Big 4.

Paradise Theater

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Which 2 would you pick.

Grand Illusion
6
26%
Pieces of 8
8
35%
Cornerstone
2
9%
Paradise Theatre
7
30%
 
Total votes : 23

Big 4.

Postby gr8dane » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:54 am

Well,Another poll if you are interested.
If you could only ever again hear 2 of the 4 ,which would you pick.?

My pix PO8 and PT.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby yogi » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:24 pm

Easy Question I took The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight.

Now for me if Equinox is included it gets much harder. I choose Equinox @#1 now Ive got to pick between The Grand Illusion & Pieces Of Eight.

Today and most days I would choose Pieces of Eight, still on some days I prefer The Grand Illusion
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Re: Big 4.

Postby gr8dane » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:23 am

yogi wrote:Easy Question I took The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight.

Now for me if Equinox is included it gets much harder. I choose Equinox @#1 now Ive got to pick between The Grand Illusion & Pieces Of Eight.

Today and most days I would choose Pieces of Eight, still on some days I prefer The Grand Illusion


I am with you re: Equinox.Stunning album,and Po8 would then be my 2nd choice .
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Toph » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:51 am

Pieces of Eight just isn't that great of an album. Lacking in imagination and creativity, it was taking what worked on Grand Illusion and not doing it as well. Lyrics lack depth, especially in the TS songs. Lords of the Ring is trying way too hard to be "progressive" and it just doesn't work - especially with JY on lead vocals. Blue Collar Man is not the best song on the album and I have no clue why it was the first single. Likely why it only peaked at #21 when the lead single off a follow up to their biggest album should have been a guaranteed top 10 smash. Best songs on Pieces of Eight are the Title Track, Sing For The Day, Renegade, I'm O.K. While not "a parking lot of whale vomit" as Rolling Stone described, out of those four it was by far and away the least creative and pushed the envelop the least in terms of advancing the band's sound. A sequel - and like most sequels - not nearly as good as the original.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby yogi » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:05 am

Couldn't disagree with you more Toph. Absolutely loved the album then and still do now. On MOST days I felt they did the impossible and one upped The Grand Illusion.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby gr8dane » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:19 am

yogi wrote:Couldn't disagree with you more Toph. Absolutely loved the album then and still do now. On MOST days I felt they did the impossible and one upped The Grand Illusion.


Yep.That's how I feel.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Toph » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:46 am

Know I'm in the minority, buy I Have to disagree. Pieces of Eight is not nearly as good as Grand Illusion. There is no classic on there like Come Sail Away. Nothing like Fooling Yourself. Nothing that pulls the theme together like the title track on Grand Illusion. The "B sides" (Man In Wilderness, Castle Walls, Superstars) are much better on GI than Pieces of Eight. Even JY's contribution, Miss America trumps Great White Hope. I don't think its close at all.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Boomchild » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:18 pm

Toph wrote:Know I'm in the minority, buy I Have to disagree. Pieces of Eight is not nearly as good as Grand Illusion. There is no classic on there like Come Sail Away. Nothing like Fooling Yourself. Nothing that pulls the theme together like the title track on Grand Illusion. The "B sides" (Man In Wilderness, Castle Walls, Superstars) are much better on GI than Pieces of Eight. Even JY's contribution, Miss America trumps Great White Hope. I don't think its close at all.


I would have to agree. PO8 did not "one up" GI. If I remember correctly, even DDY said he wasn't really happy with his contributions on this album. It certainly wasn't a complete failure.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Cassie May » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:34 pm

Interesting, because I have never thought of Po8 as a "theme" album, but just a collection of rock tracks, much as Cornerstone was a collection of pop tracks. And, for my own personal taste, I have never liked Po8 as much as GI. I think because there is more JY on that album, and I have never been a fan of his. It has been many, many years since I listened to Po8 in its entirety, as there are few songs on it I like. I do like Blue Collar Man--yes, it's been overdone and overrecorded too many times, but that original version is still the one I enjoy the most out of all the versions out there--mainly because I like Tommy's vocal on the track and his guitar solo. Renegade--another one that has been overdone, but one that is perfect to crank in the car when it comes on the radio. Plus, I love the a capella opening. Pieces of Eight is the last one I enjoy a lot. The rest of the album does nothing for me.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Toph » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:59 pm

Cassie May wrote:Interesting, because I have never thought of Po8 as a "theme" album, but just a collection of rock tracks, much as Cornerstone was a collection of pop tracks. And, for my own personal taste, I have never liked Po8 as much as GI. I think because there is more JY on that album, and I have never been a fan of his. It has been many, many years since I listened to Po8 in its entirety, as there are few songs on it I like. I do like Blue Collar Man--yes, it's been overdone and overrecorded too many times, but that original version is still the one I enjoy the most out of all the versions out there--mainly because I like Tommy's vocal on the track and his guitar solo. Renegade--another one that has been overdone, but one that is perfect to crank in the car when it comes on the radio. Plus, I love the a capella opening. Pieces of Eight is the last one I enjoy a lot. The rest of the album does nothing for me.


I think Republicans and Democrats in DC have hope, because Cassie and I agree on something! Woo Hoo!

Look, I don't have anything against Po8 necessarily. Its a fine album for what it is, but I just don't think it is as great of an album in the Styx catalog that it is made out to be. My biggest beef of Po8. Is there anything really new on that album? Does Styx expand there musical horizons at all on this album? I think you could argue that every A&M album breaks new ground musically. Equinox does. Crystal Ball with the addition of TS does. Grand Illusion certainly does. Like it or not, Cornerstone brings in new musical direction, Paradise does as well with the jazzy/horns, over the top thematic feel, Kilroy with the new wave/techno feel. Even Edge with its push toward hair band pop-metal is a new direction. But I can't say that about Pieces of Eight. Where is any push to expand the Styx sound there? Again, not saying that's bad,but its a very "safe" album. I can see why DDY wanted to expand the sound footprint after Po8 for Cornerstone, because I'm sure to do a third straight GI was not very exciting to him at that point.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Cassie May » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:03 am

[quote Toph]

I think Republicans and Democrats in DC have hope, because Cassie and I agree on something! Woo Hoo!

Look, I don't have anything against Po8 necessarily. Its a fine album for what it is, but I just don't think it is as great of an album in the Styx catalog that it is made out to be. My biggest beef of Po8. Is there anything really new on that album? Does Styx expand there musical horizons at all on this album? I think you could argue that every A&M album breaks new ground musically. Equinox does. Crystal Ball with the addition of TS does. Grand Illusion certainly does. Like it or not, Cornerstone brings in new musical direction, Paradise does as well with the jazzy/horns, over the top thematic feel, Kilroy with the new wave/techno feel. Even Edge with its push toward hair band pop-metal is a new direction. But I can't say that about Pieces of Eight. Where is any push to expand the Styx sound there? Again, not saying that's bad,but its a very "safe" album. I can see why DDY wanted to expand the sound footprint after Po8 for Cornerstone, because I'm sure to do a third straight GI was not very exciting to him at that point.[/quote]

Well, let's keep these good vibes going, as I agree with everything you said here! Woo Hoo! :D

As my final thought of Po8, I think that within the context of the times, it was a safe album. In 1978, there really wasn't anything breaking new ground musically for Styx to try to conform to or compete with. Disco was prevalent, and punk was just on the fringes in the clubs of New York (even though it was huge in England, I'm just talking America here), but mostly what was played on the radio was rock and pop. Styx had finally found a cohesive sound with GI; why rock the boat and mess with it?
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Re: Big 4.

Postby masque » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:41 am

Toph wrote:Pieces of Eight just isn't that great of an album. Lacking in imagination and creativity, it was taking what worked on Grand Illusion and not doing it as well. Lyrics lack depth, especially in the TS songs. Lords of the Ring is trying way too hard to be "progressive" and it just doesn't work - especially with JY on lead vocals. Blue Collar Man is not the best song on the album and I have no clue why it was the first single. Likely why it only peaked at #21 when the lead single off a follow up to their biggest album should have been a guaranteed top 10 smash. Best songs on Pieces of Eight are the Title Track, Sing For The Day, Renegade, I'm O.K. While not "a parking lot of whale vomit" as Rolling Stone described, out of those four it was by far and away the least creative and pushed the envelop the least in terms of advancing the band's sound. A sequel - and like most sequels - not nearly as good as the original.


toph I hear what you're saying, but I just dont thing I can agree on alot of it. to me I actually think some of tommy's lyrics on sing for the day and blue collar man both are very good lyrics and far from the normal arena rock lyrics. tommy's lyrics were always not quite as thought provoking as DDY's....but anyway, I guess Im just saying I think they are pretty strong.

and I guess one thing that separates it for me, is that I actually consider great white hope to be one of the best styx songs period.....not just JY song, but one of their best songs period. LOVE that tune, always have! so if IM on a desert island I am gonna pick GWH every single time over miss america.....while I think miss america is a great song, it's nowhere near as good as GWH to my ears.

i think where POE my lack for you is that you are more of a DDY fan and his songs as a whole are weaker on POE than what he contributed to GI overall. like you said, there is no come sail away. grand illusion the song is vintage dennis, while queen of spades is certainly a little different for dennis and what we had come to expect from him. and then lastly you have castle walls against piece of eight the song......and while I love both of this songs, I think most massive styx fans would consider castle walls to be one of their best "non hit" songs of all time.

thats why I personally would rank GI above POE overall. you arguably have DDY's best song in come sail away, maybe Tommy's best song in Fooling Yourself and arguably JY's best ever in Miss America......to most fans anyway.......so that is gonna be a tough thing to top.

in the case of tommy, I think he came close on POE with Renegade and BCM......it's weird to me to see how burnt out some people have become with BCM, because I still feel it's one of their better songs. But everyone is different.

Lastly, my musical leanings are favored a bit towards guitar oriented flavorings and heavier tinged songs most of the time......therefore, and album like POE hits my ears a bit better than most because of that as well. so to me it's GI #1 with POE at #2 but following super close.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby yogi » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:11 am

Again, I like the sequel every bit as much as the original.

Tommy ABSOLUTELY shines on all 3 of his classics. I rip Blue Collar Man alot but when it was released I absolutely loved it as I did Renegade and Sing For The Day. His three songs were all GREAT.

With Dennis I REALLY liked Im OK, and I LOVED Queen Of Spades which was kind of a Born For Adventure ripoff. For me thats not a bad thing since Born For Adventure was my favorite Styx song for the longest time. DDY's Pieces of Eight is EPIC!!! Its 6 oclock........... AWESOME!!


JY's Great White Hope is tremendous. I did not care for Lord Of The Rings a whole lot but the rest of the album was PERFECT.

As for where I live now on Shreveport, Longview and Dallas radio the three songs you hear by far the most of from Styx are: Renegade, Come Sail Away, and Blue Collar Man ( in order).

Finally, I feel you are way wrong on Pieces Of Eight. Dennis didnt like it as much because he didnt have a hit. That means nothing because back then as is now I loved all three of his songs. They all were GREAT Styx songs. The album EPIC, and if you are quoting Rolling Scum magazine as a source the only album praised by that rag was Crystal Ball.

That speaks volumes
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Cassie May » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:01 am

Yogi, you're in Shreveport? I'm not familiar with Louisiana geography, but I sincerely hope you are safe and out of Harvey's reach. I can't believe what I am seeing on TV. Devastation is too small a word for what is happening in Texas right now.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby gr8dane » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:04 am

Cassie quote: 'Why rock the boat'.

With GI they became a hit,their huge breakthrough .With a follow up to that,in my opinion,you don't start going in a different direction.
Everything you worked for fell into place.
Therefore with Po8,there is not much difference,and rightly so.I think Styx with Po8 did exactly the right thing and passed with flying colours.
With Po8 they were totally established,and then you can start tweaking.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby yogi » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:17 pm

Thanks Cassie. Actually we have had very little rain where I live.

I have a ton of family in Corpus and Houston. My wife's sister got here with us from Corpus last Friday.

My in-laws are doing OK so far in Houston. Their neighborhood has drained fairly well. They are up high. Still, they cant go anywhere. Almost every main road in and out is under water.

Its heart wrenching
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Re: Big 4.

Postby masque » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:35 pm

gr8dane wrote:Cassie quote: 'Why rock the boat'.

With GI they became a hit,their huge breakthrough .With a follow up to that,in my opinion,you don't start going in a different direction.
Everything you worked for fell into place.
Therefore with Po8,there is not much difference,and rightly so.I think Styx with Po8 did exactly the right thing and passed with flying colours.
With Po8 they were totally established,and then you can start tweaking.


i agree with alot of that.....most bands that have alot of success you can see patterns in their writing.....either because it's what they like or because it's what came natural for them or its because they were "trying" to write something that sounds like what made them famous.

in the case of styx you could kind of make the argument that crystal ball, GI and POE have a similar sound and style of writing. Kansas did with leftoverture, POKR and Monlith. Rush did with permeant waves, moving pictures and signals. and I could go on and on.

i think most bands do this.

to me regardless of how or why the songs were written for POE, they dont sound forced or contrived to me at all. they sound very natural and sound like a very confident band at the peak of their powers. i can understand why some people prefer albums other than POE, that's just taste. same argument could be made with Kansas.....do you like leftoverture (their GI) or Point of know return (their POE)?

what's better dark side of the moon or wish you were here? man, those are all tough choices......all great and worthy albums.

but ultimately, styx probably didn't surprise anyone with POE but they certainly kept the train rollin with putting out more of the same that came before......and let's face it man, vinyl albums were 35-42 minutes most of the time.......so to have a couple of albums of similar styles of songs is more than OK, because you are still talking about both albums barely being as long as most albums are these days. it's not like they gave us 28 songs on those two albums that were overly similar.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Cassie May » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:32 am

Yogi, I'm glad you and yours are safe!
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Re: Big 4.

Postby Toph » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:30 am

I'm just saying that Po8 doesn't give you anything new whereas every other album in the A&M catalog does. I also think Crystal Ball is different than Po8 and GI because I think they were still testing out their sea legs with Tommy Shaw and looking for direction

Finally, I find it hard to categorize Po8 as a concept album too. If the concept is what is laid out in the title track, then only Lords of the Ring and maybe I'm Okay align with the concept. TS songs have nothing to do with it and Great White Hope and Queen of Spades are only slightly closer. Then that begs the question, what exactly is this album? A straight ahead rock album or a concept album?

Again, I'm not trying to say its a bad album, but I continue to think that is not deserving of all of the accolades it gets vis a vis other Styx albums. Its fine, but for me, its not one of the great ones.
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Re: Big 4.

Postby yogi » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:58 am

Tommy had two hard rocking EXCELLENT songs - Way new, to that point JY was the only real straight ahead rocker. Two true straight ahead rock songs. Did Tommy ever do that again?? Shooz might be his only other song like those two gems.

DDY used some sort of pipe organ on I'm OK. - Way new. Dennis IMO also kind of brought back Born For Adventure with Queen Of Spades both TOTAL classic Styx songs. The song Pieces of Eight was also a HUGE triumph for DDY.

EPIC album!!!!!!
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