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Old 12-27-2013, 07:22 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Seriously, you really should have "Been There". I can understand retro like of them, don't get me wrong, but Styx were like Midwest Drama School with a big budget and were seriously everywhere on the radio in my area beck then and I was moving a little more underground by that time. To me, they were over-dramatic and "Babe" sounded like a bar band with an original song that won the audiences over.

While I liked that they were trying to get a message on Kilroy that I actually can agree with, it still was done in a way that I stayed away from it as much as possible.

Also, it was nice that they payed tribute to a Chicago landmark, but..."these are the best OF TIIIIIIIIIMES!!!!!!!!" was not my cup of brew.

(Note...LOL from here on to the finish of the post)
No slight on the strong amount of talent, don't get me wrong, but I put a spell on you for the ghost of the Crimson King to haunt you forever and hope a Foxtrot hunt will happen on the lives of you and your army. You, Sir, may call me a Warlock in this Witch Hunt after calling Styx lightweight, but be very aware of what might come for YOU! For when I meet my fate in the town center for my punishment, my spirits will be released and corrupt your village. HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
People always seem to mention "Babe" when looking for an example to poke the band. The fact of the matter is that as a huge Styx fan, I hate "Babe" and its album Cornerstone was not a good album either. More people really need to listen to the albums before that Equinox, Crystal Ball, The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight, with the final two mentioned being absolute classics.

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Old 12-27-2013, 08:57 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I will say something for Styx's first four - which at least included the song that pointed their way to their better known future in "Come Sail Away" on Styx 2 (I may not like all of their music, but a weaker band would have split after four little selling albums with the potential to move onto better known areas) - they tried (and I have tried to hear them out in fairness) but they did not stand out that well. I have said something a little positive about the title track to Crystal Ball in my review of the Roadie soundtrack as well. Getting back to the theme of this topic, hey had a little potential for being Prog, but we know how the story goes. I will never criticize their talents and their will to at least go into the higher ranks of US AOR (it took talent and the guts to go out there and win the audiences even in that area), but it was not my kind of brew of music.

To some, their history is kind of like Journey - Early days slightly Jazz influenced Album Rock that was mainly instrumental/Steve Perry years;Styx were the John Curulewski-Wooden Nickel Years/Tommy Shaw years.

Just to let those asking about one of Styx's original members in the know, he turned more to his family (I'm sure being in a then-under performing band helped his decision without knowing how far they were going to go - it's an understandable choice within a life choice with very uncertain career success rate) and actually saved some time to teach guitar in the Chicago area and was active in it's local music scene. He passed away in 1988.

Just wanted to pass another name around:
There was one other IL band that could be called "Crossover Progressive" in these modern days of multi genre name calling - Gabriel Bondage. They were not that great, but I did come across an album of theirs which was OK. Sadly, they sounded more influenced than original with a couple of bits VERY close to a couple of ELP's songs. They had the skills (if certainly not the name) to move into the AOR arena like Styx, but they faded away after a couple of independently produced albums, possibly into other areas of music.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:01 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I've been on an extreme progressive metal kick lately.

The Sound Of Perseverance by Death
Black Future by Vektor
Elements by Atheist
Omnivium by Obscura

As far as traditional prog goes, I could use more of it. I really only have the same thing anyone would have, Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, etc.

I've heard some less popular stuff like Camel, Jane, Focus, Goblin, etc. that's pretty good. Just haven't really taken the time to listen to a lot of it.
Come to my "Fortress of Prog"! http://www.musicbanter.com/prog-psyc...ress-prog.html
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:59 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I will say something for Styx's first four - which at least included the song that pointed their way to their better known future in "Come Sail Away" on Styx 2 (I may not like all of their music, but a weaker band would have split after four little selling albums with the potential to move onto better known areas) - they tried (and I have tried to hear them out in fairness) but they did not stand out that well. I have said something a little positive about the title track to Crystal Ball in my review of the Roadie soundtrack as well. Getting back to the theme of this topic, hey had a little potential for being Prog, but we know how the story goes. I will never criticize their talents and their will to at least go into the higher ranks of US AOR (it took talent and the guts to go out there and win the audiences even in that area), but it was not my kind of brew of music.
I don't even like their first four albums either and I only became a nut for the band from their fifth album Equinox which was the last to feature John Curulewski.
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To some, their history is kind of like Journey - Early days slightly Jazz influenced Album Rock that was mainly instrumental/Steve Perry years;Styx were the John Curulewski-Wooden Nickel Years/Tommy Shaw years.
There are certain similarities between the two and the most obvious was the injection of new members Tommy Shaw in Styx and Steve Perry in Journey, as Tommy Shaw gave the band that much needed spark and Steve Perry gave Journey that commercial appeal and a LEAD VOCALIST.

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Just to let those asking about one of Styx's original members in the know, he turned more to his family (I'm sure being in a then-under performing band helped his decision without knowing how far they were going to go - it's an understandable choice within a life choice with very uncertain career success rate) and actually saved some time to teach guitar in the Chicago area and was active in it's local music scene. He passed away in 1988.
............ along with John Panozzo another original. Whenever I think of John Curulewski I always think of this amazing song, one of his few solo credits.


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Just wanted to pass another name around:
There was one other IL band that could be called "Crossover Progressive" in these modern days of multi genre name calling - Gabriel Bondage. They were not that great, but I did come across an album of theirs which was OK. Sadly, they sounded more influenced than original with a couple of bits VERY close to a couple of ELP's songs. They had the skills (if certainly not the name) to move into the AOR arena like Styx, but they faded away after a couple of independently produced albums, possibly into other areas of music.
Never heard of Gabriel Bondage but they sound right up my street, so have made a note of them.

As for classifying Styx, it's a hard challenge. I'd actually say they evolved in the following sequence: Prog rock, pomp rock, AOR to concept rock, even though Tommy Shaw wanted to turn them more into a more outright hard rock band, whilst Dennis De Young was always more inclined to tow the concept line and had a strong eye of pop, it made for a great creative tussle between the two and in my opinion it's what made the band great.

Have you heard Tommy Shaw's first solo album? It's one of my favs from the early to mid 1980s.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't even like their first four albums either and I only became a nut for the band from their fifth album Equinox which was the last to feature John Curulewski.



There are certain similarities between the two and the most obvious was the injection of new members Tommy Shaw in Styx and Steve Perry in Journey, as Tommy Shaw gave the band that much needed spark and Steve Perry gave Journey that commercial appeal and a LEAD VOCALIST.



............ along with John Panozzo another original. Whenever I think of John Curulewski I always think of this amazing song, one of his few solo credits.




Never heard of Gabriel Bondage but they sound right up my street, so have made a note of them.

As for classifying Styx, it's a hard challenge. I'd actually say they evolved in the following sequence: Prog rock, pomp rock, AOR to concept rock, even though Tommy Shaw wanted to turn them more into a more outright hard rock band, whilst Dennis De Young was always more inclined to tow the concept line and had a strong eye of pop, it made for a great creative tussle between the two and in my opinion it's what made the band great.

Have you heard Tommy Shaw's first solo album? It's one of my favs from the early to mid 1980s.
I would say that Styx Part One would be an attempt at Prog, like the Alan Parsons Project's first album - sometimes a band sees the point and actually decided to do what came more natural. Once you have a hit like "Lady" among a collection of songs that got ignored outside of a small group of fans, it certainly was a time to re-assess what will happen in the band. Fate happens, and for them it was certainly for the very best that they went to a more AOR style that still had slight bits of their past that they would never get rid of no matter how they changed - the concepts, Synth use, epic songs that had a little more than just Guitar/Drums/Bass/Backstage Sex Lyrics. No matter how I tend to throw criticism every now and then here at MB, all I say is that in the end it matters the most if they had an effect on their main listeners and they have a set of hit songs that will attract a lot of people for a long time...and I do have a guilty pleasure in "Renegade" truth be told - that song stomped very well and the harmonies were on target while the song matched the usual dramatics in the best use of the word in my opinion.


I remember the promotion surrounding Shaw's first solo. Not bad at all from my memory, really although I have to hear it once more. Maybe a possible Ghost Mall Music article is in the plans for this - it only went to #50 US and had three singles, only one Top 40 out of them. A case of 70's Star gone 80's Solo. It was cool that for a Beatles listener like me, the Drummer on that one was from Wings (Steve Holly).

Actually, the Gabriel Bondage album that I bought was in a light blue vinyl! Not too collectable, of course, but it was in good condition with the original lyric sheet, so I had to hear it once. I never really knew about their existence before getting the album! A couple of tracks stood out, showing their wanting to be in the world of Prog. They had the talent, but in a way not enough edge to hold the interest outside of a small group of listeners who were interested - Better album covers (and stronger lyrics, truth be told) could have helped, through!

Still here's highlights from I think album 2.



Obviously the singer (Rex Bundy) knew he can do a little bit of Greg Lake in his delivery...



Sadly I did not find "Living in the City", which I feel should have been something of a radio staple, but this will do fine.



Be warned, if you do get Another Trip to Earth, it's lead track "Take It on a Dare" is a little too close to the delivery of ELP's classic "Karn Evil #9 First Impression Part Two".

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:16 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Selling England by the Pound is also one of the best. I can't help if my choices are generic, but I'm not prog expert and I have just start my journey trough the sea of prog rock. Also the classic are usually classic because they deserve it. (Not always, of course, but often).

Maybe Thick as Brick is better, I'm not sure. At least Dancing With The Moonlight Knight is the best prog song ever recorded (or the best one I've heard, tho' it is not telling much.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:24 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Selling England by the Pound is also one of the best. I can't help if my choices are generic, but I'm not prog expert and I have just start my journey trough the sea of prog rock. Also the classic are usually classic because they deserve it. (Not always, of course, but often).

Maybe Thick as Brick is better, I'm not sure. At least Dancing With The Moonlight Knight is the best prog song ever recorded (or the best one I've heard, tho' it is not telling much.
My god, I completely agree. Genesis had great prog, and Moonlit Knight is basically an 8 minute definition of prog.
Don't forget Tarkus by ELP though, not seeing it anywhere on this thread...
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:27 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I would say that Styx Part One would be an attempt at Prog, like the Alan Parsons Project's first album - sometimes a band sees the point and actually decided to do what came more natural. Once you have a hit like "Lady" among a collection of songs that got ignored outside of a small group of fans, it certainly was a time to re-assess what will happen in the band. Fate happens, and for them it was certainly for the very best that they went to a more AOR style that still had slight bits of their past that they would never get rid of no matter how they changed - the concepts, Synth use, epic songs that had a little more than just Guitar/Drums/Bass/Backstage Sex Lyrics. No matter how I tend to throw criticism every now and then here at MB, all I say is that in the end it matters the most if they had an effect on their main listeners and they have a set of hit songs that will attract a lot of people for a long time...and I do have a guilty pleasure in "Renegade" truth be told - that song stomped very well and the harmonies were on target while the song matched the usual dramatics in the best use of the word in my opinion.
Well given the fact that I think a couple of their albums are some of the best ever recorded, I'd agree with the above analysis, but what also made the band great was that they had three quite distinctly sounding vocalists, who were all good songwriters and were able to provide a diversity that the casual listener or critic of the band might not be aware of.

As said the Tommy Shaw debut is a great album and also I enjoyed his third solo album as well.

You're right Rex Bundy does have a vocal delivery like Greg Lake.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:40 AM   #29 (permalink)
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ok, prog pop, maybe. But TBH I never even thought of Floyd as all that proggish. IMO a focus of Prog is high levels of instrumental proficiency, that's not really Floyd, compositionally and conceptually maybe they are. They're right on the cusp IMO.

(Make no mistake, I love Pink, love 'em. Just not sure they 100% fit with the likes of Tull, Yes, Giant, et al)
This is ****ing nonsense. Prog Rock, as with any genre, is about song structure. Not about instrumental proficiency. You're an idiot if you truly believe that.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:08 AM   #30 (permalink)
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This is ****ing nonsense. Prog Rock, as with any genre, is about song structure. Not about instrumental proficiency. You're an idiot if you truly believe that.
Certainly prog is not about instrument proficiency as a number of bands like Floyd demonstrated, but there's still no need to call somebody an idiot because they think differently in regards to this.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
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