If there was ever a Hard Rock album that I honestly wore out from excessive playing on a turntable, well, it would be “The Grand Illusion” by STYX. This album, (released on July 7, 1977), along with its fabulous music, also bestows incredible lyrics as well. I would escape the doldrums, trials and tribulations of being a teenager by kicking back and slapping down this Classic Rock gem. The funny thing is, the lyrics of these songs on “The Grand Illusion” are just as relevant for me today as they were twenty nine years ago. In hindsight, this album actually gave me tremendous solace, insight and inspiration, at a time in my life when I probably needed it most. There are certain Hard Rock albums that I have embraced and bonded with, where the music and lyrics just seem to connect to my very own personal experiences. “The Grand Illusion” is without a doubt, one of these Hard Rock albums I have connected with.
Just the lyrics alone from the song “The Grand Illusion” are inspiring me for a lifetime… “Don’t be fooled by the radio, the t.v. or the magazines… they show you photographs, of how your life should be…” – my interpretation of these lyrics are that the mass media constantly tells us how to eat, what to wear, who to vote for, how much you should weigh, what to buy and own and of course, how to look. Sorry, I do not need the plastic news anchors and million dollar television hosts telling me how to live my life! STYX was right on with the song “The Grand Illusion” – it is commons sense lyrics that I live by. My sister, (who is now in Rock N’ Roll Heaven), was the first to introduce me to STYX… “Come Sail Away” was her favorite STYX song ever, I know this for she played the 45 rpm at least 20 times a day one Summer, back in the day. “Miss America” is as cool as it gets with keyboards in Hard Rock, the intro to this tune is a definite high point. “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” is a great tune to get psyched up to… “get up, get back on your feet… your the one they can’t beat and you know it”… man, if those cool lyrics are not enough to inspire you, then you are better off listening to vintage Boxcar Willie.
I am by no means telling anyone what they should listen to on Metal Odyssey, rather, I only try to acknowledge the Hard Rock bands and their albums that in my Metal opinion, are a great listen and buy. “The Grand Illusion” by STYX is for me, so justifiable of a legendary Hard Rock album. If I was to get just one visitor to my post to obtain a copy of this CD/album, well, I did someone a great favor. Veteran STYX fans should understand what I mean! The members of STYX, on “The Grand Illusion” were: Dennis DeYoung on keyboards, synthesizer & vocals, Tommy Shaw on acoustic and electric guitars & vocals, Chuck Panozzo on bass & vocals, John Panozzo on drums, percussion & vocals, and James Young on guitars, keyboards & vocals. What a band… what an album.