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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Styx – Regeneration Vol 1 album review
Released through: Band's own label. / Styx website. Release date: Available now 

So here we have a ‘mini’ album or 'EP' from one the best melodic rock bands from the 70’s, yes indeed Styx are still going strong in 2010 and not showing signs of letting up in 2011!
This band is like an endless touring machine, certainly in North America anyway and they'll be kicking off a bunch of new US dates in January and February 2011, before heading to Europe in the Summer with both Journey and Foreigner, with dates starting there in June. 

This album, 'Regeneration Volume 1' was originally penned as ‘available at gigs only release,’ but it seems now if you go to the bands site, you certainly can pick it up there too.
It basically consists of six re-recorded Styx classics and one new song.

The band today is made up of two true classic Styx members in James ‘JY’ Young (Guitars/Vocals) and Tommy Shaw (Guitars/Vocals), joined by long time members in Lawrence Gowan (Keyboards / Vocals) and Todd Sucherman (Drums) and most recent addition - in 2003 - Ricky Phillips (Ex-Babys, Bad English).

Opening with ‘Grand Illusion’ now sung by Lawrence Gowan and clearly with the pace picked up a little from the original Dennis DeYoung sung classic, the band still sound as strong as ever.

Next is ‘Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),’ as presented by the ever youthful looking Tommy Shaw and as ‘Grand Illusion’ before it, it certainly freshens up these older songs and Gowan has the keyboards coming through as powerful as ever.

'JY' takes the lead vocals on ‘Lorelei’ next on the track listing, so it’s clear the band is pushing each members vocal attributes and why not?! I seriously don’t think this song has ever sounded so good!

Tommy Shaw takes the lead vocals again for ‘Sing For The Day’ and it’s again very well done as anyone who’s seen this actual line up over the past five years can attest to already.
Next is ‘Crystal Ball’ which captures a part of Styx’ earlier almost prog rock moments and is an excellent piece of classic Styx history.

My thoughts at this time are more on the lines of the fact that if they were going to re-record songs, they should’ve at least includes at least one Styx rocker, like say ‘Renegade,’ ‘Blue Collar Man’ or even ‘Rockin’ the Paradise,’ but no such luck!
These tracks are perhaps all a little too smooth (Safe?), but I can’t knock them as they all still sound great!

I guess you do get ‘Come Sail Away’ next with Lawrence Gowan taking the helm here, which is good in terms of a rocker and he’s closeness at times to Dennis DeYoung works well. I still personally think one of the rockier tracks I mentioned in place of say ‘Sing For The Day,’ would’ve worked better or if they’d just added another one of those tracks. It’s just my take on things …

Final track here is the new song, ‘Difference in the World,’ which is a good new Styx song, don’t get me wrong, but as a stand alone example of perhaps the bands direction for new material, could’ve done with a little more ‘supporting cast’ in maybe one or two more new songs. From that standpoint, as a long time Styx fan I’m a little disappointed.

Overall these tracks, it has a very clean and crisp production mix, so you’re getting a quality product of that there is no question!
The only thing is, how many Styx fans will feel the value in paying the cash for a re-recorded mini ‘Best of’ release, when they’ve already got all of these already in some form or another?

With only one new song added here, ‘Difference in the World,’ – that was in fact originally offered to fans for free through the bands website – you have to wonder ….

For music / sound quality: 4.5 out of 5

For validity today: 3.5 out 5 - As these are pretty straightforward re-recordings of just six classic Styx tracks with just one new song, why not more?
Official Band website:


  1. This doesn't sound like a multiplatnium band neither does the albums. Jy's vocals are over the place. Lawrence Gowan is NOT no Dennis Deyoung.

    This review comes from Classic Rock Magazine

    Styx – Regeneration: Volumes I & II
    Eagle Records

    Rating: D

    Many rock fans do not realize that many of their favorite bands do not own the rights to their own material. With classic rock tunes being favorites of advertisers, and advertisers willingness to pay big bucks to use these tunes in commercials, many bands redo their own songs in order to have something that they own to sell for these commercials. They also are handy to force the hardcore fan base completists to shell out a few more bucks for new product – err, sorta new product – to add to their collection.

    Whether this was the reason Styx released a two-disc set of their own tunes or not, only the band and their management knows.

    It’s a shame this type of thing has to go on, as it really makes bands like Styx look as if they are out of original ideas. The fact that this ‘Styx’ album also contains two Damn Yankees songs on it only adds to the confusion.

    The only interesting things about this album are the songs that Lawrence Gowan sings. Gowan replaced Dennis DeYoung and hearing his take on classics Styx tunes, including “The Grand Illusion” and “Come Sail Away,” is something different. However, he can be heard singing these songs on any of the live CDs or DVDs that have been released since he has been in the band.

    This is a throwaway album that really is not that impressive. There is a new song titled “Difference in the World” but, at the end of the day, it does more to make one wonder if the band really is out of good ideas, as it is a forgettable song.

    Perhaps the time has come for Styx to take a few years off the road and recharge their batteries. Can anyone say, “Damn Yankees reunion?”

    By Jeb Wright

  2. Well, well, well ... Isn't it funny how those who love to criticise do so 'in hiding?!' Typical ...

    Well anonymous, you probably didn't expect me to post your note, now did you?
    Here's the thing, you say 'This review comes from Classic Rock Magazine ...' Did you mean your comment at the start or Jeb's review at Classic Rock Revisited?

    Anyway, here's the thing, of course there are many die hard, old Styx fans who simply don't like the fact that Gowan replaced Dennis DeYoung.
    Would those people have preferred it if Styx had carried on without a keyboard player / vocalist?
    I think Gowan has done a great job since joining the band, having seen them live with him onboard on a number of occasions.

    When I did this review, it was when the first disc came out back in December, when the band were on tour.
    Now the two disc set is available, I will be capturing the review afresh, but really only reviewing the second disc.
    I stand by what I said before and yes, I am also disappointed that there is not more new music.
    On the second disc, that I have played, the interpretations of the Damn Yankees are pretty good if you ask me, but hey, what do I know ..., based on the fact that you wanted to post your comments, in disagreement with what I have said.

    Finally let me ask you this, have heard the discs or are your comments solely to post what others have said, hmm?
    'Nuff said ...