Archive for the 1980's classic rock bands Category

JOURNEY “DEPARTURE” ALBUM FROM 1980 – A CLASSIC ROCK FLASHBACK

Posted in 1970's classic rock music, 1970's rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock albums, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, album covers, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

JOURNEY –  released their sixth studio album, Departure, on March 23, 1980, on Columbia Records. This was my very first Journey album that I ever bought, sometime around 1980. Between this Journey album and QueenThe Game, I was becoming quite a Rock Music fanatic at the age of fourteen. Departure falls into the first dozen or so albums that I ever owned. As with Queen’s The Game album, this Journey album is an exquisite blend of Rock and Hard Rock songs. The FM radio favorite back in the day was Any Way You Want It, this song was the motivation for my buying this album to begin with. A genuine Hard Rock song, Any Way You Want It flowed through my veins like psyche-out serum. Aw, heck, it still does to this very day.

Walks Like A Lady is the mellow Rock song that FM radio caught onto as well, it’s chorus coupled with the simplicity and innocence in it’s lyrics, gives this song it’s appeal, almost spotlighting it amongst the other songs on Departure. Where Were You is one of my favorite Journey songs… ever. If a song can Rock me at age fourteen, then Rock me the same way three decades later… then it ‘s an impact song that did it’s deed in imbedding itself into my Rock and Roll psyche. Where Were You, as with Any Way You Want It, just brings back memories of my discovering what Rock and Hard Rock Music was really all about. Back in 1980, I found myself gravitating towards much more up-tempo and harder edged songs. Departure became another tile, on the Hard Rock ground floor that I was setting foot upon.

I’m Cryin’ for all intents and purposes, is Steve Perry at his very finest, unleashing his never to be duplicated vocals, with a spill-over of believable emotion. Line Of Fire has the saturated sound of Classic Rock boogie, pulsating with every imaginable vibration of 1970’s Hard Rock as well. Neal Schon’s guitar actually sounds like a backup singer on Line Of Fire, his signature tone is that expressive… to my ears. When I listen to Good Morning Girl in 2010, I can safely point to this song as the direction as to where Journey would go musically, on future albums. Steve Perry’s vocals being the focal point in a soft ballad, is a key part of the puzzle to Journey’s mainstream success and popularity explosion of the 1980’s. Good Morning Girl was the hint of more incredible things to come, from this legendary band and lead vocalist… only I did not have a clue of Journey’s future back in 1980.

Whenever I can reach into my music collection and pull out an album that resonates the roots of Rock and Hard Rock of my young adult life, it surely is an impeccable album for me indeed. Rock and Roll is more than an aging slab of vinyl or a hardened plastic disc referred to as a CD. Rock and Roll encompasses dozens upon dozens of genres, while these same genres are represented by bands that are iconic as well as lesser known. What comes out of all this are the emotions, vibrations and memories that the music instills in one. Journey – Departure is an album I look upon as an integral reason as to why I decided to take a Hard Rock trek in my early teens. Journey, as with many other Hard Rock bands of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, aided in my transition to Heavy Metal… and I never considered for one second of abandoning Journey or any other influential band from my youth… Metal be thy name.

Journey, as they appeared on Departure:

Steve Perry – lead vocals

Neal Schon – guitar & backing vocals

Ross Valory – bass & backing vocals

Gregg Rolie – keyboards, harmonica & backing vocals

Steve Smith – drums & percussion

* Gregg Rolie is the lead vocalist on Someday Soon.

* Neal Schon is the lead vocalist on People And Places.

* Check out the Official Journey website: JOURNEY

Track Listing for Departure:

Any Way You Want It

Walks Like A Lady

Someday Soon

People And Places

Precious Time

Where Were You

I’m Cryin’

Line Of Fire

Departure

Good Morning Girl

Stay Awhile

Homemade Love

* Bonus Tracks From 2006 Reissue:

Natural Thing

Little Girl

Stone.

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QUEEN – “THE GAME” MADE 1980 A YEAR I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock albums, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's hard rock songs, 1980's rock bands, 1990's rock bands, 1990's hard rock bands, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, family, feel good stories, hard rock bands, hard rock music, holidays, metal odyssey, Music, people, personal stories, real life experiences, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

QUEEN – I can remember like it was yesterday, it was 1980 and I wanted so badly, as a Christmas gift from my Mom and Dad, Queen’s The Game album. I can recite what and how many albums I received as gifts from my parents when I was young, due to the fact that I so deeply appreciated each one. While growing up, my family may not have been “rich” with money, instead we were pretty “rich” with love. As a young dude, I never expected more than one album as a gift from my parents, with each passing Christmas and birthday. Receiving an album a few times during the year, as a thank you for helping out around the house and yard, was reality as well. Therefore, that “one” album at Christmas held some weight… and each album gift was always one of my choices that I made known to anyone who would listen.

1980 came upon me as a breakout year in my life… for I finally broke out of eight years of parochial school. (A Catholic School). I was now an official high school student… enrolled as a freshman. My Rock and Roll taste buds were changing by the week it seemed… so many bands I was hearing on the FM dial, still, so little funds to buy them.

When Christmas of 1980 finally rolled around, I was anxious as to whether or not an album would be under the tree at all. If there was an album, which one would it be? I had jotted down just about every KISS album on that wish list back in 1980, save for Double Platinum and Dynasty, which I already owned. I remember putting Queen’s The Game down on my wish list, I needed a real Queen album and this one would be as good as any. All I did own of Queen at this time in my life was the 45 rpm of We Will Rock You/We Are The ChampionsCrazy Little Thing Called Love and Another One Bites The Dust were enormous hits for Queen on the FM dial in 1980. Each time I heard these two songs back then, it felt like Rock and Roll magic in my brain.

Once I heard these next two songs from this powerful Queen album, I was literally covered in ostrich bumps: Play The Game and Need Your Loving Tonight. The Hartford, Connecticut FM stations were very cool back in the late ’70’s on through the ’80’s, their spinning these deeper album cuts from The Game only made it more clear to me, that I absolutely needed this album! Listening to the song Play The Game made me feel like I was walking on air. It still does have that affect on me. Sure, Another One Bites The Dust has been overused commercially over the decades, I do understand. This entire Queen album still makes me feel more powerful than I really am… it’s as if it lifts me up and puts the troubles of the day below my feet.

I did see a wrapped album under the Christmas tree, that Christmas morning back in 1980 and it had my name on the tag. It was from Mom and Dad. Once the wrapping was taken off, (gently I might add, as not to damage a cool album), my eyes widened as big as Pennsylvania Dutch pancakes on a Saturday morning. Queen. The Game. In my hands, the entire album. Yes, I played it on my turntable every day during my freshman year in high school. Back in 1980, hearing the song Dragon Attack was a quick study in Hard Rock 101 for me.

This Queen album, single handedly inspired me as a high school freshman, in ways that I cannot even explain. The operatic and prolific vocals of the late and ultra legendary Freddie Mercury, the ever distinguishable guitar tone of Brian May and the rhythm being solidly accented by John Deacon on bass and Roger Taylor on drums. A Rock album for the ages was and still is – The Game.

LONG LIVE QUEEN. REST PEACEFULLY, FREDDIE MERCURY.

Stone.

RUSH – “WORKING MEN” ROCKS LIVE WITH VINTAGE CUTS

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock vocalists, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's progressive rock bands, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock bands, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's hard rock songs, 1980's progressive rock bands, 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock bands, 1990's progressive rock bands, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, current rock bands, hard rock bands, hard rock music, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

RUSH is a band that lures me into their progressive Hard Rock world, like an insect flying into a backyard bug lamp. The main difference between me and an insect, (besides my being a human being), is that once I get zapped by the electrifying sound of Rush, I don’t turn crispy and bite the dust. Rush could very well release an album every year and I would buy it. This ultra iconic band’s albums brings back memories and makes new memories for me, on a consistent basis. Metal truth be told, the older I get, the more I have taken a stronger liking to the music of Rush. (I cannot figure this out, therefore, I won’t try to). Rush has released a total of nine live albums over their brilliant career, (counting Working Men), with All The World’s A Stage from 1976 starting this chain. Working Men will never go down as being the greatest live Rush album ever… yet it will not be considered sub standard either. This legendary band can’t compete with themselves, each live album they release, is a signature of where they are as elite musicians. What Rush does best, is give their fans consistency over the decades, while not sacrificing integrity in their musical product. Working Men exemplifies this integrity, with songs that are the most popular from their extensive album catalog.

Geddy Lee, (lead vocals, bass guitar & keyboards), Alex Lifeson, (guitar & vocals) and Neil Peart on drums, possess the uncanny abilities to keep their songs relevant and vibrant. It’s refreshing reality to know that Rush continues onward, entering their fourth decade of creating Progressive Hard Rock, in which they laboriously and consistently helped catapult into a beyond legitimate genre.

All 12 songs are taken from previously released live DVD’s, with the exception of One Little Victory, which is stated as previously unreleased. I come to the conclusion, that this “particular” live version of One Little Victory has never been released, it has appeared on Rush In Rio Live. The studio version of One Little Victory is the opening track for the 2002 Rush album – Vapor Trails. (A tad confusing as to the exactness of the previously unreleased meaning).

Working Men does meld the classics of Rush past, embarking on decades of gems… this live album opens with Limelight, (1981’s Moving Pictures) and Far Cry, (2007’s Snakes & Arrows), is track number six. Having Far Cry in the mix, is a standing true reminder, that Rush is ever the creative trio in recent years. The Snakes & Arrows studio album is an exemplary offering of modern day, Rush Progressive Hard Rock. To acknowledge such a recent Rush song like Far Cry, amidst this vintage lineup of live tracks, was the right move. How can any fan of Rush or such songs as Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Freewill, Working Man or Closer To The Heart resist such a classic compilation of live and Progressive Hard Rock excellence? I can’t resist, no matter how many live go rounds Rush gives these songs.

* The live DVD’s from which these Rush songs were taken from, to compile Working Men: Rush In Rio (2003), R30 (2005) and Snakes & Arrows Live (2008).

The Spirit of Radio, 2112, Dreamline, Subdivisions, and YYZ are the remaining tracks heard on Working Men.

Rush – Working Men was released on November 17, 2009, on Anthem/Atlantic Records.

THE WHO – “GREATEST HITS” IS MY ANNIVERSARY GIFT!

Posted in 1960's classic rock music, 1960's classic rock bands, 1960's rock & roll british invasion, 1960's rock music, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's rock bands, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock bands, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, current rock bands, family, feel good stories, hard rock bands, hard rock music, life, life stories, living, metal odyssey, Music, real life experiences, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

My wife and I will celebrate our 15 year Wedding Anniversary on February 11th. Wow, how time has flown by! Tonight, while strolling about at K-Mart, my wife informed me my anniversary gift from her is The Who – Greatest Hits. (Not too shabby, in my Metal opinion). Heck, I’m the guy, I never expect an anniversary gift to begin with… I always make sure my wife gets a gift for certain, still, this feels like a bonus to me!

What’s very exciting about getting this CD from my wife is the pure fact: I have never owned The Who on CD my entire life!! You read that correctly… never did I upgrade The Who to CD, after all these years. Go figure. Of course, I have owned some, (not all), of The Who titles on vinyl and cassette… still have them floating around somewhere. It’s an invigorating feeling to have this Greatest Hits by The Who now… 19 songs and all! What sweetens the deal about this CD is that it was on sale for $9.99! Yes, maybe I have given off hints now and again that I am frugal… it’s from growing up in New England for most of my life… in extremely expensive Connecticut. Believe me, if you live or ever lived in Connecticut, you know what I mean. Living there, man, you have to know how to cut corners and clip coupons… or go broke trying.

Back to The Who… my wife and I, along with my best Metal buddy Scott Coverdale, saw The Who back in the mid ’90’s… seeing them was a thrill beyond belief for me. Drivin N Cryin was the opening band too. I’m thankful I was able to witness John Entwistle live, on bass as well. This legendary show was at the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Who is a band that I can never, ever, grow tired of. Honestly, The Who just strikes that certain chord within my psyche… and I’m not concerned about figuring it out either. Seeing Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend Rockin’ out during the Super Bowl XLIV half-time special… was something special. I could only hope and pray, that I am in that kind of shape when I hit that age! Sure, Roger Daltrey may not sound like he did in 1980… yet c’mon… he belted it out for the world to know that The Who is still around and damn proud! Pete Townshend also reminded us all, that he too… can still kick some Rock and Roll ass.

My favorite song ever, from The Who, is: Eminence Front. I’m not going to attempt any explanation here, other than this is THE song. You know how it is… there’s always that one particular song from a band that resonates with your mind and soul… Eminence Front is just that song by The Who. I’m thankful for my beautiful wife of 15 years and counting… nothing beats the memories, life experiences and love we have both shared with each other. (We actually have been together since 1988, married in 1995). I’m also thankful I have the memory of seeing The Who, live, with my wife and best friend. Money can’t buy love and memories… but $9.99 can buy me the coolest wedding anniversary gift – The Who, Greatest Hits.

The Who – Greatest Hits was released on December 21, 2009.

LONG LIVE THE WHO!

Reflecting on the good memories of life and staying positive and true to yourself… is what it’s all about. Music is the stimulus of good life memories for me… the Rock Music of The Who is no exception.

TRIUMPH – “SPELLBOUND” SONG FROM 1984 STILL PACKS THE POWER!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's rock bands, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's hard rock vocalists, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's hard rock songs, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's rock bands, 1984 heavy metal music, 1990's hard rock bands, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, guitar legends, hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard rock songs, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1984, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands from canada, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal videos, metal odyssey, Music, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock music, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Triumph released the album – Thunder Seven, on November 10, 1984. I thoroughly enjoyed Thunder Seven back in those days… still do. A fabulous album of songs, melodic and memorable, all the while exhibiting the heavy style of Triumph. The reality of my never getting this album on CD has set in, I really need to upgrade! I still own the cassette, it plays and it’s worth it’s weight in Metal gold to me. There are those songs that stick with me through life. Spellbound from Thunder Seven is exactly one of those songs. The first time I ever heard this song, I actually felt spellbound… and I’m not trying to sound cute stating that either. In my Metal opinion, the all-out power and intensity that Spellbound delivers is nothing short of amazing. Spellbound and the entire Thunder Seven album just reminds me of the days when I grew up, in the south end of my old home town… in extremely expensive Connecticut. My neighborhood buddies and me, we really played the heck out of this cassette I still own, it’s a Metal miracle that I still have it!

Killing Time and Follow Your Heart are two other standout songs from Thunder Seven. I really like Killing Time, just as much as Spellbound. Thunder Seven is just a solid chunk of vintage Hard and Heavy Rock from Triumph… wow. The old cliche goes: they just don’t make albums like this anymore. Granted, there have been a ton of albums throughout time I or anyone can say that about… it’s just Metal fitting to use that cliche for Thunder Seven. Am I on a Thunder Seven high? You bet… since 1984 too.

My best Metal buddie Scott Coverdale and I, we had many a conversation about this song and album years back and still to this day… the great Rock and Roll Hall of Fame debate not withstanding either. Triumph would be in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if I ran it’s duh? operation. Then again, my list for bands belonging in that building in Cleveland, Ohio, is rather long… and Metal rightfully so. I no longer think this… I know this… the world needs a legitimate Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Hall of Fame. Triumph would be embedded in this much needed Hall of Fame, exactly where they belong.

Rik Emmett, (on lead vocals and guitar), is an unreal great musician – in my Metal opinion. Not to take anything away from the rest of the Triumph lineup throughout the years, especially Gil Moore on drums/vocals and Mike Levine on bass & keyboards… unreal great as well, what a legendary band. Triumph – a Canadian Treasure. I hope you like Spellbound as much as I do… enjoy the song below and crank it up LOUD!

LONG LIVE TRIUMPH!

KISS – 1974 ALBUM “HOTTER THAN HELL” IS STILL JUST THAT IN 2010

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock guitarists, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock bands, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, guitar legends, hard rock music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands 2010, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

In 1974 I was only eight years old. In 1974 KISS released their Hotter Than Hell album on Casablanca Records. I had not a clue as to who or what KISS was back in ’74. The heaviest bands I was listening to that year, was my mother’s Everly Brothers album and Josie And The Pussycats, (a Hanna-Barbera cartoon of a female Rock Band). It wasn’t until 1978 that I owned my very first KISS album, KISS Double Platinum, so I was only four years away from becoming a member of the KISS Army. I eventually traded for the vinyl/album copy of Hotter Than Hell, I was in High School at the time, now I can’t even recall the dude’s name who traded it to me. In later years, (sometime in the early to mid 1990’s), I sold this same Hotter Than Hell album to a crusty and shady record dealer. I regret that move… for a good number of years I went without replacing Hotter Than Hell in my Heavy Metal Music collection. Now, it is Metal safe to say, that I do own Hotter Than Hell on CD… and I am not parting with it – not a Metal chance. This is arguably, one of the greatest KISS albums ever created, a 1970’s Vintage Heavy Metal gem. Am I going too far or thick with the accolades here? Not a Metal chance again… just compare this album to a wide array of Hard Rock or Heavy Metal releases, just in the past decade alone, I am then convinced Hotter Than Hell is still just that in 2010 – Hotter Than Hell.

I will not lie to the fact, that this album does sound like it was recorded back in the early 1970’s. Dated? Alright, sure, only how much of a negative impact does that have on Hotter Than Hell as a whole? Not every song on Hotter Than Hell can be construed as dated either. I really can’t stomach the word dated when it comes to Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Music, it is a word that only should be used by archaeologists, who dig up ancient relics and/or artifacts underneath some pyramids or rain forest. Besides, the word dated has been politely replaced with two words that are more Metal politically correct… they are… Classic Rock. Whoever the dude or dudette is out there, that came up with the idea of creating the music genre – Classic Rock, is in my Metal mind… a very cool genius.

Excuse my going off on sort of a Metal tangent in the last paragraph, it has been awhile since my last one, plus it felt really, really good. It did.

When you listen to Strange Ways, the very last song on Hotter Than Hell, I cannot ignore the fact that Ace Frehley plays some unreal licks, all the while the repeated riff is decades worth of relevance. Comin’ Home is a KISS song that easily could have been on any KISS album up to and including their Unmasked album from 1980. Mainline is as authentic of a Hard Rock song from the 1970’s as I can ever point out. This is, (probably), my favorite Peter Criss sung KISS tune ever. Yes, that means I like Peter Criss singing Mainline a whole lot more than the ultra classic ballad… Beth. Hotter Than Hell and Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll are the two most famous songs from this album, they honestly are the top two tracks, only there are the other eight songs that truly shouldn’t take a back seat to them.

This vintage KISS album flows along like a Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal dream gone wild… 1974 style. Goin’ Blind is Gene Simmons at his extreme best vocally, (in my Metal opinion), just an amazing KISS song that in Metal hindsight, is a pioneering power ballad. I can listen to Goin’ Blind 20 times in a row and still feel the need to hear it again… and again. No, I am not kidding about that. Regardless if you are a KISS fan or not, Hotter Than Hell belongs in any Hard Rock or Heavy Metal album collection… it’s that genuine.

Hotter Than Hell is an album to uphold, play loud and enjoy for a lifetime. Long Live KISS.

KISS On Hotter Than Hell:

Gene Simmons – bass guitar, vocals

Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, vocals

Ace Frehley – lead guitar

Peter Criss – drums, percussion & vocals

Hey, cut me some Metal slack… I was only 8 years old when I was into Josie And The Pussycats.

I was a toddler… Gee Metal whiz.

STYX “PARADISE THEATRE” – 1981 ROCK ALBUM IS A FOREVER FAVORITE OF MINE

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's classic rock vocalists, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock albums, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1981, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, feel good stories, guitar legends, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock music lyrics, rock vocalists, shopping for rock music, vintage rock albums, vintage rock and roll songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Styx, a Rock/Hard Rock band that didn’t just grow on me in my early teens… instead, I fell over backwards upon my very first listen to their song Come Sail Away from The Grand Illusion album, (released in 1977). Jumping across the Pieces Of Eight (1978) and Cornerstone (1979) albums from Styx, (which both are unreal great albums for me as well), there is Paradise Theatre, (A&M Records), from 1981. Call it music imbedding at age fifteen, this Styx album just reminds me of so many good things about my life as an early teen. Memories, especially the good ones, are priceless. When music, Rock Music, can rekindle cool and fun times through memories… man, I’m not going to stop listening to such respective albums or songs – ever. Paradise Theatre doesn’t remind me of winning the lottery, getting an expensive car, falling in love, achieving straight A’s on my report card, (yeah right), nor does it send me back to a Hawaiian vacation. Nope. What Paradise Theatre does remind me of, is easier times, hanging out, the Christmas Holiday, snow days off from school and having no clue of who or what I wanted to be in life. Honestly, this Paradise Theatre album really reminds me of those things, the smaller things in life that matter too.

I’m certain I can sit here and compile a master list of Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums, that meet the same memory criteria as this Styx Paradise Theatre album bestows for me. Recently, I finally purchased Paradise Theatre on CD, for the first time in my life! It was priced at $7, brand new. There were several, if not dozens of moments where I had this CD in my hands to buy… only putting it back down, because I get so damned conscientious about spending too much money on non essential items for myself. (I have to learn to relax, $7 is chump change compared to what is spent on Wall Street bailouts).

I cannot pinpoint the reason as to why Paradise Theatre reminds me of the previously mentioned. All I know is, come Christmas, these songs from this album just “pop” into my head. Watch out if it snows, it seems like I can actually envision the album cover in my mind as well, all the while I watch a snowfall. I do remember listening to the songs from Paradise Theatre during the Winter of 1981, it seems like yesterday. Funny, how I purchased this CD during the Winter of 2009, all of the variables were in place… some snow was on the ground, Christmas is approaching and I threw danger to the wind by spending an extra $7 on myself. (I guess you can call me a real thrill seeker, on the spending part of it all).

Every song on Paradise Theatre is a winner, that includes the songs that never made it to FM radio too. Quality, substance and an acute attention to lyrics are what makes these songs on Paradise Theatre so unbelievable for me. This album Rocks. There, I got that out of my system, that phrase needed to be stated and has become rather nerdy and extremely cliche too. Back in 1981, I never would understand what the term Classic Rock meant. In 1981, the only music that was really classic was Classical Music. Styx, through their albums of the 1970’s and 1980’s have given true meaning and understanding to the term/genre… Classic Rock.

I have always been a huge fan of Tommy Shaw, following his solo career along with his stints in Damn Yankees and Shaw/Blades. Dennis DeYoung on vocals gives this Styx band and album their trademark Rock essence, a sound that is so much stand alone. Dennis DeYoung’s voice is a trademark musical instrument of Styx. Of course, the aforementioned are all my opinions and interpretations, which I am steadfast about.

Dennis DeYoung sings it so right, on the song The Best Of Times, with these lines:

Our memories of yesterday

Will last a lifetime

We’ll take the best, forget the rest

And someday we’ll find

These are the best of times

Track Listing For Paradise Theatre:

Side One:

A.D. 1928

Rockin’ The Paradise

Too Much Time On My Hands

Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

The Best Of Times

Side Two:

Lonely People

She Cares

Snowblind

Half-Penny; Two Penny

A.D. 1958

State Street Sadie

Styx, as they appeared on Paradise Theatre:

Dennis DeYoung – keyboards & vocals

Tommy Shaw – guitars & vocals

Chuck Panozzo – bass guitar

John Panozzo – drums & percussion

James Young – guitars & vocals


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