Styx - Styxworld Live 2001

Year of Release: 2001
Label: CMC Records International
Catalog Number: 06076-86311-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:30:00

Styx (l to r: Gowen, Shaw, Burtnik, Young and Sucherman; courtesy Chipster Entertainment)Although some say that the 70s revival is on the wane as the 80s revival is waxing, I'm tending to disagree. In the past couple of years we have seen groups that were once thought gone forever re-emerge with new material (whether gone is due to lackluster material or actual breakup) - examples: Kansas, Journey, and, relevant here, Styx. This isn't really a new phenomenon, as bands split and reform all the time, but it seems that arena rock is making a resurgence, even if we can't really call it a comeback, necessarily. They may still fill arenas and stadiums on occasion, but they are also just as likely to playing your local fair, not there should be any shame in that.

Styx's last studio album was 1999's Brave New World and their last with Dennis De Young. If you've watched VHI's Behind The Music episode on Styx, then you know the reasons why De Young is no longer with the band. Basically De Young has developed some sensitivity to light that makes it impossible for him to tour (at least as I understand it) and because the band wanted to move forward, De Young and the band split from each other. Interestingly, Journey also has a new front man. Kansas then becomes the odd band out in that troika as Steve Walsh is behind the mic. Of course, there have been other changes in the Styx line-up over the years. The only member that has been with the band since the very beginning is guitarist James "JY" Young. Tommy Shaw joined in 1976, and when the band broke up in 1984 and reformed in 1990, Glen Burtnik had replaced Shaw. Burtnik plays on this album. Sadly, John Panozzo, the band's original drummer died a few years ago, and from the liner notes, it appears that original guitarist John Curulewski has also passed away.

In to replace De Young, in a manner of speaking, is Lawrence Gowan, who handles both vocals and keys. The live tracks on Styxworld Live 2001 are culled from 3 separate dates, one from Feb 2000 (Tokyo), October 2000 (Germany) and February 2001 (Canada), though the tracks aren't identified in the booklet as to which shows they're from.* It doesn't really matter, though, because if you didn't know there were three different performances, you couldn't tell. It flows quite well and from a production and sound point of view it's fairly consistent. Nearly every Styx album is represented here (1975 - 1980, 1990), and while it isn't chockfull of hits -- no "Renegade," "Time On My Hands," etc., -- it doesn't contain B-grade material, either. Prog and rock are the orders of the day, as "Sing For The Day" (Styx as Yes; first time on a live disc), "Snowblind" and "Crystal Ball" (on the one hand), "Rockin' The Paradise," and "Half-Penny, Two Penny" (first time on a live disc) on the other. Of course, we get the acoustic "Boat On The River" which balances everything out perfectly. Three non-Styx tracks are included, "High Enough" (Damn Yankees), "A Criminal Mind" (Gowan), and "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (a Glen Burtnik/Patty Smyth track). While the line up is Young and Shaw on guitars, Todd Sucherman on drums and percussion, Burtnik on bass and guitar, and Gowan on keyboards (and all on vocals except Sucherman), original bassist Chuck Panozzo joins the band for the last track. The tour marked the band's first international jaunt since 1982.

As a live set, I find it to be very tight. It keeps moving from track one to track thirteen without there being any moments of self-indulgence. That the material spans their entire career and all the members' contributions reminds you that Styx were more than just De Young. Oddly, there were a couple of points where I thought of Kiss and of AC/DC ... the first mainly from the amount of energy in the set, such that you must think they are just going all out. In the latter case, it is the hardened delivery JY gives in "Miss America," as he sounds a bit like Brian Johnson during the choruses.

Actually, I'm quite glad the set doesn't include all the "big hits," as that would be the obvious. It would smack of a band trying to earn a few bucks off the fans rather than creating something for the fans. The packaging is very nice - warm, sedate colours with many live pics. They look like they enjoyed playing with each other and for the fans, and that's really all we can ask from a band. The closer is, of course, perhaps their most widely known track -- "Come Sail Away." It is a powerful, rocking, lively version of the track.

This is a very good live set, recommended certainly for Styx fans, but also a good introduction to those new to the band as well.

*The press release does say which track is from which performance, however: 1, 2, 9, 11, and 12 are from the Tokyo show, 6 and 10 are from Germany, the remainder from Canada.

Rockin' The Paradise (4:12) / High Enough (2:07) / Lorelei (4:07) / A Criminal Mind (5:59) / Love Is The Ritual (5:31) / Boat On The River (4:25) / Half-Penny, Two Penny (6:35) / Sing For The Day (4:22) / Snowblind (5:22) / Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough (2:45) / Crystal Ball (6:28) / Miss America (6:19) / Come Sail Away (10:11)

Tommy Shaw - vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin
James 'JY' Young - vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, supplemental keysboards
Todd Sucherman - drums and percussion
Glen Burtnik - vocals, bass, guitar
Lawrence Gowen - vocals and keyboards
Chuck Panozzo - bass

Styx (1972)
Styx II (1973)
The Serpent Is Rising (1974)
Man Of Miracles (1974)
Equinox (1976)
Crystal Ball (1976)
The Grand Illusion (1977)
The Best Of Styx (1977)
Pieces Of Eight (1978)
Best Of Styx (1979)
Cornerstone (1980)
Miracles (1980)
Paradise Theatre (1981)
Kilroy Was Here (1983)
Caught In The Act - Live (1984)
Classics, Vol 15 (1987)
Edge Of The Century (1990)
A&M New Gold Series (1990)
Fan Box Set (1991)
Greatest Hits (1995)
Greatest Hits II (1996)
Return To Paradise (1997)
The Best Of Times: The Best Of Styx (1997)
Lady: Encore Collection (1998)
Brave New World (1999)
Best Of Styx (1999)
Arch Allies - Live At Riverport (2000)
Extended Versions (2000)
Singles Collection (2000)
Styxworld Live 2001 (2001)
Yesterday & Today (2001)
20th Century Master - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Styx (2002)
Cyclorama (2003)
Rockers (2003)
Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology (2004)
Big Bang Theory (2005)
The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings (2005)
Chronicles (2005)
Gold (2006)
One With Everything (2006)
Best Of Styx: Green Series (2008)
Legends Of Rock (2008)
Caught In The Act: Live (2009)

Caught In The Act (VHS) (1991)
Return To Paradise (VHS) (1997)
Arch Allies: Live At Riverport (VHS/DVD) (2000)
20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best Of Styx (DVD) (2004)
One With Everything (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Melodic Rock/AOR

Origin US

Added: September 24th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 873
Language: english


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