C O L U M N S

The Unknown Zone

Styx
American AOR/Prog Rock Band

By: Frank Hill
Published: Friday, December 21, 2018
If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, there was a fair level of AOR hard rock that ruled the music scene. Styx in their glory years, mixed rock guitar from the James Young/Tommy Shaw side with musical theater from Dennis DeYoung. That tension between different styles made for songs a bit different than average, but also created pressures between the musicians. They had at least three concept albums and touched in prog rock during the band early years, later moving towards commercialism.

THE UNKNOWN ZONE: STYX SONGS PROHIBITED
Babe
Blue Collar Man
Come Sail Away
Don't Let It End
Grand Illusion
Lady
Mr. Roboto
Renegade
Snowblind
The Best Of Times The Grand Illusion
Too Much Time on My Hands

STYX DEEPER TRACKS WORTH TRYING

A.D. 1928/Rockin' The Paradise (Paradise Theater)
Opening track on the PT concept album. Good example of the rock/theater hybrid.



Boat on the River (Cornerstone)
Interesting ethnic Euro-sounding song with mandolin and accordion.



Castle Walls (The Grand Illusion)
Deep cut on TGI. Dream-fantasy lyrics about wanting to journey but not knowing what is beyond. A person's "castle" is prob a metaphor for protections we make for ourselves which also serve as a prison. Amazing harmonies that could have been lifted off a Blind Guardian release.



Plexiglass Toilet (The Serpent Is Rising)
Heard this on Dr. Demento show looooong ago. Hidden track on The Serpent is Rising. Calypso-style silliness.



The Grove Of Eglantine (The Serpent Is Rising)
Prog rock about vagina on this sexual innuendo concept album.



Haven't We Been Here Before (Kilroy Was Here)
Part of the Mr. Roboto storyline that really showcases Tommy's softer singing style.



Just Get Through This Night (Kilroy Was Here)
Another moment from the Mr. Roboto storyline. Moment of optimistic reflection.



Miss America (The Grand Illusion)
Guitar-driven track about the fleeting nature of fame and superficial nature of beauty using the yearly, replaceable Miss America as subject metaphor.



Music Time (Caught in the Act)
Poppy, extra tune from post-Roboto breakup period thrown on the live Styx album, Caught in the Act. DeYoung in full entertainer mode here.



Nothing Ever Goes As Planned (Paradise Theater)
Different urban sound with great horn section.



Pieces of Eight (Pieces of Eight)
Commentary on soullessness of monetary pursuit.



Sweet Madame Blue (Equinox)
Written about the Bicentennial of the US. Lots of movements in this one per the play on the musical term of "suite".



Witch Wolf (The Serpent Is Rising)
Standard rock guitar song about a supernatural thing. Worth a listen to hear the early sound.




[Other Maximum Metal Columns]

<< back >>





RANDOM ACTS OF METAL
. Bathory. Into Eternity
. Loudness. The Haunted
. Children Of Bodom. Twilight Odyssey
. Big Dumb Face. Karaboudjan
. Solemnity. Rebellion
. Neck. Narziß
. Twisted Tower Dire. Advent
. Ravage. Firewind
. Dr. Butcher. Evolution
. Saint. SelfInflicted
. Fireball Ministry. Sevendust
. Morbid Angel. Runemagick
. Lanfear. Rob Rock
. Tad Morose. Vhaldemar
. Silent Scythe. Krisiun
. Tesla. F5
. Node. Killik
. Cryonic Temple. Exodus
. Messiah's Kiss. Epica
. Graveland. Icon And The Black Roses
. Zaius. Fabrizio Bonanno
. Insomnium. Bonfire
. After Forever. Killswitch Engage
. Wintersun. Beaten Back To Pure
. Medusa. Eternal Flight
. Megadeth. Marshall Law
. Neurosis. Dark Ruin
. Within Temptation. The Last Act
. The Lizards. Overlorde
. Karmakanic. Betrayer
. Dark Tranquillity. Sonata Arctica
. John Oliva's Pain. Scenteria
. Ligeia. Miles Beyond
. Heartcry. Hellfire
. Icarus Witch. Crimson Moonlight
. Severe Torture. Bleed The Sky
. Bruce Dickinson. Axis Of Perdition
. Drunkard. Axel Rudi Pell
. Kryoburn. System Of A Down
. Neil Turbin. Raintime
. Throes of Dawn. Def Leppard
. Biss. Testament
. Goddess Of Desire. Kult ov Azazel
. Evemaster. Slik Helvetika
. Sebastian Bach. Killing Spree
. Alice Cooper. Agents Of The Sun
. Iron Maidens. Scar Symmetry
. Painmuseum. Sun O)))
. Shattersphere. Vinterriket
. Phantom X. Doomfoxx
. Overmars. Wolfmother
. Avulsed. Dragonlord
. Bronx Casket Company. Khold
. Dismember. Decapitated
. Vader. End of Level Boss
. From This Day. Enforsaken
. Craft. End My Sorrow
. Fallen Wisdom. Mental Care Foundation
. Sepultura. Wolves in the Throne Room
. Dissection. Clawfinger
. Warrant (Amer). Pyramaze
. Ampast. Imagika
. Candlemass. Hirax
. The Sword. Ensoph
. Upon Infliction. She Said Destroy
. Time Requiem. From the Grave
. Burialmound. Pump
. Thy Majestie. Eyes of Ligeia
. Sathanas. Celtic Frost
. Lecherous Nocturne. Urkraft
. Centinex. Gaza
. Skullflower. Melechesh
. Zyklon. Incrave
. Mendeed. White Wizzard
. Chrome Division. The Prophecy
. Pentacle. Manes
. Retrospective. Blut Aus Nord
. David Galas. Funeral
. Fight. Cauldron
. Heresi. Glenn Hughes
. Shining Star. 40 Below Summer
. Demonic Symphony. The Obsessed
. Virgin Black. Bullet For My Valentine
. Winterfylleth. Crown The Lost