Monday, January 24, 2005

8-Track Memories - Styx

In the late 1970s, I thought Styx was the greatest band in the world. My dad liked them, and he was a major influence on my pre-teen musical tastes. Twenty years passed before I discovered that critics often cite Styx as one of the cheesiest rock bands of the era.

I got hooked by The Grand Illusion, an album that I enjoyed so thoroughly that I couldn't pick a favorite song. "Come Sail Away" was its big hit. Pieces Of Eight followed with the hit single "Renegade." I still hear "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" on the radio, which was a topical song when it came out. Although I liked Cornerstone when it was released, it hasn't stood the test of time. One of the album's worst songs, "Babe" (not about the pig), was a popular single. The band even took a stab at politics with "Eddie," warning Ted Kennedy not to run for president lest he meet the fate of his brothers. Paradise Theater was a return to form, the last Styx album worth buying. I didn't care for "The Best Of Times," but I liked "Too Much Time On My Hands," "Half-Penny, Two Penny," and the cocaine lament, "Snowblind."

When I started building my own record collection in the mid-1980s, I still liked Styx enough to buy the four albums named above. I haven't listened to them in years, though. Kilroy Was Here was their last studio album that my dad bought. "Mr. Roboto" was a really goofy, overwrought single, and the rest of the album was forgettable at best. In 1990s parlance, they had jumped the shark.

No comments: