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Kilroy Was Here

Styx

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Album Review

Although Dennis De Young's concept about man being replaced by robots in the near future failed to get off the ground, Kilroy Was Here still harbored two of the band's best singles. "Don't Let It End" almost captures the same endearing qualities as their number one hit, "Babe," did four years earlier, peaking at number six, and the synthesized novelty of "Mr. Roboto" went all the way to number three, accompanied by a lively and rather extravagant Dennis De Young at the helm. It was the song's mechanically spoken chorus and slight disco beat that made it Styx's fifth Top Ten single up to that point, overshadowing the rest of the album's tracks. Pretentious, weakly composed, and rhythmically anemic, songs like "Cold War," "Heavy Metal Poisoning," and "Double Life" couldn't even keep the album's main idea interesting, solidifying the fact that Styx's forte was singles, not conceptual pieces. The saxophone playing from Steve Eison gathers some redemption, cropping up here and there, but even some decent guitar work from Shaw and Young can't save the rest of the album. Brought back to life in the late '90s in an automobile commercial, "Mr. Roboto" gained somewhat of a minor resurgence more than 15 years after its chart life.

Customer Reviews

Pure Dennis

Concept albums are generally love 'em or hate 'em, not much middle ground. That's probably why this album generates more negative reviews than any other Styx album. Forget the reviews though, this really is a good record. Dennis DeYoung had been leaning towards theatre style productions with earlier Styx efforts and with this he completed the circle so to speak. The story is no masterpiece for sure, but it works. Tommy and JY may have opposed writing to the concept, but they contribute great songs nonetheless. I have always thought it odd that Mr Roboto was the lead off single. It doesn't make a lot of sense if you haven't read the story or listened to the rest of the album, but takes on a new meaning once you read the story. This album is a must have for DeYoung fans. One of these days Dennis will win an Oscar for the soundtrack to a Disney film and it all started here.

superby crafted opera of high moral fiber

It's the darkhorse in my music collection, but I love it, love it, love it. It's not so much a concept album but a rock opera - and a rock opera about sex, drugs and rock n' roll. Some might say cheesy and campy, but dismiss all that and just enjoy the experience of being whisked away to a magical rock soundscape where strange characters emerge to steal your rockin' freedom - and then when you've lost all hope Kilroy comes on by and gets you riled up to crack some oppressive skulls. I've always fantasized about showing up at some random rock concert and seeing a band cover this album in its entirety - including l.e.d. laden robot mask costumes.

Love Styx!!

This was the first album that I ever bought with my own $$$, way back in 1983. Cool album, if you like this album, check out Brave New World.

Biography

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...
Full Bio

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