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City Slicker (With Jan Hammer)

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Album Review

Towering Styx axe-man James Young hits the streets solo, following the leads of former cohorts Tommy Shaw and Dennis DeYoung. During the heady height of the Chicago platinum pomp band, Young was really only good for one song per record, and in most cases that cut was a keeper ("Miss America," "Snowblind"). First time alone, Young wisely gets help from moral booster Jan Hammer, whose consummate keyboard skills guided guitar-first giants like Tommy Bolin, Jeff Beck, and Neal Schon. The resulting collaboration contains some cool moments, such as radio track "Give Me Something to Remember You By" and quasi-classic Bolin reference "Wild Dogs in the Night." City Slicker might have made waves if someone heard it, but the album promptly disappeared, along with Young, who resurfaced in Styx and released another solo work almost ten years later. Young also teamed with admirers Enuff Z'Nuff in the 90s.

Customer Reviews

City Slickers rocks

I bought this album when it was first released back in the late 80's. It was great then and even better now. James Young has a very unique sound and his raw vocals and high backgrounds makes this album jam. He later tamed down his solo works with the James Young Group. Prisoner of War has great guitars and waiting is such a mellow ballad. His vocals power comes through in Still Feel Your Love. If you like JY, you should get this album.

Title track missing

Looks like the title track is missing. I bought this on LP when it was first released. It's ok but the miami vice sounding drum machine used by Jam Hammer sounds dated. Stand out songs are Something To Remember You By, Wild Dogs & Runnin' Outta Time. The rest are just filler although I enjoy the ballad Waiting. Prisoner Of War never should've made the cut it is not a very good song, solo or otherwise. Out On A Day Pass was much better but that is not available on iTunes. Raised By Wolves is the best thing he did and probably the best of the solo stuff. Google them, they are out there for sale.

Best post-STYX solo effort

In my opinion this is the best solo-effort from any STYX member. Everything on this album is good, and like the better STYX albums City Slicker has a coherent sound and atmosphere (for lack of a better word). Listen to the album a few times in a row and you come away feeling like you've spent the night cruising the streets of Chicago, in the rain, in an old second hand checker cab... Tommy's and Dennis's albums, while having their highlights, sound like "collections of whatever songs they happened to have written lately". City Slicker sounds almost like it could have been a STYX album. Not quite a concept album, but far more coherent than the other solo efforts. Well worth the purchase.


Genre: Novelty

Years Active:

Best known as one of the guitarists for arena rockers Styx, James Young has also issued several releases outside of the band. Born James Vincent Young on November 14, 1949, in Chicago, Illinois, Young was introduced to music at the age of five when he began taking piano lessons, which eventually led to the guitar by his teenage years (drawing inspiration from the usual suspects of the era -- Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, etc.). After working his way through several local bands (such...
Full Bio
City Slicker (With Jan Hammer), James Young
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 1986

Customer Ratings