7 Classic Rock Songs To Summarize The Career Of Styx
Styx live in 1980 - fritz51316 / Youtube
One of the top rock acts to surface between the ’70s and ’80s, Styx’s had a drastic overhaul from their progressive rock sound into more radio-friendly soft/pop-rock territory. Nonetheless, the Chicago-based rock act ensured that their material remained consistent with their goal in mind, which in turn helped the band churn out some of the most indulgent records of the decade. Here are some landmark tracks from Styx’s career in rock.
“Mr. Roboto” – Kilroy Was Here (1983)
This entry might be the love-it or hate-it pitch of Styx, but “Mr. Roboto” showcased the band’s capacity to go beyond their usual rock template, adapting to the techno-electro sound of the era shamelessly, and quite successfully too. The track’s eccentricity is exactly what attracts the listener into going beyond just the first seconds of the record.
“Lady” – Styx II (1973)
Then-frontman Dennis DeYoung wrote the song for his wife and was one of the prototypes of Styx’s earlier and most memorable sounds to boot. The power ballad has all the indulgence wrapped together in one comforting blanket of vocals and instrumentation that gave solace in the contrast it provided.
“The Grand Illusion” – The Grand Illusion (1977)
Befitting of its title, “The Grand Illusion” has Styx in full stride with their sound, seething with confidence that was pretty evident from the song’s get-go. It features some of the band’s tightest arrangements and playing, warranting a place in the top echelons of the progressive rock hierarchy.
“Suite Madame Blue” – Equinox (1975)
Styx stepped out of their comfort zone by doing “Suite Madame Blue” just in time for America’s bicentennial celebration. The track has some of Styx’s key sound elements like indulgent melodies, heavy riffs, and the intertwining lead guitar and synth solos that just hit the record home.
“The Best Of Times” – Paradise Theatre (1981)
One of the best power ballads of Styx, “The Best Of Times” arena rock qualities are further improved by DeYoung’s piano playing and that teaser of a guitar solo. But no amount of describing the track will ever justify its feel-good arrangement and delivery.
“Come Sail Away” – The Grand Illusion (1977)
Styx’s powerful 1977 catalog came with this equally-convincing single, with “Come Sail Away” being a congregation of the band’s best technical and creative aspects. The usual immaculate and profound vocals, with a solid layering of rock and classical elements in the instrumentation, makes the track such a pleasure to behold.
“Babe” – Cornerstone (1979)
Another one of Styx’s more questionable creative decisions, “Babe” surprised avid fans with the sudden right turn on their sound as it was literally a barebones structure when compared to their other material. Still, the level of pop craftsmanship on the track doesn’t really warrant all the dislike surrounding it.