Here’s a statement from Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw, who appeared on “American Bandstand” in 1985:
So sad hearing the news that Dick Clark died. Such an awesome man. I appeared several times on his productions. One of my favorites was on this clip. I remember just having gotten lingual braces (the hidden ones that go on the back side of your teeth) and as you can tell I was still getting used to speaking with them. He and his wife Kari were incredibly gracious and I will always remember how their gentle ways trickled down through the ranks at Dick Clark Productions. He’s up there with Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan as pioneers in entertainment. He was a class act whose joy came through in all that he created for us to enjoy.
It is hard for me to believe that Styx has been around for four decades. They have had countless hits over the years, many of which are well represented in their new two CD compilation Regeneration. What makes this new compilation special? This CD was recorded with their current touring lineup, and offers one new song “Difference in the World”, as well as two newly re-recorded Damn Yankees songs “High Enough” and “Coming of Age”.
I am sure it will anger some folks that the songs in the 2 CD set were re-recorded without Dennis DeYoung, but Styx has carried on without him since 1999. Sometimes, you have to let the music do the talking, and the music speaks loud and clear. Tommy Shaw still sounds amazing in 2011, and Lawrence Gowan is excellent as well. I am a little disappointed that “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto” aren’t in this collection, but the new song, “Difference in The World”, as well as the re-recorded Damn Yankees songs make up for the tracks that are missing.
Overall, I think Regeneration is a very good career retrospective, and is one for all current Styx fans to check out.
Regeneration will be available on October 4th. You can pre-order it here.
For more information on Styx, please visit www.styxworld.com.
Rating: Out of 10
1) The Grand Illusion
2) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
4) Sing For The Day,
5) Crystal Ball
6) Come Sail Away
7) Difference In The World
1) Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
2) Miss America
4) Queen Of Spades
5) Boat on The River
6) Too Much Time On My Hands
8) Coming Of Age
9) High Enough
James “JY” Young – Guitars & Vocals
Tommy Shaw – Guitars, Vocals, Mandolin
Lawrence Gowan – Vocals & Keyboards
Todd Sucherman – Drums & Percussion
Ricky Phillips – Bass Guitar
Chuck Panozzo – Bass Guitar
Twisted Sister seemingly opened the floodgates for a new batch of hard rockin’ Christmas tunes when they released their album, “Twisted Christmas” in 2006. “We Wish You A Metal Xmas, and a HeadBanging New Year” has more hard rock and metal stars than any other Christmas compilation in history (Yes, even more than Monster Ballads Christmas from 2007). With that being said, it has to be awesome right?!
For the most part it is, and I would go so far as saying they have one upped, “Twisted Christmas” with this compilation.
First and foremost, I am a Jeff Scott Soto fan and he can do little wrong in my eyes. He helps rock out this rocking version of “We Wish You A Merry (Metal) Xmas”. My step daughter likes this one too. I caught her singing “We Wish You A Metal Christmas”.
You either have to love or hate Lemmy Kilmister. His rendition of “Run Rudolph Run” is pretty fun for the most part, but you know what to expect from his vocals. I have officially started a new holiday tradition by singing “Run Rudolph Run” in my best Lemmy Kilmister voice. What a great way to annoy the spouse and siblings.!
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a creepy and cool rendition of this tune. Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi make this sound like a lost Black Sabbath cut.
“Silver Bells” is one of the weaker moments on this disc. Geoff Tate’s lack of vocal fortitude really shows up badly on this song. He can’t hit the notes that this song requires, and that is a shame. He used to have an awesome voice, but it is severely lacking here.
Dug Pinnick from King’s X turns in a semi soulful version of the Little Drummer Boy. George Lynch adds some pretty tasty guitar licks to this version.
You have to love Ripper Owens. He may not be the best singer in the world, but he can really metalize Christmas songs like no one else. Steve Morse provides the tasty guitar licks on “Santa Claus is Back In Town”, and Ripper drives it home with his metal screams. I love it!
Chuck Billy destroys “Silent Night” with his death metal growl, but I think this is more tongue in cheek, than anything else. I can’t say I ever expected to hear a death/thrash metal version of “Silent Night”, but the unit of Scott Ian, Jon Donais, Chris Wyse and John Tempesta somehow manage to pull this off. The shredding on this tune is pretty awesome.
Every time I hear “Deck the Halls” I think it is Geoff Tate back for another dose. It is actually Lynch Mob’s Oni Logan. I don’t know if is just me, but his voice also sounds worse for wear here. I don’t remember him sounding anything like this in the 90′s.
RATT’s Stephen Pearcy pulls off a pretty good version of “Grandman Got Ran Over By A Reindeer”. As it turns out, Pearcy has a pretty good voice for this tune. Who would have thought that?
As a whole, I have enjoyed this CD, and have replayed this quite a bit . This is easily the best hard rock Christmas CD released in 2008. Buy it!!
- We Wish You A Merry Xmas – (Jeff Scott Soto, Bruce Kulick, Bob Kulick, Chris Wyse, Ray Luzier)
- Run Rudolph Run – (Lemmy Kilmister, Billy F. Gibbons, Dave Grohl)
- Santa Claws Is Coming To Town – (Alice Cooper, John 5, Billy Sheehan, Vinny Appice)
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Rudy Sarzo, Simon Wright)
- Silver Bells (Geoff Tate, Carlos Cavazo, James Lomenzo, Ray Luzier)
- Little Drummer Boy – (Dug Pinnick, George Lynch, Billy Sheehan, Simon Phillips)
- Santa Claus Is Back In Town – (Tim Owens, Steve Morse, Juan Garcia, Marco Mendoza, Vinny Appice)
- Silent Night – (Chuck Billy, Scott Ian, Jon Donais, Chris Wyse, John Tempesta)
- Deck The Halls – (Oni Logan, Craig Goldy, Tony Franklin, John Tempesta)
- Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer – (Stephen Pearcy, Tracii Guns, Bob Kulick, Billy Sheehan, Greg Bissonette)
- Rockin’ Around The Xmas Tree – (Joe Lynn Turner, Bruce Kulick, Bob Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, Simon Wright)
- Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – (Tommy Shaw, Steve Lukather, Marco Mendoza, Kenny Aronoff)
Produced by: Bob Kulick and Brett Chassen