Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: In Defense of Styx

 Let’s just get this out of the way right now:  There won’t be very many deep cuts on this list.  Styx is one of those rare situations where radio programmers have gotten it right.  The reason that you hear the same Styx songs over and over is because they are awesome.

Dennis DeYoung did a great job of beating the coolness out of the band, but if you can overcome your Babe-related PTSD there are some choice cuts in the Styx catalog.  Here we go:

“Suite Madame Blue” kicks enough ass in the last two minutes to overcome the creepy jingoism.

“Blue Collar Man.”  I’m going to give you a bonus “that’s what she said” moment:  I love a good organ, and  “Blue Collar Man” opens with a big, fat, greasy one.  You’re welcome.

“Midnight Ride” is your basic Seventies rocker, but a great album cut.  You’ll even get some cowbell.

“Queen Of Spades” is notable for its tempo change, as if Tommy Shaw had enough Broadway for one day and bumped Dennis out of the way.

“Lady”  is simply perfect.  Stop with your cool posing and your shoe gazing and give into the awesomeness.  Can’t type.  Playing air guitar.

“Come Sail Away” answers age-old metaphysical questions that absolutely nobody ever asked:  What if angels were really aliens?  What if I played a harpsichord riff on a piano?  What if I rhymed “on board” with “aboard”?  What if we missed out on the pot of gold?  The answer is simple: carry on.


Related “Why It Matters” post:

Categories: Deep Cuts, Music

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6 replies »

  1. I love Styx. Dennis DeYoung has an almost perfect vibrato, sounds practically synthesized. Most bands have one sound then they drop out of sight, Styx just morphed along with the decades.

    Great post.

    (still lol-ing at the big fat greasy organ)


    • I think “Lady” is similar to that David Spade/Chris Farley scene (can’t remember the movie) where they are in the car, cracking on The Carpenter’s “Superstar” and by the end of the song they are crying and singing along.

      I think that’s the sweet and sour of a good Styx song — they start off with sickeningly sweet creepiness, and then halfway through the band yanks the song away from Dennis DeYoung and makes it into a lighter-waving anthem.


  2. Something about the overwrought vibe of Styx has always appealed to me. These are great selections. Two of my favorites are “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Grand Illusion”


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