Login
Username

Password



Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Latest Comments
Guys she's on Facebook, I...
Maybe Franne was friends ...
Rudy was co-written by Fe...
Great album and excellent...
H.E.A.T - 2017 Redefined ...
H.E.A.T - 2017 Eye Of The...
Keldian - 2017 Blood Red ...
No, I'm changing my mind ...
Code Red - 2017 Heat Of T...
Yeah, I quite liked this,...
Midnite City - 2017 Summe...
Target - 1979 Taxman [yo...
Cher - 1982 Rudy [youtub...
Cher - 1982 Games [youtu...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Devi...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Head...
Neal Schon - 1989 Softly ...
Getting back into this al...
Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Styx - 1980 Paradise Theatre
 
Styx - 1980 Paradise Theatre



ARTIST: Styx
ALBUM: Paradise Theatre
LABEL: A&M
SERIAL: SP-3719
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1990, A&M, CD 3240 * 2011, A&M (Japan), UICY-25043

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dennis DeYoung - keyboards, vocals * Chuck Panozzo - bass * John Panozzo - drums, percussion * Tommy Shaw - guitars, vocals, vocoder * James Young - guitars, vocals

Additional Musicians: Steve Eisen - saxophone * Dan Barber, Mike Halpin, John Haynor, Mark Ohlson, Billy Simpson - horn

TRACK LISTING: 01 AD 1928 * 02 Rockin' The Paradise * 03 Too Much Time On My Hands * 04 Nothing Ever Goes As Planned * 05 The Best Of Times * 06 Lonely People * 07 She Cares * 08 Snowblind * 09 Half Penny Two Penny * 10 AD 1958 * 11 State Street Sadie

WEBLINKS: www.styxworld.com


Background
With 'Cornerstone' Styx had ditched their pompous leanings in pursuit of a far more commercial approach which firmly cemented their major league status. However, it was a bitter pill to swallow for many long term devotees who felt the band had failed to heed the sage advice implored by DeYoung on 'Pieces Of Eight'. Still in Styx's defence it's a fine line for any band to walk, between satisfying the record company's demands for increased sales and the happiness of your hard core fans. The more radio friendly style of 'Cornerstone' continued on 'Paradise Theatre' albeit laced with theatrics. The album is an ambitious concept as it was a fictional account of Chicago's Paradise Theatre from its opening (on the eve of the Great Depression) to closing (and eventual abandonment) in the mid 1950's). Intended as a metaphor for America's changing times from the late 1970s into the 1980s, it was also an expansion of the theme that Styx had first touched upon when they wrote 'Suite Madame Blue'. That song was also representative of the US (in bicentennial year).


The Songs
In keeping with the theatrical theme, the album sides are divided into 'Act One' and 'Act Two'. De Young opens proceedings with the piano driven ballad 'AD 1928' which segues perfectly into the upbeat rocker and fun listen 'Rockin' The Paradise' - a rallying cry for the American nation. This must have sounded like music to the Americans ears given that they had lived through the turbulent 1970's.

Shaw takes the mike for the upbeat synth-driven 'Too Much Time On My Hands'. The guitars ensure it is firmly anchored in AOR territory though it is very different from anything Styx had attempted previously, much like 'Urgent' was for Foreigner.

De Young has a field day wrapping his larynx around 'Nothing Ever Goes As Planned' this has a cod reggae beat and funky horn section, avoiding vaudeville - but only just.

Act one closes, with the ballad 'The Best Of Times'. This was a huge hit for Styx though fortunately it manages to sidestep the cloying sentimentality of a ballad like 'Babe'.

Act two opens with the punchy 'Lonely People'. Again De Young commands proceedings (he's always had a taste of theatrics) - though it's a little too schmaltzy for my liking.

A brief moment of introspection is allowed for the Shaw penned 'She Cares' and then it's into the haunting 'Snow Blind' a song notably critical of drug addiction. 'Snowblind' was not without controversy as Tipper Gore (Al's wife) of the Parents Music Resource Center ('PMRC') branded it as 'Satanistic'.

Ironically 'Snow Blind' doesn't feature in the PMRC's 'Filthy Fifteen' (maybe it's in the 'dirty thirty'?) alongside such luminaries as Sheena Easton (I kid you not!).

James Young handles the lead vocal on the obligatory hard rocker 'Half-Penny, Two-Penny' a song whose lyrics about wealth and the American dream have a timeless quality just as pertinent today.

Album closer 'AD 1958' is a continuation of 'AD 1928' though this time more lyrically downbeat. Proceedings are finally brought to an end with the brief piano instrumental 'State Street Sadie' which echoes the nostalgia of the 1920's.


In Summary
'Paradise Theatre' successfully managed to bridge the gap for those long term fans of 'Equinox' and earlier, together with those new recruits won over by 'Cornerstone'. Presumably the album's nostalgic tone also struck a chord with a disillusioned American public at large (grown weary of the Carter administration). They purchased 'Paradise Theatre' by the truckload sending it to the pinnacle of the US album charts whereupon Styx became the first group to be awarded four consecutive multi-platinum albums.


All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.


 
This article has been tagged
Tags: Styx 
 
Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on January 06 2014 22:21:12
This is my favorite of all the Styx albums, mostly because of the commercial sound. I really enjoyed all these songs, and this is the Styx album I'm still most likely to play all the way through. "Rockin' The Paradise" was one of the first videos I saw on MTV. If I had been a little younger and not already a saxophone player in band (I was 10th grade when the video came out), JP's impressive drum kit would have inspired me to pick up the sticks.
#2 | Explorer on January 06 2014 22:35:23
For me, this is the last great Styx album.The UK tour to promote this album was also excellent...anyone remember Bingley hall in Stafford?
#3 | david on January 07 2014 04:03:58
Wasnt Bingley Hall a cow shed. I remember all those venues from the early 80s concert circuit.
#4 | AOR Lee on January 07 2014 04:33:39
The first Styx cd I bought, and it's a cracker. Good review
#5 | richardb on January 07 2014 09:09:46
I saw them play Wembley Arena in November 1981- a great show.

A friend saw them the year before at Hammersmith Odeon with Saga as support. Unfortunately I missed out and have regretted it ever since..
Shock
#6 | Explorer on January 07 2014 12:40:26
Bingley hall was indeed a glorified cowshed, but for a time ALL the major bands played there...ideal for me as I only lived a mile from the place!
#7 | super80boy on January 24 2015 23:28:48
Paradise is a strong mix of progressive rock and AOR with all three song writers contributing thoughtful material and presumably keeping the peace. It made for a solid and consistent effort versus the uneven Cornerstone before it.
#8 | dtabachn on February 11 2016 20:56:20
My father purchased the cassette for me in 1980. Great memories and a stunning álbum.
 
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
 
Ratings
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

100% 100% 0% [No Votes]
95% 95% 0% [No Votes]
90% 90% 40% [2 Votes]
85% 85% 60% [3 Votes]
80% 80% 0% [No Votes]
75% 75% 0% [No Votes]
70% 70% 0% [No Votes]
65% 65% 0% [No Votes]
60% 60% 0% [No Votes]
55% 55% 0% [No Votes]
50% 50% 0% [No Votes]
45% 45% 0% [No Votes]
40% 40% 0% [No Votes]
35% 35% 0% [No Votes]
30% 30% 0% [No Votes]
25% 25% 0% [No Votes]
20% 20% 0% [No Votes]
15% 15% 0% [No Votes]
10% 10% 0% [No Votes]
 
Articles Cloud
Black Bonzo - 2007 Sounds Of The Apocalypse, Blackjack (USA) - 1979 Blackjack, Silverlode - 1981 Silverlode [ep], Voodoo Hill - 2000 Voodoo Hill, Scorpions, The - 1988 Savage Amusement, Giuffria - 1984 Giuffria, Gorrie, Alan - 1985 Sleepless Nights, Elevener - 2008 When Kaleidoscopes Collide, Sunstorm - 2011 Emotional Fire, Scooters, The - 1980 Young Girls, Woolstenholme, Woolly - 1980 Maestoso, Wood, Joseph Lee - 2003 20 Questions With.., State Of Salazar - 2012 Lost My Way, Meisner, Randy - 1980 One More Song, Molly Hatchet - 2012 Regrinding The Steel
Tags©
Ransom Jim Steed Eden (Germany) Jet Julian Angel Rush 707 The Producers Yesterrock 91 Suite Wounded Bird Larsen Feiten Band Nite City Def Leppard Richard Kerr ABBA Loverboy Oscar Uriah Heep From The Fire Blue Steel Kaminari Sassy Jones Mike Tramp Descars Fireworks Rock Candy Records Strangeways Yesterrock Nick Gilder Takara Livesay Dakota Brainfever
All Tags
Search DDG