For many punters, the resultant 1990 reunion album ‘Edge Of The Century’ was Styx’s best effort since 1978’s ‘Pieces Of Eight’ a distant twelve years past.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Edge Of The Century
SERIAL: 75021 5327 2
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Dennis DeYoung – vocals, keyboards * James Young – vocals, guitars * Glen Burtnik – vocals, guitars * Chuck Panozzo – bass * John Panozzo – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Love Is The Ritual * 02 Show Me The Way * 03 Edge Of The Century * 04 Love At First Sight * 05 All In A Days Work * 06 Not Dead Yet * 07 World Tonite * 08 Carrie Ann * 09 Homewrecker * 10 Back To Chicago
WEBLINKS: Site Link
The Styx bandwagon was starting to look shaky halfway through the ‘Kilroy Was Here’ tour. Tommy Shaw announced to his bandmates that he was going solo shortly after the release of the ‘Caught In The Act’ Live album back in April 1984, and as a result, Dennis DeYoung put the band into storage. DeYoung, Shaw and James Young all pursued solo careers between 1984 and 1988 with varying levels of success.
Toward the end of the decade, Shaw and DeYoung rekindled interest in reforming the band, but DeYoung’s 1988 ‘Boomchild’ album took a lot longer to complete (he described it as the worst eleven months of his life), and as a result, Shaw couldn’t hold on any longer and moved on to the Damn Yankees instead.
Still encouraged by a reformation, DeYoung bought New Jersey solo artist Glen Burtnick onboard. Also on the A&M label and with two excellent solo albums under his belt, Burtnik (now minus a ‘c’ in his surname) would take on the role held by Shaw, but he also bought strong songwriting skills too, complimenting those of DeYoung. For many punters, the resultant 1990 reunion album ‘Edge Of The Century’ was Styx’s best effort since 1978’s ‘Pieces Of Eight’ a distant twelve years past.
The two principal songwriters contribute a different set of tunes to the album. DeYoung provides the sugary ballads, while Burtnik provides the cut and thrust rockers. DeYoung’s epic ‘Show Me The Way’ was the big hit, making it to #3 on the Billboard charts. The song was dedicated to his son Matthew.
Dennis’ other family member, daughter ‘Carrie Ann’ also get a musical/lyrical tribute on the album, yet more sugar coated balladry. Burtnik’s contributions are quite different sounding to stuff we’ve heard before from the man (that should be obvious). ‘World Tonite’ has that jangly singer/songwriter vibe reminiscent of his solo material, ‘Love Is The Ritual’ meanwhile is the hardest rockin’ effort here, mixing a hi-tech arrangement, cutting guitars and big shout-it-out choruses.
‘All In A Days Work’ is a reflective but acoustic number, which sees Burtnik emulating his predecessor Tommy Shaw stylistically. ‘Not Dead Yet’, written by Ralph Covert is Styx’s answer to good-time rock ‘n’ roll, musically stripped down with a ton of lyrics to match. ‘Back To Chicago’ returns to the band’s ‘Paradise Theatre’ era, the music-hall style complete with lots of piano and blaring horns, yet another change-up moment on the album. James Young also drops one in, ‘Homewrecker’, a typical JY rocker which mashes up the album a bit. The guitar and keyboard solos are pretty nifty too.
The album was met with indifference by the general public, despite their six year MIA status. Melodic rock was already on the way out, and their arrival did little to stop the backward trend. At the time, the Gulf War was in full swing, and the song ‘Show Me The Way’ became the unofficial anthem, which was flattering, but probably didn’t help their cause any. The lineup was short lived despite its promise. The band would continue well into the 21st century, and their story can be read elsewhere on GDM.
Show Me The Way