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Paradise Theatre CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, June 1, 1985
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Their all-time biggest hit: the 1981 #1 LP that stayed on the charts an incredible 61 weeks! This is the Styx classic with the smashes The Best of Times and Too Much Time on My Hands plus the hit Nothing Ever Goes As Planned .

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One album before Styx cut loose with an honest-to-goodness concept album, Kilroy Was Here, they flirted with the idea on Paradise Theater. The concept here has something to do with the decline of America in the '70s, based on the condemnation and destruction of the Paradise Theater, a famous showplace in the band's hometown of Chicago. Truth be told, the concept hasn't held together that well, though the individual songs have, led by the optimistic ballad "The Best of Times," and the rockers "Too Much Time on My Hands" and "Snowblind." Dennis DeYoung gives some of his most theatrical performances throughout, presaging his overly ambitious Kilroy concept, but also his successful run performing in the legitimate theater, as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar. Paradise, meanwhile, was about as good as it got for Styx. --Daniel Durchholz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 1985)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GBW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,457 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Casarino on March 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
You never do get over your first favorite album. "Paradise Theater" was mine. I was, oh, 11 or so when it came out, and I thought Styx, bangs and jumpsuits and all, were the coolest band ever. I'm pretty sure I bought the album with my own money - a first for me! And oh, did I wear the needle out on this one. Loved every track.
And you know what? Now that I've developed GOOD taste, now that I'm into the 'Mats and Tom Waits and the Lips and god knows what else, now that artsy progressive concept albums aren't even retro-cool anymore...I STILL love "Paradise Theater!" Sure it's pompous, but not nearly as bombastic as other Styx offerings. Most importantly, it ROCKS. Dennis DeYoung finds a new lyrical depth on "Rockin' the Paradise" and "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned," and offers their best ACL ballad, "The Best of Times." Tommy Shaw gives us some fun lyrics over great hooks with "Too Much Time," and JY even has his best moment with "Snowblind." Sure, it's a concept album, but who cares about that when the individual tunes rock this hard, and stand up on their own?
Even the production sounds good. The trendy new-wave production techniques really helped streamline the often blaring vocal triads, and the use of horns on "Lonely People" and "Nothing Ever Goes" is welcome. Dennis and Tommy have never sounded better. Most importantly, everyone sounds like they're having FUN, which is something Styx always struggled with. Despite some notable moments ("Renegade," "Shooz," "Angry Young Man" - all Shaw songs, now that I think about it), Styx always felt more like they were more interested in making art than music. But "Paradise Theater" is infused with the joy of pure rock and roll - despite the heavy-handed concept.
Styx remains one of my guilty pleasures. But I have no guilt over loving "Paradise Theater" - Styx can rock me any day!
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Format: Audio CD
Paradise Theater is a work of art, a labor of love, from vocalist, keyboardist, Dennis Deyoung. From the opening piano note, of A.D. 1928, to the closing note of A.D. 1958, Pardise will hold you in awe. Not since the Grand Illusion, has STYX made an album this good.
It all starts with A.D. 1928, witch goes into Rockin the Paradise, and that is what this cd does, ROCKS. It's not the heavy metal, of Grand Illusion, or the hard rock of Peices of Eight, but it comes over strong, even on the slow songs. With the fist pumping anthems of Rockin the Paradise, a song about America needing to stand up and be counted, to Half Penny; Two Penny, which deals with the decay of the American dream. The Best of Times, which starts out like A.D. 1928, and the disco-rock flavored Too Much Time on my Hands, have sing-a-long chourses, that has you humming along them all day. Snowblind, a rock radio classic, written by Dennis and JY, and sung by JY and Tommy, is a good song about drug abuse, and JY's singing on the beginning of it, is very haunting. The lesser known songs on this disk, Nothing Ever Goes as Planned, and She Cares, are both very good, and deserve repeated listenings, as does this whole cd.
This is the last "true" Styx classic, with the line up of Dennis, Tommy, JY, John, and Chuck. There would be other STYX cds with this line-up, and different line-ups, but no other cd this great, has come out since. GRADE A
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a little bit of everything from Styx, this is it. From Snowblind to Best of Times, there's a good mix. Unfortunately, it IS just a taste of the different styles so if you are into a mood album, this might not be the right one. Still, it's classic Styx with a good concept. Someting that I would definitely take to a desert island.
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Format: Audio CD
"Paradise Theater" is, unfortunately, one of the few Styx albums that a majority of critics and musical historians will give a positive mention. It marked both the height of the band's creativity, and a time when their musical stance was as follows: an arena "corporate rock" group (that is, a band that fans love but critics hate) that managed to touch prog/art-rock themes without crossing the border into full-blown theatrics. And sure enough that stance would change when Styx released their next album, the brilliant but much-abhored "Kilroy Was Here," which found them staring into the barrels of critics who deemed their bloated use of the concept album "absurd."
Using the neglect and eventual destruction of Chicago's "Paradise Theater" as its extended metaphor, Dennis DeYoung and crew offer a solid portrait of the decline of American values, with a longing for better days (the enduring ballad 'The Best Of Times,' 'A.D. 1928'), placed in perfect tune with more blistering songs like 'Rocking the Paradise' and 'Snowblind.' The biggest hit from "Paradise Theater," guitarist Tommy Shaw's 'Too Much Time On My Hands,' can be seen as the anthem for aimless, unfocused teenagers.
All told, "Paradise Theater" is the Styx album that new fans should hear first. It boasts all of the ingridients that make Styx such a truly unique band to this day--pompous stadium-filling rock matched with artsy conceptual theatrics.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Had this cassette back in 1981, wore it out. Bought now with vinyl popularity back. Very cool STYX laser etching on side 2, band sounds great. Everyone gets a chance at lead vocals, and harmonizing beautifully. Nice mix of different music styles, horns, guitars, piano, organ. No wonder it sold so many copies. Lots of hits.
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