Crystal Ball (Styx album)

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Crystal Ball
Styx - Crystal Ball.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1, 1976
Recorded1976 at Paragon Recording Studios, Chicago
Genre
Length34:45
LabelA&M
ProducerStyx
Styx chronology
Equinox
(1975)
Crystal Ball
(1976)
The Grand Illusion
(1977)
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 features only DeYoung on piano, with the key changed from D flat to C, as the next track ("Ballerina") begins in C minor.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone(favorable) [2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide1/5 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.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Put Me On"Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James YoungYoung (verses), DeYoung (bridge after guitar solo)4:56
2."Mademoiselle"DeYoung, ShawShaw3:57
3."Jennifer"DeYoungDeYoung4:16
4."Crystal Ball"ShawShaw4:32
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
5."Shooz"Shaw, YoungShaw4:44
6."This Old Man"DeYoungDeYoung5:11
7."Clair de Lune / Ballerina"DeYoung, Shaw, Claude DebussyDeYoung7:09
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 May 7, 2016. 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]