Dennis DeYoung

Ultimate Collection

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Dennis DeYoung's solo career started strongly in 1984, when "Desert Moon" became a Top Ten hit in the fall. The Styx singer struggled to match its success, not only with follow-up singles from his solo debut Desert Moon, but with the 1986 effort Back to the World and its 1988 successor Boomchild. Two years later, the band reunited. In 1994, DeYoung released another solo album, 10 on Broadway, but that was merely a side project showcasing his love of showtunes -- he never left the band. 10 on Broadway served as a reminder that DeYoung's solo career was interesting, but quite uneven, and Hip-O's 1999 compilation The Ultimate Collection overlooks that effort. That may be a blow for completeness, but it helps the album, actually, since it's a coherent look at DeYoung's five-year solo detour. All the hits -- "Desert Moon," of course, but also such his three lesser-known singles "Don't Wait for Heroes," "Call Me," and "This Is the Time," which was featured in The Karate Kid, Pt. 2 -- are here, along with ten album tracks and a new re-recording of the Styx classic "The Grand Illusion," which was arranged by Alan Silvestri. To be frank, even in this distilled form, his solo material is still pretty uneven, but The Ultimate Collection is tighter than any other DeYoung album, with the possible exception of Desert Moon, and it's a worthwhile purchase for serious Styx fans looking for a good round-up of his brief solo sojourn.

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