A&M / UMe 9-LP Box: Styx The A&M Albums 1975-1984 - B0022683-01 - 2015 EU SEALED

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Background -

180-gram Vinyl 9-LP Limited Edition Box Set.

Styx: The A&M Albums 1975-1984 Box Set contains the classic A&M albums from Styx on 180-gram vinyl. Titles included are Caught In The Act (2-LP Live), Cornerstone, Crystal Ball, Equinox, Kilroy Was Here, Paradise Theater, Pieces of Eight, and The Grand Illusion.

The roots of Styx were formed in Roseland on the south side of Chicago back in 1961 by twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo on bass guitar and drums respectively, with vocalist / keyboardist Dennis DeYoung as The Tradewinds, then TW4, with guitarist James "JY" Young joining in 1970. By '72, when they signed to indie Wooden Nickel Records, they changed their name to Styx because "it was the only one none of us hated," according to DeYoung. The group scored a hit single in "Lady," which hit the Top 10 in the U.S., but it wasn't until signing with A&M Records that the band hits its stride, releasing eight albums in the course of nine years, starting with Equinox in 1975 and closing with the live Caught in the Act in 1984, while adding guitarist Tommy Shaw in 1976.
Styx is best known for the hit songs "Lady" (#6, 1973), "Come Sail Away" (#8, 1977), "Babe" (#1, 1979), "The Best of Times" (#3, 1981), "Too Much Time on My Hands" (#9, 1981) and "Mr. Roboto" (#3, 1983). Other hits include "Show Me the Way" (#3, 1990), "Don't Let It End" (#6, 1983), "Renegade" (#16, 1979) and "Boat on the River," a big hit in much of Europe and Japan. The band has five consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA as well as sixteen top 40 singles in the US.

Known for melding hard arena-rock basics with metal guitar solos, progressive art flourishes and a highly theatrical stage show. The vinyl box set includes the following releases:

Equinox (1975) was Styx's first album for A&M, and the final one for guitarist John Curulewski, who was replaced by Shaw for the tour. The album's biggest hit was "Lorelei," which was the band's second U.S. Top 30 hit. Another popular song from the album is "Suite Madame Blue," which was written for America's bicentennial. With its four-part harmonies, it is a staple of the band's live set. Although the album stalled at No. 58, it eventually went gold in 1977.

Crystal Ball (1976) was Styx's first album to feature newest member Tommy Shaw, who made his vocal debut on "Mademoiselle," the album's Top 40 hit. The title track was another regular of the band's live set. Other highlights include "Shooz," co-written by Shaw and Young. Although the album got no higher than No. 66 on the Billboard 100, it eventually went platinum in 1978.

The Grand Illusion (1977) was the band's most successful album to date, spawning the hit singles, "Come Sail Away" and "Fooling Yourself," eventually selling more than 3 million albums in the U.S., peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard 100. DeYoung described the album's theme as overcoming superficial differences by recognizing "deep inside we're all the same," as the title track put it. The album cover, created by the famed San Francisco team of Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse, is an homage to a painting by Magritte.

Pieces of Eight (1978) was another concept album, and like The Grand Illusion, it went triple-platinum, selling more than three million copies in the U.S. thanks to the hit singles, "Sing for the Day," "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" and "Renegade," also climbing to No. 6 on the Billboard 100.

Cornerstone (1979) marked a significant move away from progressive rock into a more pop-oriented approach. Dennis DeYoung contributed a pair of ballads to the disc, including the band's only chart-topping pop single, "Babe," which he wrote for his wife. The other singles included "Borrowed Time" and DeYoung's "Why Me," which hit the Top 30. Shaw's folk-rocking "Boat on the River" became the band's biggest European hit. The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 100, the band's first Top 5 album and was the group's third straight triple-platinum release.

Paradise Theater (1981) is a concept album - the band's only No. 1 album - a fictional account of the Chicago theater of the same name, described by DeYoung as a metaphor for America's changes in the '70s and early '80s. The album contains four chart singles: DeYoung's "The Best of Times" (No. 3 on Billboard 100), Shaw's "Too Much Time on My Hands" (No. 9), "Nothing Ever Goes As Planned" (No. 54) and "Rockin' the Paradise" (No. 10 on Top Rock Tracks chart). It turned into the band's fourth consecutive triple-platinum album.

Kilroy Was Here (1983) was the final studio album released by the classic lineup of Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James Young and the Panozzo brothers, another rock opera about a futuristic fascist government that tries to outlaw rock 'n' roll. The single "Mr. Roboto" went to No. 3 on the Billboard 100 and No. 3 on the Mainstream Rock chart, while "Don't Let It End" reached No. 6 on the Pop Singles chart and No.13 at Adult Contemporary. The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard chart and sold more than a million copies, although its keyboard-heavy sound caused a schism between DeYoung and guitarists Shaw and Young. Three of the four videos - "Mr. Roboto," "Don't Let It End" and "Heavy Metal Poisoning" - were shot at the same time, and used as a mini-film which opened up the live tour of the album.

Caught In The Act (1984) was a double-live album that captured the band's Kilroy Was Here tour, with one new song, "Music Time," which hit the Top 40 of the Billboard 100. The album hit No. 31. It would be the last Styx album until 1990's Edge of the Century, recorded after Tommy Shaw left the band.

A 2015 box released to capitalize on the success of the Vinyl Revival, The A&M Years 1975-1984 contains all eight albums Styx released on A&M during their '70s/'80s peak: Equinox, Crystal Ball, The Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight, Cornerstone, Paradise Theater, and Kilroy Was Here. Each is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and it's all housed in a slipcase, making this a nice choice for Styx fanatics looking to upgrade their vinyl collection. - Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Although they began as an artsy prog rock band, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late '70s and early '80s, due to a fondness for bombastic rockers and soaring power ballads. The seeds for the band were planted in another Chicago band during the late '60s, the Tradewinds, which featured brothers Chuck and John Panozzo (who played bass and drums, respectively), as well as acquaintance Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards). By the dawn of the '70s, the group had changed its name to TW4, and welcomed aboard a pair of guitarists/vocalists, James "JY" Young and John Curulewski -- securing a recording contract in 1972 with Wooden Nickel Records (a subsidiary of RCA). Soon after, the group opted to change its name once more, this time to Styx, named after a river from Greek mythology that ran through "the land of the dead" in the underworld.

Early on, Styx's music reflected such then-current prog rockers as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Moody Blues, as evidenced by such releases as 1972's self-titled debut, 1973's Styx II, 1974's The Serpent Is Rising, and 1975's Man of Miracles. While the albums (as well as nonstop touring) helped the group build a substantial following locally, Styx failed to break through to the mainstream, until the track "Lady," originally from their second album, started to get substantial airplay in late 1974 on Chicago radio station WLS-FM. The song was soon issued as a single nationwide, and quickly shot to number six on the singles chart, as Styx II was certified gold. By this time, however, Styx had grown disenchanted with their record label, and opted to sign on with A&M for their fifth release overall, 1975's Equinox (Styx's former label would issue countless compilations over the years, culled from tracks off their early releases). On the eve of the tour in support of the album, Curulewski abruptly left the band, and was replaced by Tommy Shaw (sadly, Curulewski would pass away from an aneurysm in 1988). Shaw proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Styx, as most of their subsequent releases throughout the late '70s earned at least platinum certification (1976's Crystal Ball, 1977's The Grand Illusion, 1978's Pieces of Eight, and 1979's Cornerstone), and spawned such hit singles and classic rock radio standards as "Come Sail Away," "Renegade," "Blue Collar Man," "Fooling Yourself," and the power ballad "Babe.”

Despite the enormous success of "Babe," it caused tension within the group -- specifically between Shaw and DeYoung (the latter of whom was the song's author), as the guitarist wanted Styx to continue in a more hard rock-based direction, while DeYoung sought to pursue more melodic and theatrically based works. This led to DeYoung's brief ouster from the group (although it was kept completely hush-hush at the time), before a reconciliation occurred. The band members decided that their first release of the '80s would be a concept album, 1981's Paradise Theater, which was loosely based on the rise and fall of a once beautiful theater (which was supposedly used as a metaphor for the state of the U.S. at the time -- the Iranian hostage situation, the Cold War, Reagan, etc.). Paradise Theater became Styx's biggest hit of their career (selling over three million copies in a three-year period), as they became one of the U.S. top rock acts due to such big hit singles as "Too Much Time on My Hands" and "The Best of Times." But the behind-the-scenes bickering only intensified in the wake of the album's success, as DeYoung was now convinced that a more theatrical approach was the future direction for Styx. Shaw and the rest of the group begrudgingly went along, and while the resulting follow-up was another hit, 1983's sci-fi-based Kilroy Was Here (which told the story of a future where rock & roll was outlawed, almost a carbon copy of the story line of Rush's 2112), the album would eventually lead to the group's breakup -- as the ensuing prop-heavy tour seemed to focus more on scripted dialogue and lengthy films than good old rock & roll.

A forgettable live album, Caught in the Act, was issued in 1984, before Styx went on hiatus, and the majority of the bandmembers pursued solo projects throughout the remainder of the decade. DeYoung issued 1984's Desert Moon (which spawned a moderate hit single with its reflective title track), 1986's Back to the World, and 1988's Boomchild, Young released 1986's City Slicker, while Shaw put forth several solo sets -- 1984's Girls with Guns, 1985's What If?, 1986's Live in Japan, and 1987's Ambition. Shaw then formed Damn Yankees along with former Night Ranger bassist/singer Jack Blades, guitarist Ted Nugent, and drummer Michael Cartellone, a group that enjoyed commercial success right off the bat with its self-titled debut in 1990 (due to the hit power ballad "High Enough"), before issuing an unsuccessful sophomore effort two years later, Don't Tread. During Shaw's tenure with Damn Yankees, Styx had re-formed with new comer Glen Burtnik taking the place of Shaw -- issuing a new studio album in 1990, Edge of the Century, which spawned yet another hit power ballad, "Show Me the Way." But the Styx reunion was a fleeting one, as the group's members went their separate ways shortly thereafter -- with DeYoung going on to play Pontius Pilate in a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar (and issuing an album of Broadway show tunes, 1994's 10 on Broadway), while Young issued a pair of solo discs (1994's Out on a Day Pass and 1995's Raised by Wolves), and Shaw teamed up with Jack Blades for the short-lived outfit Shaw Blades (issuing a lone recording in 1995, Hallucination).

A re-recording of their early hit "Lady" (titled "Lady '95") for a Greatest Hits compilation finally united Shaw with his former Styx band mates, which led to a full-on reunion tour in 1996. But drummer John Panozzo fell seriously ill at the time (due to a long struggle with alcoholism), which prevented him from joining the proceedings -- and he passed away in July of the same year. Although grief-stricken, Styx persevered with new drummer Todd Sucherman taking the place of Panozzo, as the Styx reunion tour became a surprise sold-out success, resulting in the release of a live album/video, 1997's Return to Paradise, while a whole new generation of rock fans was introduced to the grandiose sounds of Styx via a humorous car ad that used the track "Mr. Roboto," as well as songs used in such TV shows as South Park and Freaks & Geeks. The group even stuck around long enough to issue a new studio album, 1999's Brave New World, before friction within the band set in once again.

With the other Styx members wanting to soldier on with further albums and tours, DeYoung was forced to take a break when he developed an uncommon viral ailment, which made the singer extremely sensitive to light. DeYoung was able to eventually overcome his disorder, but not before Shaw and Young opted to enlist new singer Larry Gowan and issued a pair of live releases in the early 21st century -- 2000's Arch Allies: Live at Riverport (split 50-50 between Styx and REO Speedwagon) and 2001's Styx World: Live 2001. DeYoung began touring as a solo artist at the same time, and eventually attempted to sue Shaw and Young over the use of the name Styx (the lawsuit was eventually settled in late 2001). Around the same time, Chuck Panozzo confirmed rumors that he had contracted AIDS (but was battling the virus successfully), while the turbulent career of Styx was told in an entertaining episode of VH1's Behind the Music.

In the spring of 2003, a new studio album featuring Gowan arrived in stores. For Cyclorama, Styx consisted of Shaw, Young, Burtnik, Sucherman, and Gowan. The album also featured guest appearances from John Waite, Brian Wilson, and actor Billy Bob Thornton. By the end of the year, Burtnik was out of the band and replaced by former Bad English and Babys member Ricky Phillips, although Panozzo did play with the group on selected live dates. The two-CD Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology from 2004 did an excellent job representing the band's career, while 2005's double-disc The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings collected the band's first four albums. That same year, Styx released the cover version-filled Big Bang Theory, featuring some of their favorite picks from the Great Rock Songbook. Over the next decade, Styx continued to tour regularly but didn't record much. In 2010, they re-recorded some old hits as the Regeneration EP, which received a sequel in 2011. The band continued to tour through the 2010s, often with REO Speedwagon, and in 2017 Styx released the concept album The Mission, their first collection of original material since 2003. - Greg Prato LPs made by A&M / UMe records, in the EU (possibly the USA - not sure, would have to open it up to check)
LPs released in 2015
LPs recorded in STEREO Record Catalog Number: B0022683-01 This listing is for a rare, 9-LP boxed set title - a FACTORY SEALED and assumed in mint overall condition LP set PRESSED and ISSUED by A&M / UMe Records of a highly collectible title from their catalog - a superb title featuring -


9-LP Box Set Title -

Styx - The A&M Albums 1975 - 1984

Track Listing -

1. Light Up
2. Lorelei
3. Mother Dear
4. Lonely Child
5. Midnight Ride
6. Born For Adventure
7. Prelude 12
8. Suite Madame Blue

Crystal Ball
1. Put Me On
2. Mademoiselle
3. Jennifer
4. Crystal Ball
5. Shooz
6. This Old Man
7. Clair De Lune / Ballerina

The Grand Illusion
1. The Grand Illusion
2. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
3. Superstars
4. Come Sail Away
5. Miss America
6. Man In The Wilderness
7. Castle Walls
8. The Grand Finale

Pieces Of Eight
1. Great White Hope
2. I'm O.K.
3. Sing For The Day
4. The Message
5. Lords Of The Ring
6. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
7. Queen Of Spades
8. Renegade 
9. Pieces Of Eight
10. Aku-Aku

1. Lights 
2. Why Me
3. Babe
4. Never Say Never
5. Boat On The River
6. Borrowed Time
7. First Time
8. Eddie 
9. Love In The Midnight

Paradise Theater
1. A.D. 1928
2. Rockin' The Paradise
3. Too Much Time On My Hands
4. Nothing Ever Goes As Planned
5. The Best Of Times
6. Lonely People
7. She Cares
8. Snowblind
9. Half-Penny, Two-Penny
10. A.D. 1958
11. State Street Sadie

Kilroy Was Here
1. Mr. Roboto
2. Cold War
3. Don't Let It End
4. High Time
5. Heavy Metal Poisoning
6. Just Get Through This Night
7. Double Life
8. Haven't We Been Here Before
9. Don't Let It End

Caught In The Act (Live)
1. Music Time
2. Mr. Roboto
3. Too Much Time On My Hands
4. Babe 
5. Snowblind
6. The Best Of Times
7. Suite Madame Blue
8. Rockin' The Paradise
9. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
10. Miss America
11. Don't Let It End
12. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
13. Crystal Ball
14. Come Sail Away

Performers / Credits / Other Information -
9-LP Box Set (8 Albums)
180g Vinyl The A&M Albums 1975-1984 - this is the title as stated on the release box
• Barcode: 602547198822

CONDITION Details: The LP BOX and vinyl LPs are all assumed to be in mint overall condition, as this set is FACTORY SEALED. NO splits, NO crushing, NO cut out marks, NO discoloration, NO tears in the outer cellophane plastic - as good as it gets - true collector's grade condition!
A Short Note About LP GRADING - Mint {M} = Only used for sealed items. Near Mint {NM} = Virtually flawless in every way. Near Mint Minus {NM-} = Item has some minor imperfections, some audible. Excellent {EXC} = Item obviously played and enjoyed with some noise. Very Good Plus {VG+} = Many more imperfections which are noticeable and obtrusive.

For best results, always thoroughly clean your LPs before playing them, even for brand new, sealed titles.

LPs can be audiophile quality pressings (any collector of fine MFSL, half speeds, direct to discs, Japanese/UK pressings etc., can attest to the difference a quality pressing can make to an audio system).

Do not let this rarity slip by!