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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » De Young, Dennis - 1984 Desert Moon
De Young, Dennis - 1984 Desert Moon

ARTIST: De Young, Dennis
ALBUM: Desert Moon
SERIAL: DIDX82 (LP), CD 5006 (CD)
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Dennis De Young - vocals, keyboards, percussion * Tom Dziallo - guitars; percussion, bass * Tom Radtke - drums * Dennis Johnson - bass * Steve Eisen - saxophones

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Wait For Heroes * 02 Please * 03 Boys Will Be Boys * 04 Fire * 05 Desert Moon * 06 Suspicious * 07 Gravity * 08 Dear Darling (I'll Be There)


Dennis De Young, mentor and all-round mannequin impersonator of Styx has done the predictable and released a solo album. As it is, I had real fun dissecting this album for two reasons. First, I hadn't heard Dennis outside of Styx, and two, this was diversity on a grand scale, even more so than Steve Perry's 'Street Talk' the year before. It's a radical departure for De Young where some songs work brilliantly while others .. well not so.

The Songs
The single 'Desert Moon' got quite a lot of airplay. It's a tempered ballad, which is indecisive, and leaves one confused as to whether it's likeable or not. 'Don't Wait For Heroes' is the nearest thing to Styx. 'Gravity' despite it's name and intention soars into serenity on it's keyboard introduction, but it then comes back to earth and settles pretty much into Supertramp territory. On the other hand, the jazz flavoured 'Suspicious' is excellent. There's a delightful harmonica solo, and it's laziness and mellowness puts the song a notch ahead of anything else. Probably the two heaviest songs are a sleazy workout of Jimi Hendrix's 'Fire', and a track called 'Please'. The latter features a duet with one Rosemary Butler, and for a moment I though they were covering Irene Cara's 'Call Me' but it must have been my overworked imagination! No doubt the weirdest song on offer is 'Boys Will Be Boys'. It's offbeat presentation could go down well on the 'Grease' soundtrack. Yuck I hear you say, but this one is quite a catchy number. Fans of the band Tantrum will be pleased to know that their vocalist Sandy Caufield put an appearance on this one, but her vocals are hardly recognizable however.

In Summary
Guitarist Tom Dziallo, a local Chicago resident and complete unknown impressed throughout, and he actually saved this album from being a disaster. If you're a die-hard Styx fan, or looking for something completely off the wall, then this one's for you. Consider yourself cautioned. Finally, it absolutely stuns me that in the year 2001, this album (now on CD) can actually command prices on Ebay auctions over the US$70 mark. I must be in the wrong business, or I've been given the wrong album to review!!

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#1 | Eric on December 26 2008 21:07:35
This is really a great recording. I've heard so-o-o-o-o many negatives about DeYoung over the years, but recently heard an interview on local radio where he was funny and humorous as hell. I would love to get a chance to meet him in person- a ton of info there..
#2 | gdazegod on November 12 2009 09:39:21
Actually, this review was written in early 1985, when I was writing for a fanzine. Years later, I've changed my tune on this LP, it is rather good despite my (initial) reservations. There maybe one or two other De Young reviews in the pipeline, just to balance things up a bit..
#3 | super80boy on August 03 2014 18:32:34
The album starts convincingly with two solid songs and then gets into the quirky yet entertaining 'Boys Will Be Boys'. Of course the title song single is right in DeYoung's wheelhouse with its big ballad oriented melodies. 'Gravity' is an expressive outing and another notable track. I can honestly say I didn't come close to the $70 mark, I recently found a nice NM vinyl copy in the $1 bin at my local record store.
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