Sunday, December 03, 2006

Number 704 - Styx




Number 704

Styx

"Babe"

(1979)
.
.
Genre:Soft Rock
This song should please Gazza no end. Snicker. reminds me of the time with other groups like REO Speedwagon, Yes & Journey good times indeedy. Also pleased should be Adam Sandler, for i knoweth he loves Styx especially Mr Roboto. Now theres a classic!

Although they began as an artsy prog-rock band, would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late '70s and early '80s, due to a fondness for bombastic rockers and soaring power ballads. The seeds for the band were planted in another Chicago band during the late '60s, the Tradewinds, which featured brothers and (who played bass and drums, respectively), as well as acquaintance Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards). By the dawn of the '70s, the group had changed their name to TW4, and welcomed aboard a pair of guitarists/vocalists, James "JY" Young and -- securing a recording contract in 1972 with Wooden Nickel Records (a subsidiary of RCA). Soon after, the group opted to change their name once more, this time to , named after a river from Greek mythology that ran through the 'land of the dead' in the underworld.

Early on, 's music reflected such then-current prog rockers as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Moody Blues, as evidenced by such releases as 1972's self-titled debut, 1973's Styx II, 1974's The Serpent Is Rising, and 1975's Man of Miracles. While the albums (as well as non-stop touring) helped the group build a substantial following locally, failed to break through to the mainstream, until a track originally from their second album, "Lady" started to get substantial airplay in late '74 on the Chicago radio station WLS-FM.

The song was soon issued as a single nationwide, and quickly shot to number six on the singles chart, as Styx II was certified gold. By this time, however, the group had grown disenchanted with their record label, and opted to sign on with A&M for their fifth release overall, 1975's Equinox (their former label would issue countless compilations over the years, culled from tracks off their early releases). On the eve of the tour in support of the album, abruptly left the band, and was replaced by Tommy Shaw (sadly, would pass away from an aneurysm in 1988). Shaw proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Styx, as most of their subsequent releases throughout the late '70s earned at least platinum certification (1976's Crystal Ball, 1977's The Grand Illusion, 1978's Pieces of Eight, and 1979's Cornerstone), and spawned such hit singles and classic rock radio standards as "Come Sail Away," "Renegade," "Blue Collar Man," "Fooling Yourself," and the power ballad "Babe."

Despite the enormous success of "Babe," it caused tension within the group -- specifically between Shaw and DeYoung (the latter of which was the song's author), as the guitarist wanted to continue in a more hard rock-based direction, while DeYoung sought to pursue more melodic and theatrically-based works. This led to DeYoung being briefly ousted from the group (although it was kept completely hush-hush at the time), before a reconciliation was met. The band decided that their first release of the '80s would be a concept album, 1981's Paradise Theater, which was loosely based on the rise and fall of a once-beautiful theater (which was supposedly used as a metaphor for the state of the U.S. at the time -- the Iranian hostage situation, the Cold War, Reagan, etc.). Paradise Theater became 's biggest hit of their career (selling over three million copies in a three-year period), as they became one of the U.S. top rock acts due to such big hit singles as "Too Much Time on My Hands" and "The Best of Times." But the behind-the-scenes bickering only intensified in the wake of the album's success, as DeYoung was now convinced that a more theatrical approach was the future direction for Styx. Shaw and the rest of the group begrudgingly went along, and while the resulting follow-up was another hit, 1983's sci-fi based Kilroy Was Here (which told the story of a future where rock & roll was outlawed, almost a carbon copy of the story line of Rush's 2112), the album would eventually lead to the group's breakup -- as the ensuing prop-heavy tour seemed to focus more on scripted dialogue and lengthy films than good old rock & roll.

A re-recording of their early hit, "Lady" (titled "Lady" '95"), for a Greatest Hits compilation, finally united Shaw with his former bandmates, which led to a full-on reunion tour in 1996. But drummer fell seriously ill at the time (due to a long struggle with alcoholism), which prevented him from joining the proceedings -- as he passed away in July of the same year. Although grief-stricken, persevered with new drummer taking the place of , as the Styx reunion tour became a surprise sold-out success, resulting in the release of a live album/video, 1997's "Return to Paradise," while a whole new generation of rock fans were introduced to the grandiose sounds of Styx via a humorous car ad which used the track "Mr. Roboto," as well as songs used in such TV shows as South Park and Freaks & Geeks. The group even stuck around long enough to issue a new studio album, 1999's Brave New World, before friction between bandmembers set in once again. With the other members wanting to soldier on with further albums and tours, DeYoung was forced to take a break when he developed an uncommon viral ailment, which made the singer extremely sensitive to light. DeYoung was able to eventually overcome his disorder, but not before Shaw and Young opted to enlist new singer and issuing a pair of live releases in the early 21st century -- 2000's Arch Allies: Live at Riverport (split 50-50 between Styx and REO Speedwagon) and 2001's Styx World: Live 2001. DeYoung began touring as a solo artist at the same time, and eventually attempted to sue Shaw and Young over the use of the name Styx (the lawsuit was eventually settled in late 2001). Around the same time, confirmed rumors that he had contracted AIDS (but was battling the virus successfully), while the turbulent career of was told in an entertaining episode of VH1's Behind the Music.

In the spring of 2003, a new studio album featuring arrived in stores. For Cyclorama, Styx consisted of Shaw, Young, Burtnik, and Gowan. It also featured guest appearances from John Waite, Brian Wilson, and actor Billy Bob Thornton. By the end of the year, Burtnik was out of the band and replaced by former Bad English and Babys member Ricky Phillips, although did play with the group on select live dates. Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology from 2004 did an excellent job of representing the band's career in two CDs while 2005's double disc The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings collected the band's first four albums. That same year, the band recorded their picks from the "Great Rock Songbook" and released the cover version filled Big Bang Theory. ~ [Greg Prato]

What does Rolling Stone think about Styx?
Styx has always understood the value of a good hook and the guitar riff or vocal harmony to carry it: on their early LPs for Wooden Nickel, they recorded cover versions of Todd Rundgren's "Broke Down and Busted" and the Knickerbockers' protopunk raver, "Lies." Plenty of platinum later, the band still puts its music where the money is. "Babe" and "First Time" are both lush DeYoung ballads, the latter fortified by Styx' trademark harmonies and the Wagnerian fuzz of overdubbed electric guitars in the manner of their 1975 hit, "Lady." "Lights," enlivened by a bouncy beat and a hint of horns, boasts yet another hook on which you could hang your AM radio. And guitarist Tommy Shaw's exuberant "Never Say Never," a winning shot of pop & roll bolstered by a surprisingly aggressive beat, outshines the lot.Styx already has the hooks and harmonies to carry the day as the Midwest's hard-rock answer to Abba. The rest is just a grand illusion. (RS 306)

Never expect Rolling Stone saying something nice without at least firing a cynical parting shot

Crowbarreds choice for Website to find more on Styx ... Click on the address http://www.styxcollector.com/

Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Its hard enough reviewing an album of theirs) and the Album ranked at Number (And as for Mr Roboto.. you can ...CENSORED)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 68.4 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

underlay trademe

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