Crystal Ball (Styx album)

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Crystal Ball
Styx - Crystal Ball.jpg
Studio album by Styx
Released October 1, 1976
Recorded 1976 at Paragon Recording Studios, Chicago
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock
Length 34:45
Label A&M
Producer Styx
Styx chronology
Equinox
(1975)Equinox1975
Crystal Ball
(1976)
The Grand Illusion
(1977)The Grand Illusion1977
Singles from Crystal Ball
  1. "Mademoiselle"
    Released: 1976
  2. "Crystal Ball"
    Released: 1977
  3. "Jennifer"
    Released: 1977

Crystal Ball is the sixth album by Styx, released in 1976.

This album marked the recording debut of new guitarist Tommy Shaw. The track "Mademoiselle" was Tommy Shaw's vocal debut and the album's Top-40 hit.

The album's title track would become a concert staple for the band, as it was performed on every subsequent Styx tour with which Shaw was involved.

"Shooz" was co-written by Shaw and James "J.Y." Young. The bluesy rocker had Shaw on slide guitar while Young contributed a Hendrix-like solo to the middle of the track after Shaw's slide solo.

"This Old Man" is a song that DeYoung wrote for his father and the impact his dad had on his life.

Claude Debussy's classical piece "Clair de Lune" served as the intro to the album's closing track, "Ballerina". The version of "Clair de Lune" on Crystal Ball just had DeYoung on piano and changed the key from D flat to C as the next track ("Ballerina") started in C minor.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone (favorable) [2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 1/5 stars [3]

Daevid Jehnzen of AllMusic rated Crystal Ball three-and-a-half out of five stars. He stated that it was better than Styx's previous album, Equinox (1975), although it was not as successful. He also said that the album "[showcases] Styx's increased skill for crafting simple, catchy pop hooks out of their bombastic sound."[1] Alan Niester of Rolling Stone also, found the album favorable, stating that "although Styx is based in Chicago, the group has its English scam down pat". He also stated that the instrumentation "always seems on the verge of going out of control, giving the whole album an extra surge of excitement."[2]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Personnel Length
1. "Put Me On" Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James Young Lead vocals: Young (verse), DeYoung (bridge after guitar solo)
Lead guitar: Young
4:56
2. "Mademoiselle" DeYoung, Shaw Lead vocals: Shaw
Harmony lead guitar solos: Shaw, Young
3:57
3. "Jennifer" DeYoung Lead vocals: DeYoung
Lead guitar: Young
4:16
4. "Crystal Ball" Shaw Lead vocals: Shaw
Lead guitar: Shaw
Synthesizer solo: DeYoung
4:32
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Personnel Length
5. "Shooz" Shaw, Young Lead vocals: Shaw
Slide guitar: Shaw
Second guitar solo: Young
4:44
6. "This Old Man" DeYoung Lead vocals: DeYoung
Lead guitar: Shaw
5:11
7. "Clair de Lune / Ballerina" DeYoung, Shaw, Claude Debussy Lead vocals: DeYoung
Lead guitar: Young (wah-wah induced solos), Shaw
7:09
Total length: 34:45

Personnel[edit]

Styx[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producer: Styx
  • Engineers: Barry Mraz and Rob Kingsland

Charts[edit]

AlbumBillboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1976 Pop Albums 66

Singles – Billboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1976 "Mademoiselle" Pop Singles 36

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jehnzen, Daevid. Crystal Ball at AllMusic. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Niester, Alan (January 13, 1977). "Styx - Crystal Ball". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on June 20, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 789. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 

External links[edit]