I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of Styx from 1979 through to 1984. However, the decision was made to review this album purely from a completists point of view.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Caught In The Act (Live)
SERIAL: SP 6514 (LP), 75021 6514 2 (CD)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Dennis DeYoung – vocals, keyboards, accordion * Tommy Shaw – vocals, guitars, mandolin * James ‘JY’ Young – vocals, guitars, keyboards * Chuck Panozzo – bass * John Panozzo – drums
TRACK LISTING: A1 Music Time * A2 Mr. Robot * A3 Too Much Time On My Hands * A4 Babe * B1 Snowblind * B2 The Best Of Times * B3 Suite Madam Blue * C1 Rockin’ The Paradise * C2 Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) * C3 Miss America * C4 Boat On The River * D1 Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) * D2 Crystal Ball * D3 Come Sail Away
I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of Styx from 1979 through to 1984. However, the decision was made to review this album purely from a completists point of view. After the ‘Kilroy’ album from 1983, A&M still wanting to milk the cash cow, opted for the cheap option of releasing a live album. It was a double live set recorded over two nights (April 9 and 10, 1983) down in New Orleans but released exactly one year later.
The album includes one new track ‘Music Time’ recorded in January 1984. Not really based on the familiar Styx template, this one sounding like a quirky J Geils Band offcut. Not really my cup of tea. Much of the track listing is spread across their past records, a fairly even distribution, though I would have preferred more rockin’ tunes rather than the ‘hit machine’ ballads such as ‘Babe’, ‘Best Of Times’ and ‘Come Sail Away’.
At times listening to this, it’s like we’re experiencing a theatrical event rather than a full-blown rock concert. I guess in a way it was – as the event was also recorded for VHS and eventually DVD. Though the band try to lift the energy levels with 1983 hit ‘Mr Roboto’, ‘Blue Collar Man’ and ‘Miss America’, you get the sense that songs like ‘Renegade’, the superb ‘Queen Of Spades’ or ‘Man In The Wilderness’ would’ve blown the roof off the joint. As a result, it might be a double Live album but overall it’s a fairly ho-hum representation of the band.
Professional opinions of the album in later years were not particularly favourable, but that didn’t stop the public from buying it in droves back in 1984. The album itself made it to no. 31 on the Billboard album charts while ‘Music Time’ made it to no. 40 on the singles charts. After the albums release in April 1984, Tommy Shaw left the band for a solo career, it was time to park the Styx vehicle in the garage for the remainder of the decade.
Our past Styx reviews have been submitted by varying writers over the years, but all of us seem to have a common respect for the band as well as the numerous side projects from DeYoung, Shaw, Young, and in later incarnations there were newer personnel like Burtnick and Gowan too. For me personally, I jumped back onboard in 1990, though I will say that the ultimate era for Styx was the 70’s.
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I don’t mind ‘Music Time’ to be honest. It’s better than much of their material from 79-83.