Maybe ‘Styx II’ got overlooked because its follow-up was only 3 months later, not enough time to sink into the conscious of American listeners.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Styx II
LABEL: Wooden Nickel
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Dennis DeYoung – vocals, keyboards * James Shaw – vocals, guitars * John Curulewski – vocals, guitars, keyboards * Chuck Panozzo – bass * John Panozzo – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 You Need Love * 02 Lady * 03 A Day * 04 You Better Ask * 05 Little Fugue In G * 06 Father O.S.A * 07 Earl Of Roseland * 08 I’m Gonna Make You Feel It
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Styx released two albums during 1973: ‘Styx II’ (July 1973) and ‘The Serpent Is Rising’ which followed three months later in October. The band were still finding their groove and trying to find a sound uniquely their own. That would come several years later. Maybe this album got overlooked in the overall scheme of things because its follow-up was only 3 months later. Hardly enough time for the songs to sink into the ears, hearts, and minds of American listeners. Still, this was the album that generated the hit single ‘Lady’, which eventually became a national break-out hit for the band two years later. Wonders never cease.
‘Styx II’ was only an eight-track affair, the band continuing to mix up an American hard rock meets British progressive rock hybrid, but ultimately never quite achieving both. Other than ‘Lady’ which was the best-known song from the album, songs to grab my attention included the peppy opener ‘You Need Love’ with all its abundant organ work, stinging guitar lines and multi-vocal harmonies. The 8.24-minute expanse of ‘A Day’ certainly touches on early 70’s prog, the song is separated into three distinct sections and is worth a listen, though I found John Curulewski’s vocal underwhelming.
‘Little Fugue In G’ (a J.S Bach piece) is a short organ instrumental which segues directly into ‘Father O.S.A’ (Order of Saint Augustine), the song taking its theme from a Catholic school attended by the Panozzo brothers. This is my favourite song on the album due to the robust organ and guitar work. The other track worth mentioning is the closer ‘I’m Gonna Make You Feel It’ with loads of harmony vocals and a rockier delivery.
This album review completes the Wooden Nickel era within our database for Styx, you can read all the others by clicking on the Styx tag below.
Little Fugue In G/Father O.S.A