Styx II (1972)

1.You Need Love 2.Lady 3.A Day 4.You Better Ask 5.Little Fugue in "G" 6.Father O.S.A. 7.Earl of Roseland 8.I'm Gonna Make You Feel It


The second effort from the band, although again not really noteworthy, is a vast improvement over the first. First, the band is now in charge of writing the material they perform and they prove that they can sufficiently handle the task. Second, rather than a hodge- podge medley that is featured on their freshmen release, this one is merely a collection of songs that stand on their own. Mostly for the better.

Most remember this release because it did include one Styx classic. Lady which was an introduction to the greatness of the Styx style - soft easy keyboard introduction which would then thunder into a full blooded rock out - is featured on this album. It should be pointed out that its initial release flopped, and it was only two years later when a local Chicago radio station resurrected the song, did it crack the top 5. Another example of poor representation from a record label.

Another DeYoung gem (although mostly forgotten) is the 7 plus minute epic Father O.S.A. complete with a thundering pipe organ and three part harmony, it's a pleasure to listen to even though, like most of their early material, is very rough around the edges. DeYoung also borrows J.S. Bach's Little Fugue in "G" as an introduction to the piece. DeYoung pens a couple of tunes that rocker James "JY" Young sings lead on, You Need Love and I'm Gonna Make You Feel It. The former is a nice,although dated piece, which sounds more like the Allman Brothers than Styx. It was also released as a single but went nowhere.

Two tunes on the album are handled by original guitarist John Curelewski, who faded into oblivion after being replaced in the band by Tommy Shaw a few years later. Curelewski is not known by the majority of casual fans, and his music resembles nothing of what made this band great. A Day is a sort of pleasant dreamy Carole King-ish piece, but at 8 and a half minutes, it's a tad too long. Curelewski's other piece, You Better Ask is an attempt at humor that is embarrassingly awful.

It was later revealed that the record company, Wooden Nickel, spent less than $200 promoting this album, probably because they had a meager budget. A better label probably could have made this compilation shine a little brighter. Most fans of the band would regard this album as their best of the early lot.

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