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Grand Illusion


The Real MC

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Styx has received alot of abuse and ridicule over the years by rockers for being not heavy or hard enough. De Youngs enormously succesful ballads like Lady pretty much sealed that. The Kilroy thing was the final nail. However i think they did a good job pushing keys and synth up front and rockin tunes like renegade were pretty heavy . Too bad they didnt survive the DeYoung / rest of band rift. Yes styx still tours the midwest endlessly but mostly as a tribute to their past.

FunMachine.

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I thought you were talking about my idea :idea: of returning to gigging! :keys:

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I've got no problem listening to groups where 2, 3, 4 guys can sing, play and write. Especially in pop-rock music. What you get is an album where the songs don't all sound the same. You get your keys ballads, guitar driven rockers, a variety of timbres on the lead vocals, some great harmony singing, and every once in a while a real gem of a song that could have only happened with collaboration. It's a mix-tape or "shuffle" experience without even having to switch bands. ;)

 

That doesn't mean you don't have to FF or skip at times with Styx. But how many bands include every ace up their sleeve on anything but their Greatest Hits compilation? And even then the business model says they hold back one or two you wanted.

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I'm ambivalent about Styx. I enjoy some of their music, have enjoyed playing some of it, but always thought Dennis wanted to be in musical theatre or a barbershop quartet or something.

 

Come sail away LADS

 

I found parts of the "Behind the Music" documentary pretty funny.

Moe

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I thought Styx was a truly great super-band destroyed when it was hijacked by a broadway producer/composer.

 

Domo arigato mr roboto ... ohhhh my. Akin to a Kiss disco album.

 

Tommy was awesome in Damn Yankees, hope it helped heal those scars ...

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Never fell for the radio hits but:

 

Man in the Wilderness

Castle Walls

Suite Madame Blue

Crystal Ball

Blue Collar Man

 

Those are some great songs. To me Man in the Wilderness is the most underated Styx song ever.

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

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I thought Styx was a truly great super-band destroyed when it was hijacked by a broadway producer/composer.

 

Pretty much my assessment. DeYoung wrote the ballads that brought in the big $$$, so the record company gave him carte blanche production on Kilroy was here. Two hit singles but the tour was not a success and the rest of the band was not happy with the direction it was going in.

 

Domo arigato mr roboto ... ohhhh my. Akin to a Kiss disco album.

 

Too Much Time On My Hands was disco but it rocked at the same time.

 

I saw Styx for the 1st time in 1999, their first tour without DeYoung. They snuck in 8 bars of the chorus in the middle of a song but only played a couple of the ballads (Lady was one of them)

 

Tommy was awesome in Damn Yankees, hope it helped heal those scars ...

 

Read some interesting stories... Damn Yankees and Styx crossed paths during a tour so Tommy decided to see what it was like to be a Styx fan in the audience. When DeYoung was at stage front prowling the audience, he saw Tommy and briefly lost his composure. DeYoung was not happy. Later at the hotel, Tommy entered an elevator and found himself next to DeYoung. The two sat down to air out their differences.

 

Tommy later reunited with Styx, only to be find that nothing had changed with DeYoung and the wounds were re-opened. This time Tommy didn't leave, the band doesn't want DeYoung back.

 

Dennis was always the broadway type from the early days. The first four Styx albums were not much to write home about and they were trying too hard to be ELP. Just before Grand Illusion, the group was in jeopardy of being let go from the record company due to lackluster sales. What I liked about Grand Illusion and the bookend albums (Crystal Ball, Pieces of Eight) is the keyboard work and songwriting became more streamlined with less emphasis on broadway. They really defined themselves then. JY cited Grand Illusion as their best work because they hunkered down and wrote songs together as a team. As the record company increased their focus on ballads DeYoung's prominence grew, the broadway element crept back in, and the songwriting teamwork was no longer there.

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Never fell for the radio hits but:

 

Man in the Wilderness

Castle Walls

Suite Madame Blue

Crystal Ball

Blue Collar Man

 

Those are some great songs. To me Man in the Wilderness is the most underated Styx song ever.

Agreed on all.

 

I'd add Superstar, the title track from GI and Lady to that list as well...and would give anything to lose Come Sail Away from GI - definitely not my cuppa tea.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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Styx' Grand Illusion tour was my first real rock concert as a teenager....so I have a bit of nostalgia for that record. But I have to say I quickly lost interest after that.

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Styx' Grand Illusion tour was my first real rock concert as a teenager....so I have a bit of nostalgia for that record. But I have to say I quickly lost interest after that.

Never saw them live...but - like others in the thread - the direction of their subsequent records made me lose interest pretty quickly.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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Way back when, the band I was in did a medley of Styx songs. For your amusement, I've posted the links to you tube of the videos that were taken of us at the time.

 

 

John Cassetty

 

"there is no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact it's all dark"

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Grand Illusion stacks up as one of the best, most complete rock band albums of not just that decade, but of modern rock n roll. It has to be really good to pull off that much self indulgence, and imo it totally does.
The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Grand Illusion was one of the first albums I owned....up there with Mickey Mouse Disco and Glass Houses (that's not a joke, I was born in 71, cut me some slack).

 

I've had the good fortune of seeing Styx several times, but never with Dennis DeYoung, all more recent. They come through here frequently. One of the best shows was Boston, Starship, and Styx.

 

Anyway, I always wanted to play Foolin yourself but never have had the chance. I HAVE played Grand Illusion, Blue Collar Man, Too Much Time, and Madam Blue. I know everybody hates Mr. Roboto, but I still think it would be fun to play. light Up would be awesome as well.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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and would give anything to lose Come Sail Away from GI - definitely not my cuppa tea.

 

dB

 

Gosh -

If I had a dollar for every time I played that song...

Played it in my High School band when it was current in the late 1970's and then played it in a 'Classic Rock" band in the early/mid 1990's. Seemed to me that it always went over with the crowd even though it was not dance able. :idk

:nopity:
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I'm playing Too Much Time On My Hands at an upcoming show. It's been great education and practice to keep my LH busy on the synth bass most of the song while developing some independence to play the RH synth fills and EP in the chorus.

 

...and I spent FAR more time programming that bass synth than I'd like to admit but I'm pretty happy with what I came up with and it beats every cover I've seen on YouTube IMHO.

 

All that OT to OP. Yeah, Grand Illusion is an awesome album.

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Too late to edit my previous post. Was listening to the radio today and realized I've played Renegade as well.

 

Regarding Too Much Time, I think we did a good job when our drummer didn't screw it up. I had the intro and outro sampled and assigned to single keys. Splits went like this: top tier left to right - intro, synth bass, strings, filter sweep, outro. Lower tier - EP, hand claps assigned to one key that I could hit with my right pinky finger while playing the EP part. My left wrist would get sore on that one!

 

Also I learned and programmed Come Sail Away for a fill in gig, but it got dropped from the set for time, so I never actually played it with anybody.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Also I learned and programmed Come Sail Away for a fill in gig, but it got dropped from the set for time, so I never actually played it with anybody.

 

Lucky You. :D Wish I had a dollar for every time I played it.

I played it in previously mentioned High School band and then again in a "Classic Rock" band in the early/mid 1990's. Crowd always liked it as it was radio friendly. Hard to dance to though.

:nopity:
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Also I learned and programmed Come Sail Away for a fill in gig, but it got dropped from the set for time, so I never actually played it with anybody.

 

Lucky You. :D Wish I had a dollar for every time I played it.

I played it in previously mentioned High School band and then again in a "Classic Rock" band in the early/mid 1990's. Crowd always liked it as it was radio friendly. Hard to dance to though.

 

What did you do for the interlude with the synth solo? The band I sat in with said their usual guy started an arpeggiator and played along. I sequenced the bass and the high synth part so I could play the synth chords with LH and solo with RH, and at the end, had 2 zones set up to do the high dissonant part with the highly reverberant pitch bend down. For the rest of the song I just made clever usage of layers, zones, buttons, and volume pedal. I was disappointed not to play it just because of the time spent setting it all up.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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