10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

According to frontman Dennis DeYoung, the concept behind Styx’s 1978 album Pieces of Eight is making one’s dreams a top priority over wealth and material possessions. Ironically, Pieces of Eight went triple-platinum, making the band members wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. James Young takes the mic on the opening “Great White Hope,” a galloping and energetic prog-pop hybrid with flawless five-part vocal harmonies and an orchestra of synths that sound like they were played by the cloned offspring of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson. “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” leans especially hard on Emerson’s style of heady synths and organ wizardry, contrasting such complexity with a super-charged workingman’s anthem loaded with grappling pop hooks. But it was the band’s youngest member, Tommy Shaw, who sang the album’s most popular cut. Over a backdrop of the album’s hardest-rocking arrangements, “Renegade” told the tale of a captured Old West outlaw who faces execution by hanging. Ever since 2001, the song has been given new life as theme music for the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense.

EDITORS’ NOTES

According to frontman Dennis DeYoung, the concept behind Styx’s 1978 album Pieces of Eight is making one’s dreams a top priority over wealth and material possessions. Ironically, Pieces of Eight went triple-platinum, making the band members wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. James Young takes the mic on the opening “Great White Hope,” a galloping and energetic prog-pop hybrid with flawless five-part vocal harmonies and an orchestra of synths that sound like they were played by the cloned offspring of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson. “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” leans especially hard on Emerson’s style of heady synths and organ wizardry, contrasting such complexity with a super-charged workingman’s anthem loaded with grappling pop hooks. But it was the band’s youngest member, Tommy Shaw, who sang the album’s most popular cut. Over a backdrop of the album’s hardest-rocking arrangements, “Renegade” told the tale of a captured Old West outlaw who faces execution by hanging. Ever since 2001, the song has been given new life as theme music for the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense.

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