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The Grand Illusion

178 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 15, 1984
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

These Chicago rockers went big-time in '77 with this #6 smash. Their soaring songs were now arena-ready: the smash Come Sail Away ; the hit Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) , and more!

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More than two decades before it became Eric Cartman's favorite song on South Park, "Come Sail Away" was the choice of music fans with one foot in the art-rock camp and the other in Top 40 pop. The Grand Illusion straddled the seemingly divergent directions as only Styx could, laying on the pomp with layers of keyboards and high-flown lyrical conceits, yet keeping the proceedings light with hook-filled choruses and breezy melodies. Tommy Shaw's engaging "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" is the set's highlight, offering a bit of armchair psychology even as it acted as a subtle dig at the snarling punk rockers to whom Styx was anathema. James Young's "Miss America" rocks out, while Dennis DeYoung's title track reminds us that life is fleeting and illusory. Not exactly Nietzsche, but you can dance to it, sort of. --Daniel Durchholz


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. The Grand Illusion 4:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) 5:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Superstars 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Come Sail Away 6:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Miss America 5:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Man In The Wilderness 5:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Castle Walls 5:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. The Grand Finale 1:57$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 15, 1984)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GB9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,468 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on January 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I did not own a single Styx album until recently - which is odd because the group was highly popular during the late 1970s/early 1980s when I was a teen (all 80s teens liked Styx right?). My suspicion is that it may have had something to do with the fact that I was a Yes and Pink Floyd freak at the time and was unyieldingly provincial in my listening habits, although it may have been a subconscious observance of what I refer to as the "Styx stigma". For whatever reason, I am sorry I waited this long because The Grand Illusion (1977) rocks like nobody's business and Styx is a darn good band.

As a huge fan of progressive rock (I am still a raving Yes-head), the whole package appeals to me on many levels: soaring three and four part vocal harmonies by excellent high tenors; super Hammond organ work; blazing Rick Wakeman-esque Moog (synth) solos; great synthesizer tones; dynamic acoustic/hard rock contrasts; agile ensemble work (all of the musicians are very good); and to top it all off, wonderful harmonic and melodic development. Mix in the heavily distorted guitar of Led Zeppelin along with the thunderous and tight rhythm section of Deep Purple and the blueprint for The Grand Illusion is pretty much drawn out. Although superficially similar, this album is light-years ahead of previous works such as Equinox (1975) and Crystal Ball (1976). In spite of the fact that those albums are very good (and recommended) they do not exhibit the compositional sophistication of The Grand Illusion.

This is wonderful and crisply produced progressive hard rock and certainly provides me with a great deal of enjoyment - after all isn't that what rock is all about?
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Samhot on August 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There are a number of artists who seem to suffer from the unfortunate fate of their creativity not aging well. Styx is such a band. Often ridiculed for their slickly produced *corporate* rock, as well as supposedly coming off as an anemic version of some notable British progressive rock artists, the guys had to feel some tremendous hurt from the constant harsh criticism - which still exists more than 25 years after their major success THE GRAND ILLUSION was released. To many, most of Styx's material is simply no more than a dated joke.
Under my assumption, the responses to Styx's material seem to fall into two major categories: (1). Music fans listen to it, and dismiss it as a cheesy, watered-down, pretentious mess. They would want nothing more to do with this. (2). Music fans listen to this, and love the catchy melodies, but will try their hardest to refrain from admitting so, for fear of losing their *hipness* credibility.
But other than everything listed in the above paragraph, the biggest fans of this music are the ones who grew up with it when it was released. The adults around that time knew the negative reputation bands like Styx were receiving, but some youngsters around that time period were more than likely oblivious to the artist-bashing, and nevertheless, enjoyed the music just fine. I consider the latter to be the most blessed, as the saying goes, "what they don't know won't hurt them."
But, all historical insights aside, I've always enjoyed Styx's music, and I was never bothered by the slick productions of their music, or anything else for that matter. I found it to be highly enjoyable, quality music created by talented musicians, and still do.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Timothy E. Jackson, Jr. on February 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"The Grand Illusion" is one of Styx's finest efforts, with its excellent combination of pop and art-rock and the constant positive message throughout the album that implies that one should be proud of him- or herself for who they are ("The Grand Illusion", "Fooling Yourself"). A must have for classic rock fans, and the quintessential Styx studio album. Album Highlights: "The Grand Illusion", "Fooling Yourself", "Come Sail Away", "Castle Walls".
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. J O'Connor on May 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I love this album by Styx very much.That out of the way,this 24-karat gold remaster(by Kevin Grey) offers little,if any,sonic upgrade over the A&M 1980's CD.The volume level is still low and while there's a bit more detail (in the quieter moments) and a bit less muddiness,it still sounds rather flat and lifeless.In fact,if you are new to this album and haven't heard the old CD,you might come under the impression that this disc wasn't remastered at all,just something thrown into the marketplace to cash in on the 80's CD reissue craze.On the plus side,it does contain the poster that was included in the original 1977 release,though the colors look a bit off.All in all,the Audio Fidelity "The Grand Illusion" gold CD isn't horrible,but it's certainly not worth forking the extra money over. (P.S: For those who need a sonic upgrade,try getting the 2009 Japanese SHM-CD remaster(UICY-93921),which IMO destroys both the A&M and the AF ones,sounding crystal-clear,powerful and minty-fresh.Yes,it's pricey and hard to find,but you won't regret it in the end.)
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What Styx Is Better DDY or Shaw/JY
My comment comes a little late, sorry.
Here's my input: BRING BACK DENNIS. 'The band who calls itself Styx' is nothing without him. Nothing. They would have gone nowhere without him.

And DantheStyxfan, I've seen a few of your reviews by now.....people figured Dennis all wrong. Go take a... Read More
May 14, 2009 by P. Gileno |  See all 11 posts
Remastered?
The Gold CD is remastered, but the other CDs (even the one in the "5 Classic Albums" box) are not remastered. If you read one of the most helpful reviews for "Paradise Theater" gold disc, it kind of gives you an idea of the quality of the "Grand Illusion" gold CD. On... Read More
Mar 28, 2015 by Michael P. Sparks |  See all 3 posts
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