Well folk’s this is my final Styx review! Thanks for reading and commenting along the way as well! By digging into these albums I at the age of 50 finally have found an appreciation of the music of Styx!
Better late than never I suppose….. Actually the current incarnation of Styx I have followed a lot more closely than the DeYoung version of Styx. It is indeed too bad that they are currently fighting over all things like tunes as in Mr Roboto which Styx has put back in there set which makes me laugh like… seriously? Styx though minus Dennis put out the brilliant “The Mission” album last year and it was a solid rock album that both dented mine and Mikey Ladano’s Top Releases of 2017!
So like many bands in the 70’s/80’s Styx released the Double Live Album that they titled ‘Caught In The Act’ which was recorded in New Orleans back in 1983.
I just picked this album up about 2 months ago on vinyl for $5.00! What a deal! It’s in great shape and once again the packaging is awesome!
‘Music Time’ opens the album which is the lone new studio track that Styx recorded for this release and in keeping the theme of discontent in the ranks that started with the ‘Kilroy Was Here’ album, especially between Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw. Music Time is a DeYoung composition and Shaw disliked it so much and was one of the deciding factors on him leaving Styx shortly after this live album came out. Tommy didn’t even want any part of the video made for Music Time.
You would never know if you had bought this album back in 1984 that Styx were off the rails. I mean one of the shots looks like their playing stadiums for this tour so Styx was still a big drawing card live but on the inside they were beyond repair!
Once ‘Music Time’ finishes Styx begin the live portion with 13 live Tracks beginning with ‘Mr Roboto’ followed by ‘Too Much Time On My Hands’. Caught In The Act as a live album sounds pretty good a little to polished at times especially when Mr Roboto is played. The vocals sound live the music sounds a little to smooth. Who knows for sure and that’s just my observation. I’m always a little sceptical when bands produce their own live albums like Styx did here.
There is a sprinkling of the Styx Ballads that being ‘Babe’ and ‘Don’t Let It End’ so once you get past the fluff Styx do flex their rock muscle live with songs like ‘Blue Collar Man’/’Rockin The Paradise’.
All the hits as well ‘Come Sail Away’/’Crystal Ball’. A great cross-section of material up to that point in the Styx catalogue.
I will say that listening to this album you can hear the difference in the Styx sound. Styx 1983 is more a straight head approach in the songs whereas Styx 2018 is more of a technical beast than Styx in the 80’s.
Course everyone goes on about that Dennis should be back in the band and blah blah blah. Fair enough but my renewed interest in Styx was intrigued by the fact that Tommy and JY hired Canuck Lawerence Gowan who is a fine vocalist and brilliant pianist in his own right!
I like both versions (1983/2018 Styx) and by doing these album reviews found a whole new appreciation of this band and that’s thanks to a fellow named Gowan who joined!
Styx a band I kinda dismissed way back yonder ends up being a pretty decent rock act when they wanna crank it up!