It?s quite trendy to make albums with a Symphony Orchestra these times,Deep Purple started it in 1969 with "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" but it wasn?t until the late 90?s when Kansas released "Always never the same" (recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1998) that other bands followed the trend. First out was Metallica in 99 with "S&M",then Deep Purple did another one titled "Live in Royal Albert Hall" in 2000,Scorpions put out the disappointing "Acoustica Live" in 2001 and last year Kiss rocked in Sydney and gave us the mighty "Kiss Symphony Alive IV".
This fall former STYX frontman Dennis DeYoung and his band with a 40 Piece Symphony Orchestra and the Voices of the Chicago Childrens Choir,releases the Live album "The music of Styx" which is a 2 CD set and a retrospective of Dennis Deyoungs career plus 3 brand new songs. Is it enough with all these Symphonic /Rockband albums?! - in one way,yes but who could be more suitable to make a grand effort of this kind rather than Dennis DeYoung?! His music and songs from the Styx era performed with his theatrical voice couldn?t be more appropriate,he?s already done the theatrical production of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" with all music written,performed and directed by Dennis himself so he?s not new to this kinda orchestral thing.
He does mostly songs from his time in Styx,the line up is amazing with songs like "Grand Illusion","Light up","Show me the way","Suite Madame Blue","Come sail away","Rockin the paradise","Best of times","Castle walls","Babe","Mr.Roboto","Clair de Lune" and "Dont let it end". Only 2 songs are from his solo albums,"Black wall" (Back to the world-86) and "Desert Moon" (Desert Moon-84),plus "Ave Maria" and "With every heartbeat" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The most interesting part is ofcourse the 3 brand new studio recorded songs,"Hello god" is a beautiful ballad which might not be a classic DeYoung tune but good enough to satisfy Styx fans - "My god" sounds like a typical modern Styx song a la "Kilroy was here" but it doesn?t match the classic stuff and at last the 2nd ballad "Goodnight my love" that unfortunately feels like a filler. But it?s the whole piece effort that counts and I can promise you (the Styx fans) that you?re in for a treat..........that voice won?t fail in a million years and how many can pick songs from such an impressive back catalouge the way Dennis does????!!!!!! Splendid album!