Great Rock Albums of 1980: Styx- Cornerstone

Styx_-_Cornerstone

Like I did with 1978 and 79, I am starting off 1980 with albums that were released in the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the year I’m posting about. “Head Games” by Foreigner was one and so was “Cornerstone” by Styx. The album first came to my attention in the February courtesy of what is probably their best known single, “Babe.” During that month, it seemed every time I would return to base via the back gate, that song was blasting out of the juke box in the bar across the street. I know for a fact that the bar in question was called The Zodiac because the bar next door to it, Dale’s, had mostly country music on their box, although they did serve a delicious bowl of chilli. As a result, I got to hear the song quite a bit and while on the subject, I promise that I won’t link every album between 1980 and 83 with my military experiences.

No band, with the possible exception of Kansas, was able to equal Styx in the art of fusing progressive rock and hard rock. Their previous two albums, “The Grand Illusion” and “Pieces of Eight” plus much of their earlier records bare witness to this. “Cornerstone” is more a lurch to the progressive side of their sound. Most of the album seems to follow the flow of the march behind “Babe” and their other single “Why Me” with the progressive sound. The one track that tends to be more harder rock is “Borrowed Time.” This is not to say that it’s not a good album, in no way is it bad and the guitar solo by Tommy Shaw on “First Time” reminded me of that great times of the previous albums.

Track Listing:

1. Lights

2. Why Me

3. Babe

4. Never Say Never

5. Boat on a River

6. Borrowed Time

7. First Time

8. Eddie

9. Love in the Midnight

Styx

Styx

Dennis DeYoung- keyboards, vocals, accordion

Chuck Panozzo- bass, vocals

John Panozzo- drums, percussion, vocals

Tommy Shaw- guitars, vocals, mandolin

James Young- guitars, vocals

When the album came out, many hard rockers were disappointed by “Cornerstone” for it’s more progressive sound. Some  rock historians say that this album began their slide into commericaldom. I don’t think so and I’ll argue the case in 1981. For me, it’s still a good album with a well known song that brings back memories. I wonder if The Zodiac is still there.

Next post: Pink Floyd- The Wall

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublshinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

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2 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: Styx- Cornerstone”

  1. Yet another fine read!

    I find this Styx album to be downright irresistible even after all these years! ‘Why Me’ is my favorite song from ‘Cornerstone’ and perhaps my favorite Styx song ever. 🙂 \m/

    Like

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