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www.therockpit.net Styx-Regeneration-CD-review-Nov-2011

Styx
Regeneration

 

 

By Todd Jolicouer

 

Another disc of re-recorded hits? Yes – and I couldn’t be more excited. A lot of these songs are part of the soundtrack of my youth, and three of the five original members are no longer with the band, but worry not. Current drummer Todd Sucherman has been with the band as long as original drummer John Panozzo was before his untimely death (16 years). Vocalist/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan has been with the band more than half the tenure of Dennis DeYoung (12 years v 19 years), but has a stronger voice (IMO) and is a ball of energy live. Bassist Ricky Phillips has been on the scene for 8 years and shares the stage and disc with original bassist Chuck Panozzo, who still recurs live and occasionally in the studio.

 

Originally released in two pieces and sold only at live shows (how I got them), Regeneration really shows not only why these songs have stood the test of time, but how much better they are from seasoning. Not only the seasoning of being played live for years, but being played cohesively by the group in their current incarnation. Also, the mind and memory will play tricks on you and make songs so much better when they relate to a carefree time in your life. The bonus is that they are packaged together and available as a double disc set for less than I paid for one of the discs.

 

Regeneration Volume I has seven songs (six classics and one new tune) for your revamped listening pleasure. Of the songs, only one sticks out as not quite applicable to a recording session such as this, but then I never liked “Sing For A Day.” The other songs, including the new track – “Difference In The World” - are great and have been pulled off well.

 

Tracklist: The Grand Illusion * Fooling Yourself * Lorelei * Sing For The Day * Crystal Ball * Come Sail Away * Difference In The World

 

Regeneration Volume II has nine songs (seven classics and two tracks from Tommy Shaw’s side project Damn Yankees) and is a stronger collection than the original Regeneration. I am not really big on “Queen Of Spades” or “Boat On The River,” but the Damn Yankees tunes are more than adequate here. Dare I say, they are about as good as the original versions.

 

Tracklist: Blue Collar Man * Miss America * Renegade * Queen Of Spades * Boat On The River * Too Much Time On My Hands * Snowblind * Coming Of Age * High Enough

 

The only thing left, is the question of what will be on Regeneration III. Volume III you ask? I think so, due to the omission of “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto” from the first two discs.