Regeneration Vol. I & II

I make no apologies for being a fan of Styx. Or to be accurate, of the incarnation consisting of Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards), Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitars), Chuck Panozzo (bass, vocals) and John Panozzo (drums) and responsible for a string of classic rock albums from 1976’s Crystal Ball to 1983’s Kilroy Was Here.

Currently only Shaw, Young and Chuck Panozzo remain, with John Panozzo deceased and DeYoung having left and much of the creative energy has dissipated. This is never more evident than on this pair of EPs where the latest version of Styx (with Lawrence Gowan on vocals/keyboards, Todd Sucherman on drums & Ricky Philips on bass guitar) re-records new interpretations of classic Styx tracks like The Grand Illusion, Come Sail Away and Lorelei. I say new interpretations but actually the band records the songs in the exact form and manner as the original tracks except with contributions from new members.

So what’s the point when the original tracks are more than good enough to stand on their own without these ‘imposters’. Copyright ownership of new recordings? Hurm. Alright, there is one new composition – Difference in the World – that is fairly listenable but seriously, these new recordings are almost a waste of time. To hammer this point home, there are new recordings of two Damn Yankees (!) songs viz. Coming of Age and High Enough, instead of other Styx tracks. Completely mystifying.

Stick with the originals is my recommendation.