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Released: October 1976


Rating: 3.300 (average of 15 ratings)


Genre: classic arena rock


Quotable: --


Album Tracks:

  1. Put Me On (DeYoung/Shaw/ Young) [4:56]
  2. Mademoiselle (DeYoung/ Shaw) [3:57]
  3. Jennifer (DeYoung) [4:16]
  4. Crystal Ball (Shaw) [4:32]
  5. Shooz (Shaw/ Young) [4:44]
  6. This Old Man (DeYoung) [5:11]
  7. Clair de Lune/Ballerina (P.D., arr. by DeYoung/ Shaw) [7:09]


Total Running Time: 34:45


Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 0.5
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 0.5


Peak:

peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 66
peak on U.K. album chart --


Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Mademoiselle (11/13/76) #36 US
  • Crystal Ball


Awards:

One of my personal top 100 albums of all time. Click to learn more.


Crystal Ball
Styx
Review:
At the end of 1974, Styx had produced four albums with the Wooden Nickel label. Then the song “Lady,” from Styx’s second album, was rediscovered and launched Styx’s career. Styx signed with major label A&M and released Equinox, an album that went gold and spawned the songs “Suite Madame Blue,” “Light Up,” and top 30 single “Lorelei.”

Follow-up album “Crystal Ball wasn't as successful as Equinox, but it was a better album.” DJ The most notable change was the addition of Tommy Shaw to the band after the departure of guitarist and sometime vocalist John Curulewski. Shaw’s contributions would be instrumental in making Styx the premiere arena rock band of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The band’s next four albums would be top ten, multi-platinum affairs, led by Tommy Shaw rockers such as “Fooling Yourself,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Renegade,” “Lights,” and “Too Much Time on My Hands.”

While this album failed to go platinum or top ten, Shaw’s presence aided the band in “showcasing [its] increased skill for crafting simple, catchy pop hooks out of their bombastic sound.” DJ

Nowhere was this more apparent than on Shaw’s beautiful title song, which he sung and wrote. While it didn’t show up on the pop charts, it would become one of the many AOR staples that Styx crafted in their heyday.

Elsewhere, Dennis DeYoung revealed his ever increasing leanings toward balladry, such as on This Old Man and Ballerina. The latter, paired with classical piece Clair de Lune, also was a reminder of Styx’s earlier more progressive rock leanings.

DeYoung and Shaw would pair up for the top 40 hit Mademoiselle, one of several times the two would combine for a magical pairing. They would also combine writing talent with James Young, who kicked off the album with Put Me On, a typical roaring anthem from tha man who always gave Styx its hardest rock edge.

While not the classic that the next few Styx albums would become, this album was sowing the seeds and always deserved more success than it got.


Review Sources:


Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album – Equinox (1975) Styx’s DMDB page Next Album: The Grand Illusion (1977)


Mademoiselle (audio only)


Crystal Ball (live)


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Last updated March 11, 2011.