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Crystal Ball

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Album Review

Crystal Ball wasn't as successful as Equinox, but it was a better album, showcasing Styx's increased skill for crafting simple, catchy pop hooks out of their bombastic sound.

Customer Reviews

A new level ...

Tommy Shaw's arrival is unmistakable and elevates the band, although Equinox was a very strong effort. Shaw writes Styx's most enduring music, still good 30 years later, and the tune Crystal Ball's soaring vocals and unfolding sound from soft to hard is unmatched in the Styx catalog. Not a weak cut. First four are excellent, Shooz rocks hard and then a soft but strong pair of offerings from Dennis DeYoung. Styx's second best album behind Grand Illusion.

Enter - Tommy Shaw

You've got to remember, this album is when Tommy Shaw first joined the group - extreme talent! He raised the band up to another level. The rest of the band was so impressed with Tommy's writing skills that they named the album after his song - "Crystal Ball". Not real big on the charts, but one of my favorites!

Gotta my opinion, Crystal Ball & Grand Illusion are Styx' best work

Before the overblown grandiosity and "concept" albums took over their sound, this little gem shines bright. Mademoiselle is my favorite Styx song of all, but the simple elegance of Crystal Ball carries the day. And, while far from top 10 radio material, the closing duet of This Old Man and Clair de Lune/Ballerina is touching, poignant and a beautiful end to this well crafted album. You gotta listen to Styx albums 12-15 time to really appreciate the craftsmanship. This one is worth the effort.


Formed: 1970 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although they began as an artsy prog rock band, Styx 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 Chuck and John Panozzo (who played bass and drums, respectively), as well as acquaintance Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards). By the dawn of the '70s, the group...
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