Top 10 Most Underrated Styx Songs... put in the limelight!!!
**This is not a list for the best of the best of Styx. If you would like to add to it, you should be able to make a reasonable argument for the underratedness/underappreciation of the song.**
I am a Styx junkie from the late '70s and '80s, and notwithstanding all their great songs from my era, "A Day," which features the late John Curulewski (Tommy Shaw's predecessor), tops my list. It's a psychedelic "Come Sail Away" from an earlier era of Styx music. Give yourself a treat and head over to YouTube to listen to it now!
Still cannot believe they did not release this as a single (aside from its not fitting the "rock opera" that was "Kilroy Was Here" to a tee, but, then again, would that not make it a great "standalone" tune -- ugh...). It was poppy yet edgy, DY and JY, and would have hit the charts. It has a little of everything Styx: this time JY on lead vocals with the signature backup vocals of Tommy, DY, et al., hypnotic keyboards (and horns?), haunting guitar... I have peeked in at the Top-10 list of Styx songs off and on over the years. While this tune is a diamond surely embedded deep in the clay of the embankment of Styx, I am in total disbelief that it took as long as it did to make the list. The 75th song! No way... It would be at least at the back end of this late 70's/80's Styx aficionado's top 10.
Always going to be stuck behind a few other great, more popular Styx songs on best-of lists, but there is an argument to be made that it is Styx's #1 song of all time. Also, you got to love the Styx songs, like "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)", with the alternative, parenthetical titles.
I don't think this song is underrated to be honest, but it's still a classic Styx song.
Often gets disrespected because JY is not on it, and it is a love song. But, hey, it was Styx's ONE Top-40 Billboard #1 song, something (shockingly, mind you) most (all, I think) of these 70's, 80's hard rock bands (Journey, Boston, Kansas, Rush, etc., etc., etc.) never had, and, in any event, it is way better than the love song "Don't Let it End", which is one of my least favorite Styx songs.
"The Grand Illusion" is that this song does not rank higher now many years later, no less in its time. It is no illusion that you cannot stop listening to this song once you have started playing it. Got some of the coolest old-school synthesizers going on!
Come on, you're "fooling yourself" if you don't totally dig this tune! Seriously, you'd have to be an "angry young man" not to like this song. Okay, enough of the cheesy puns. Tommy Shaw at his best certainly indicates Styx at their best, but this tune suffers a similar fate as "Blue Collar Man." Also, like the latter, it has that alternate, parenthetical title. LOL!
This is the fun tune that opens Styx's best-of live concert, "Caught in the Act." Quite campy, a bit corny, but definitely catchy. That said, on a serious note, it does have an ingenious SELF-REFERENTIAL message against corporate music and the consumerism of the day. At any rate, unlike the rest of the album, it is not a recording of a live concert performance. It was the one studio recording they did for the album. It has a fun, quirky video that goes with it as well. This is a forgotten Styx tune for sure, but a pleasant surprise when you give it a listen. It's way catchier than it is given credit for, so much so that it overcomes its indubitable campiness and corniness. It even made the Top 40 back in '84 - just made it at #40! LOL!
I am in the Class of '89. This was our yearbook/graduation/prom class song... that I kind of made happen in a minor high school scandal of sorts. I was a sort of big wig on student council and very actively and vocally campaigned for it -- was encouraged to -- over a love song the girls LOVED. That song was either Paul Young's "Everytime You Go Away" or Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting", I think. The boys loathed the thought of it. Well, the boys won, and it was still "the best of times"... for everyone (though the girls were very pissed off... for a minute). In any event, 'tis another song that suffers a fate similar to "Blue Collar Man" and "Fooling Yourself".
I am NOT a big late, Styx-minus-DeYoung-or-Shaw fan AT ALL. However, the hook on this song rocks. Even though it was not a huge hit back in the 90's, I still can rock out to that strong hook in my head. The fact that it merits Top-10 consideration even without Tommy Shaw (or, for that matter, featuring Dennis DeYoung) and with this Glen Burtnik guy on vocals says A LOT about how good the tune is. Indeed, the irony here is that the very reason this song is on this list is because I realize people like me, who are not at all keen on the later eras of Styx sans DeYoung and/or Shaw, grossly underrate this song and do it a terrible disservice. LOL, but self-awareness and adherence to facts do not care about your feelings and are a good thing to be guided by.