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.
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." 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."