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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
15
The Grand Illusion
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 22 June 2012
Styx came into their own with Pieces of Eight and Paradise Theater albums, after this one, their seventh; released on the 7/7/77! and Grand Illusion is credited to be their breakthrough album, gaining triple platinum status in their native U.S.

For me, though, there's just too many whirly/twirly keyboards here - their more refined leaner, less progressive rock days lie ahead, namely with the two LPs mentioned earlier. Dennis de Young's vocals can also sound just a bit nasal and thin here, too.

It's still a good album and I do love my prog rock, but only when comparing to how they went onto better songs can I make any criticisms. Most Styx fans really like the ballads (as were ALL their hits), but generally I don't get too fired up by them, though I do admit that the 6 minute Come Sail Away, whilst starting fairly blandly, does move onto quite a powerfully decent track, with some great keyboard and guitars bits.

Generally though, I would say that Grand Illusion is more about the excellent playing rather than that of the actual songs, both of which comes to perfection in subsequent albums. I really do enjoy Miss America, a beefed up, stomping Styx number, the sort that they do at their best. The following track, the beautifully meandering Man in the Wilderness shows off the band's vocal harmonising superbly, as does the penultimate Castle Walls.

If you're into Styx, then you've either got this one, or it's on your imminent wishlist. For those who haven't yet sampled the band and want to try just one, then Pieces of Eight is my recommendation, though any fan might say differently, of course. And, as often with Styx, great album artwork, which must have looked quite magnificent on the original LP.
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VINE VOICEon 6 December 2007
It isn't hard to understand why 'The Grand Illusion' gave Styx their most crucial breakthrough. Easy on the ear, yet possessing musical depth, it's a little more commercial than its two major label predecessors, 'Equinox' and 'Crystal Ball.' Yet I feel it lacks some of the craft, imagination and edge of those albums, nor is it as heavy and hard-hitting as their next, 'Pieces of Eight.'

As on those previous albums, Dennis DeYoung's proggy keyboards lead off with the title track, a melodic and attractive piece. Styx, though, are sometimes prone to cliches and obvious philosophies. Couched in this grand production is the message that 'deep inside we're all the same.' It's rather like rolling out the red carpet to introduce a film extra. The album's theme is fame: the aspirations, disillusionment and pitfalls. DeYoung (I suspect they're his lyrics) tends to recycle his material; on separate songs we're told 'come on in,' 'step right this way' and 'climb aboard.' Tommy Shaw's two songs are quite refreshing as a result, especially the rocking 'Man In The Wilderness,' the most intense track on the album. By contrast, 'Superstars' is bland by the band's standards. DeYoung's big triumphs here, though, are the anthemic, six-minute 'Come Sail Away' and the brooding tale, 'Castle Walls.' James Young has only the somewhat average 'Miss America.'

'The Grand Illusion' is worth buying, but their other aforementioned albums should be higher up your shopping list.
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on 16 February 2018
Thanks
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on 11 February 2017
product as described. arrived before due date.very satisfied.
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on 17 May 2013
This is one of my favourite Styx albums and bought it to hang as album art in a Play & Display Frame on my wall, looks great.
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on 22 August 2008
This is simply a must for all Prog Rock Fans,there isn't a single bad song one this one. My only complaint would be, this classic CD is long overdue a Remaster,like many other Styx titles.....perhaps one day?
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on 15 January 2016
Thanks !!
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on 15 June 2015
Very happy customer. Thank you.
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on 16 September 2014
All ways liked styx since I discovered them, back in the 80s. I had it all on vinyl(who knows where that went, now its time to renew. A good album, one to try if you've never heard styx before.
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on 10 May 2016
Everything is alright.
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