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Big Bang Theory -- Styx

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Has anyone heard the new Styx album. One of my friends works for Universal and told me it was pretty good. I guess it is not originals but cover songs of bands that inspired styx ("I am the Walrus" is the only one I have heard). I was thinking about getting it. Has anyone heard it? Did you like it?

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I apologize in advance for information overkill, but they selected some really good songs to cover:

Styx - Big Bang Theory

UM Music

www.styxworld.com

by Jeb Wright

Rating: A-

I am the Walrus | I Can See for Miles | Can't Find My Way Home | It Don't Make Sense | I Don't Need No Doctor | One Way Out | A Salty Dog | Summer in the City | Manic Depression | Talkin' About the Good Times | Locomotive Breath | Find the Cost of Freedom | Wishing Well | Blue Collar Man @ 2120

Styx jumps on the remake bandwagon paying tribute to the artists that got them hooked on music in the first place. With such a diverse background existing between band members, Big Bang Theory promised to be an interesting collection from first conception. Covers include blues legends, 60's pop stars, psychedelic rockers, folk harmonies and, of course, the Beatles. The magic formula for Big Bang Theory is that Styx was not content to stick exactly to the original song formulas, at the same time, they were not daft enough to attempt to re-make them into sounding like Styx songs. Instead, they found the songs essence and blended their emotional response with it. The other wonderful thing about the band doing this type of album at this stage in their career is that we don't have to have DeYoung's favorites included. I can't imagine having to listen to Styx versions of "Hello Dolly" or "I Will Always Love You."

As our feature for May, we will rate each song on the release.

Click on the links for "Can't Find My Way Home," "I am the Walrus" and "I Don't Need No Doctor" to listen to the tunes now.

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Track 1:

I am the Walrus

Rating: A

L. Gowen sings the hell out of this song. This is a great song to remake because it is one of those songs that you just can't image any band, let alone Styx, remaking. They do an awesome job. Hear it for yourself.

Windows Media

Real Player

Track 2:

I Can See for Miles

Rating: B

The Who are one of the greatest bands of all time and this is one of the songs that helped make them a household name. This song is probably the one song on the album the band plays pretty much 100% to the original, although they add stronger vocal harmonies.

Track 3:

Can't Find My Way Home

Rating: B+

Tommy Shaw delivers a powerful vocal on this classic remake of British Supergroup Blind Faith. The band does not stretch out too far from the original in the verse but the solo sections show the players adding some Styx spice into the mix!

Windows Media

Real Player

Track 4:

It Don't Make Sense (You Can't Make Peace)

Rating: C

James JY Young promised Butch Dixon, son of blues legend Willie Dixon, that one day Styx would remake a song by his father. This is an interesting track to choose considering that Dixon's songs were basically responsible for bands like Led Zeppelin's entire early catalog! Instead of choosing an easy song, Young chose a lesser known track that holds a vocal theme we should all be listening to today. As cool as all that is, this is not the strongest track on the disc and has the lowest rating. Sadly, Butch also went to join his father at the great gig in the sky before this release.

Track 5:

I Don't Need No Doctor

Rating: B+

Lawrence Gowan continues to impress. In fact, there is no way Styx could have survived without him in the group. Gowan adds that much to the music and attitude of the group. This track totally rocks and totally has new life breathed into it. The guitar solo kicks ass and the band grooves from start to finish. Classic Rock Revisited is proud to allow you to hear this song below.

Windows Media

Real Player

Track 6:

One Way Out

Rating A

When I saw this song on the track list I thought, "No way. They should have left this alone." Within two measures, however, I changed my view. This is a tight band. Shaw is not known for a bluesy voice but he delivers in a big way. The tradeoff guitar licks are as addictive as the Allman's version!

Track 7:

A Salty Dog

Rating: A+

Procol Harum has been left behind by rock historians. Other than "Whiter Shade of Pale" no one even knows they exist. Hats off to Styx, and Gowan in particular, for remembering this gem. This song is very much in the classic Styx vein of the 70's. In fact, I predict most people will believe this is an original tune thrown in the mix. Awesome. Simply awesome.

Track 8:

Summer in the City

Rating: A

I thought this would be a joke but it rocks. It even has a killer guitar solo. Styx took a pop song, gave it some big cahoonas and make it even better than the original. They mix the classic feel of the sound with a more modern bridge. The result is a very fun and addictive song.

Track 9:

Manic Depression

Rating: B

JY makes this Hendrix meets "Miss America. His trademark vocals are very evident and will bring a smile to your face. There is no one on the face of the planet that is going to top Jimi and Styx know that. So, they don't try. The song is only four minutes long and does not have any of the Hendrix weirdness, instead they rock it up and have fun with it.

Track 10:

Talkin' About the Good Times

Rating: B-

Someone in the band is a true rock nerd to even know this rare song by the infamous Pretty Things. The band play good on it and it sounds good but it is just not the best song in the world.

Track 11:

Locomotive Breath

Rating: A+

Oh yeah! JY gets it totally right with this one! Who would have ever thought that Styx would ever remake a Jethro Tull song? I wonder if we could talk Ian Anderson into returning the favor. I would like to hear him take on "Grand Illusion" or "Renegade." The flute is not missed at all as Young and Shaw beat the hell out of their guitars and rock this muther up big time!

Track 12:

Find the Cost of Freedom

Rating: A

Clocking in at just over one minute this song is just as haunting as the CSN original. It is also the perfect place for the band to show off their harmonies and the perfect intro to the next song.

Track 13:

Wishing Well

Rating: A

Tommy Shaw delivers another awesome vocal performance as he takes on Paul Rodgers old band Free. This is a song that seems to have found itself on a lot of bands albums over the years. There is one reason for it: It rocks hard. Styx dresses the song up a bit with vocal harmonies, an acoustic passage in the middle of the song and then JY brings it home with a melodic guitar solo. This one is a winner.

Track 14:

Blue Collar Man @ 2120

Rating: B

Styx went to Chicago to visit the building that once housed Chess records and is the current home of Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation. They were joined by the legendary Koko Taylor on vocals and Johnnie Johnson on keyboards. Johnson died shortly after this recording was made. The band remade their own classic "Blue Collar Man" and is donating all the royalties from this song to the Dixon Foundation. The song is slowed down and made very bluesy. The musical performance is awesome but it will take getting used to. It is not as good as the original but that said, it is a cool song and a neat way to raise some money for a good cause.

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