First of all, according to Wikapedia, I made a boo boo in regards to this album from Styx. All of these years, I assumed it was released in late 1982 because I was stationed on Okinawa and later Mt. Fuji, Japan at the time and there were many albums released in the late part of 1982 that didn’t come to my attention until 1983. This was because it took time for news of new albums to make their way around the world and therefore, I assumed this to be the case here. Wikapedia states that the last album by Styx, “Kilroy Was Here,” was released in 1983. So, I apologize for the historical inaccuracy on this one.
For me and I have said this several times already on other blogs, “Kilroy Was Here” is not my favourite Styx album. It doesn’t even come close to comparing to the likes of “The Grand Illusion” and “Pieces of Eight.” Styx definitely go for a more keyboard oriented progressive sound on this one. While there are some moments of the more traditional hard rock sound they were better known for, there’s not enough of those moments. Even with the heaviest song on the album “Heavy Metal Poisoning,” they hold back on it. The song should have been a straight forward bang your head and beat your chest rocker but sadly, it doesn’t quite come up to the mark. When I first heard the song, I thought it was an anti- heavy metal song but listening to the lyrics more closely, it rips on those who are anti- metal and would love nothing more to see it gone. Therefore, the song redeems itself a little here.
“Just Get Through This” is another song which goes along in the traditional sense of Styx but only because it is one of those that starts off with a soft piano and keyboard before a heavy guitar kicks in and the guitar solo also reminds me of better days. “Don’t Let It End” is another song that is more the Styx I had known and loved before that. However, I must say, if I was one those type of people who buy or not buy an album based on the single, then I would not have bought this album. “Mr Roboto” has never impressed me. Saying all this and in spite of my moaning about “Kilroy Was Here” not being hard rock enough, which it’s not, the album is not a disaster. There are enough good moments on here to make the listening enjoyable but nothing more.
1. Mr Roboto
2. Cold War
3. Don’t Let It End
4. High Time
5. Heavy Metal Poisoning
6. Just Get Through This
7. Double Life
8. Haven’t We Been Here Before
9. Don’t Let It End (reprise)
Dennis DeYoung- keyboards, vocals
Tommy Shaw- guitar, vocals
James Young- guitar, vocals
Chuck Panozzo- bass, vocals
Jack Panozzo- drums, vocals
Another redeeming feature about “Kilroy Was Here” was I would eventually learn that the album tells a story about rock music being outlawed by a fascist government. The irony is that as the 1980s progressed, the fear of that happening was looking like a certain reality. Styx would split up after this album and many would point the album as the cause. There was strife between Young and Shaw about how progressive the band should go but there were other factors as well. “Kilroy Was Here” might have been the end of Styx but it could never kill the legacy of great music the band left behind.
Next post: Jefferson Starship- Winds of Change
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