8 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Styx came of age in the mid-to-late ‘70s with a sound rooted in progressive rock and a destiny determined by pop. Their expert musicianship ensured they could gracefully shift from basic ballad melodrama to the climactic and bombastic heights of the most messianic arena rock. Nowhere is that more apparent than in The Grand Illusion’s centerpiece “Come Sail Away,” where for six minutes the group scale the dynamic range from a whisper to a scream. While the band certainly needed radio hits to raise their visibility and, therefore, fund their meticulous recording concepts, the group was never just about scoring the quick single. Each of their albums has an artistic ambition to transcend their previous limits. Each band member was a perfectionist. Newcomer Tommy Shaw slots his guitarwork in lockstep with old-hand James Young. Together, they harmonize and trade off polished guitar showcases that substantially expand the soundstage for “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” “Superstars” and “Miss America,” raising the bar for all ‘70s mainstream rock acts.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Styx came of age in the mid-to-late ‘70s with a sound rooted in progressive rock and a destiny determined by pop. Their expert musicianship ensured they could gracefully shift from basic ballad melodrama to the climactic and bombastic heights of the most messianic arena rock. Nowhere is that more apparent than in The Grand Illusion’s centerpiece “Come Sail Away,” where for six minutes the group scale the dynamic range from a whisper to a scream. While the band certainly needed radio hits to raise their visibility and, therefore, fund their meticulous recording concepts, the group was never just about scoring the quick single. Each of their albums has an artistic ambition to transcend their previous limits. Each band member was a perfectionist. Newcomer Tommy Shaw slots his guitarwork in lockstep with old-hand James Young. Together, they harmonize and trade off polished guitar showcases that substantially expand the soundstage for “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” “Superstars” and “Miss America,” raising the bar for all ‘70s mainstream rock acts.

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