Styx

20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best of Styx

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Styx were one of the most popular bands of the late '70s and early '80s, just on the cusp of the MTV era. The Chicago-based group did not need to rely on music videos to build its fan base, but it utilized the medium rather effectively. 20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best of Styx compiles six clips of songs released between 1977 and 1983 from the definitive lineup of vocalist/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung, guitarist/vocalist James Young, vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw, bass guitarist Chuck Panozzo, and drummer John Panozzo. A solid live version of "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" appears to have been taken from the Caught in the Act home video (filmed on the notorious Kilroy Was Here tour), although the credits do not say. "Come Sail Away" is the most fascinating clip from a historical perspective; this primitive video is grainy and yellowed. Styx lip-syncs an edit of its biggest early hit on a soundstage; it's disappointing that the one-minute midsong interlude is cut. "Too Much Time on My Hands" is Styx's most tongue-in-cheek video. The bulk of it is set in a bar and several chuckle-inducing sight gags are incorporated. "The Best of Times" seems to have been filmed the same time as "Too Much Time on My Hands," because the five bandmembers are wearing the same stage clothes in both. However, "The Best of Times" is mostly a simple, lip-synced performance video with some quick cuts to a concert crowd. The folk-flavored "Boat on the River" is another basic lip-sync clip. "Mr. Roboto" is the centerpiece of the aforementioned concept album Kilroy Was Here; DeYoung devised the earnest story and plays the hero -- a rock star rebelling against a futuristic ultra-right-wing society that has outlawed rock music. 20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best of Styx is fun for fans, but it best illustrates how far the music video art form has evolved.

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