What's with the Styx hate?

So in the I Hate Beatles Fans thread in the Pit, CheeseDonkey is being castigated for liking them. I get that Domo Arigato is cheesy but Renegade rocks and has one of the great intros in rock music. And you know Babe was played at your prom and class reunion.

Too Much Time on My Hands is a great song. So is Come Sail Away. My knowledge of Styx is entirely MTV-fueled. So what am I missing?

Just wondering why certain DQ’s your opinion on matters musical.

My high school marching band played Come Sail Away my junior year. I can still hear the low brass booming in my ears every time I hear the song on the oldies station on at “A gathering of angels appeared above my head BOOM BOOM/they sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said WAAAAAAAAAM they said Come sail away …”

But I hate “Too Much Time on My Hands.” Simplistic goofball nonsense.

I certainly don’t hate Styx but I think that when Dennis DeYoung was running the show, they focused on theatrics too much. Singing about robots and aliens isn’t what Tommy Shaw wanted. He wanted to rock. There are vast differences between his songs and DeYoung’s that almost made them seem like 2 different bands.

And yes, Babe was played at my reunion. I still don’t like it.

ETA: “Too Much Time On My Hands” is one of my favorite Styx songs but I’m a goofball so that’s not unexpected.

Just wondering why liking certain bands DQ’s your opinion on matters musical.

Correction from OP.

I think that they’ve become the poster child for pompous prog-tinged late-1970s arena rock. Speaking as someone who actually likes Styx (and has seen them in concert several times), it’s not an entirely unfair characterization, though I think that most of their songs which are really guilty of this were Dennis DeYoung’s work (stuff that was written by Tommy Shaw or James Young has a very different feel).

On edit: Nars and I seem to have made the same observation. :wink:

Have to agree with you. I still love the Angry Young Man, Castle Walls, Pieces of Eight, etc.

Me too – actually, for me, this is one of those “songs you like from bands you don’t like.” Seems like they took a few pointers from Steely Dan on that one.

I try not to dislike any group with catchy songs and Styx had some catchy songs. I have no idea if their album tracks matched up to the singles.

But the group feels far from the top ranks of their generation as far as lyrics and arrangements, which tend to be both obvious and overblown. They seem a little pretentious and and a little dumb – a bad combination – and their virtues aren’t special enough to make me want to overlook the problems.

Still, I’ll listen to “Come Sail Away” anytime it shows up on the oldies station.

Aw, I’m sorry. I like goofballs, anyway. :slight_smile:

I see several groups of contemporary music fans (i.e. late 70’s to early 80’s) who might have had a bone to pick with them:

  1. Hardcore metalheads who saw them as inveterate commercialized wimps
  2. Old-school proggers who decried Styx’s sell-out nature (simplifying and degrading all the classic prog conventions)
  3. Punk rockers who were simply contemptuous of everything Styx represented

Nothing deeper than that I’d say.

As one might guess from my user name, I’m a fan. I remember as a kid getting teased for it because Styx was very un-hip. Of course they were a top selling act so *someone *was buying all those albums, but no one admitted it in my school. To elaborate further on what others have said, there was a whole bunch of folks in the music industry who saw bands like Styx and Journey as corporate sellouts, not “real musicians”.

As you can see in this article the idea of a band being up front about their marketing efforts was pretty different - although most everyone must have done it, not many people talked about it so openly. To many it was unseemly for any band to state up front that they are providing a product their fans want - it was all supposed to be about the music and nothing else. I don’t doubt they wrote about things that really meant something to them, but I also don’t doubt that they thought about their image and their marketing. They were not the first nor the last to do so, but for whatever reason they got held up as an example of soul-less, corporate created only to make a profit type music.

Nowadays we don’t think twice about an artist actively promoting themselves, but back then if you did so you had to tread carefully, because it was Not Cool to do so. And we all know rock music is about being :cool:.

I love the quote about how “the fat years are gone”. This was 1981… if only they knew what was coming.

“Come Sail Away” by Eric Cartman is all kinds of awesome!

Dennis DeYoung was my student teacher for music when I was in the 7th grade. Obviously before his success with Styx!

Tommy Shaw and James Young are still rocking with Styx. DeYoung was replaced with Larry Gowan who is a Canadian artist. And I gotta say that I like most of their stuff from their debut album in 72 to the latest stuff they have put out in the last couple of years.

Yeah, there are some duds and yeah, most of them seem to belong to Dennis DeYoung. Dennis was a bit overly sentimental at times and he was the one heavily pushing the theme albums and the “rock opera” type shows.

Also (and this was my main problem with the group), Styx was boring. It was bland corporate rock like Journey or Chicago. Unless you were a hardcore fan, there was nothing particularly interesting about the group’s music beyond a few unintentional lapses into silliness like “Mr. Roboto”.

My reason for disliking them. Bland corporate rock with no soul or edge. To me, they might as well be Toto.

Well, I like Styx, and still listen to them. Check out their “Paradise Theater” album if you think you are only getting the superficial, MTV layer of Stygian Goodness…

Blue Collar Man is an awesome song! Yeah, I know the tune is really similar to Eye of the Tiger, but it’s like Eye of the Tiger with extra balls. And I’m even…gasp…A Beatles Fan.

I didn’t comment in that thread but the thing that jumps out to me is mostly that anyone who has a problem with the Beatles for being

has no business saying that they are a fan of Styx with a straight face.

Timing matters of course, but I would’ve thought a later career as a 7th grade music teacher was a strong possibility for any member of Styx.