Big Bang Theory
2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Styx is one of those band you have heard from and about through the years but never really paid any attention to, at least I haven’t done it. I was really surprised when I read that the band had been in the business since 1972 and at least that it’s worth honoring.
I think that the most parts of the readers already know what kind of music genre and style these guys play but for you who don’t I’d say that Styx are all about classical rock’n’roll music along with a few prog hints as well.
BIG BANG THEORY isn’t a new studio album, instead the band focused on recording covers of their all time favorite tracks, the only newer track is a re-recording of their own song “Blue Collar Men 2120” which already was recorded back in 1978 and then became a top 40 hit under the name “Blue Collar Men 2004”. Some of the covers come from songs by The Who, Blind Faith, Allman Brothers, Procul Harum, Lovin’ Spoonful and Jethro Tull.
I haven’t heard most of the songs so I can’t really say if they are faithful to the original or not but I do have heard “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles which is featured as a live song recorded by Styx in September 2004 and the dragged out “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great song but it has been covered to pieces by different bands. They have also featured versions of “I Don’t Need No Doctor” by Humble Pie and “Wishing Well” by Free, those songs I’m also familiar with and it sounds like Styx have kept themselves pretty close to the originals.
It seems like it’s Tommy, James and Lawrence that shares lead vocals and on the last track a man that sounds amazingly like Blackie Lawless sings.
The bass is handled by Ricky Philips with one exception, on “Locomotive Breath” it’s the original bass player Chuck Panozzo that plays. The production was by the band together with Gary Loizzo and the guys have done a flawless production. But the great production can’t help the album from both feeling and sounding very tired and un-inspiring. I guess that the gentlemen had great fun when they got together to record their favorite tracks but hey, it sure doesn’t sound like that and if you’re going to make an entire album of covers why make it sound just like the original? Why don’t they make the songs sound like their own?.
After several listenings I can only point out two songs that sound inspired and they are “I’m The Walrus” and “I Don’t Need No Doctor” otherwise this album feels totally unnecessary for everyone even the bands fans.
Tommy Shaw – guitar, vocals
James Young – guitar, vocals
Todd Sucherman – drums, b-vox
Lawrence Gowan – keyboards, vocals
Ricky Philips – bass, b-vox
Chuck Panozzo – bass
More info about the band
I Am The Walrus
I Can See For Miles
Can’t Find My Way Home
It Don’t Make Sense (you can’t make peace)
I Don’t Need No Doctor
One Way Out
A Salty Dog
Summer In The City
Talkin’ About The Good Times
Find The Cost OF Freedom
Blue Collar Men @ 2120