that comes to mind is that "Styx" sells concert tickets. The name is a moneymaker. Dennis still markets his own shows with a byline such as "The Music of Styx." The problem with the general public is that they often don't recognize band members, but they do recognize the band entity.

    I doubt Dennis would tour with them anyway. He still has live shows, but they are infrequent. They are also not part of the early summer nostalgia circuit grind that all other old bands seem to do now, which must be tiring after a while.

    Even so, if the others disliked "Babe" that much, provided they were all together, why not turn it into a band break--Dennis could find a way to play it solo. From what I understand, it was sort of an accidental tune to begin with--Dennis recorded it for his wife, and only did it as a demo, with Chuck and John adding their parts. (There was some issue with the piano in the studio, so that is why it was performed on an available Fender Rhodes.) Never was intended for a Styx album until everyone started pestering him to release it as a single, including A&M.
     
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  18. The way I heard it was that Tommy and JY hated "Babe"... that is, until the single hit #1 and they knew it was a cash cow. "Money talks..."
    But I've also read where Lawrence Gowan specifically said that he did not feel comfortable singing the song, and that Tommy and JY agreed that they didn't have to perform it. Whether this is accurate or not is up in the air.
     
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  19. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    The Doobie Brothers avoid most of Michael McDonald's songs in concert, but there really is no bad blood between them anymore. McDonald will still make the occasional appearance for a couple of songs depending on the gig. And when I saw the Doobs, they played "Takin' It To The Street" but rather than Tom or Patrick taking lead, the other band members took turns at the vocals. Otherwise, they may feel it's better to have McDonald do his own tunes, rather than have them take a crack at it. They have such a rich catalog of songs, too, that they easily fill up nearly a two hour show with all the great songs. Many of their fans are there for the older tunes anyway, and it's hard to fault that since they made a lot of good music back in the day.
     
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  20. I agree with a lot of comments on here- it's too bad Tommy doesn't listen. He tries so hard to live in his fantasy world where Dennis doesn't matter. From the moment he orchestrated the coup and replaced Dennis (without telling anyone) to the removal of Dennis' name from the website, to the derogatory comments he made and his continuing refusal to work with Dennis, I have lost all respect for him. Tommy ousted the guy that without whom, it would be very unlikely that anybody would even know who Tommy is today. And did so with no respect for Dennis. In a nut shell- he wanted to be the leader of the band at all costs and run it his way. And so far I'm not impressed. I can't help but be sad, since it's hard to approach this release knowing what's missing and how it could have been better. I'll likely check it out and pretend it's a "Tommy Shaw Band" release, but s for me, it's not Styx without Dennis.
     
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  21. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Lego Master Model Builder Moderator

    Same is true for post-Hodgson Supertramp, IMO...

    --Mr Bill
     
  22. Agreed, for the most part. I really did like BROTHER WHERE YOU BOUND. But FREE AS A BIRD was hit or miss, mostly miss. And after that I just gave up on Supertramp altogether.
     
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