Title - ‘Paradise Theater’ (SACD) (Audio Fidelity)
Artist - Styx
Styx's 10th album, the 1981 release Paradise Theater was the band's fourth consecutive triple-platinum album. A resounding success, Paradise Theater was their greatest commercial triumph and their only #1 album. It remains one of the best examples of the convergence between progressive rock and AOR which typified the arena rock sound of the top groups of the late-seventies and early-eighties.
A concept album for the ages, Styx - Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young, Chuck Panozzo and John Panozzo - told us all a fictional account of Chicago's Paradise Theatre from its opening to closing.
We begin this incredible musical journey with the operatic, albeit short intro of ‘A.D. 1928’ before the guitars crank up, the drums get hit harder, the piano chimes in and ‘Rockin’ In The Paradise’ is brought kickin’ and screamin’ forth. The always-brilliant-to-hear foot-tapper ‘Too Much Time On My Hands’ is next, and is backed perfectly by the funk-rock of ‘Nothing Ever Goes As Planned.’
The classic ‘Best of Times’ is next and as the rain falls and the trumpet wails in the distance we now that ‘Lonely People’ is up next. The delightful, flowing ‘She Cares’ is then itself backed by the luscious ‘Snowblind.’ The piano-based ‘Half-Penny, Two-Penny’ is next and merges into ‘A.D. 1958. The short, but sweet instrumental ‘State Street Sadie’ finally brings the album to a close.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk