|Studio album by|
|Recorded||1972-73 at Paragon Recording Studios, Chicago; St. James Cathedral, Chicago|
|Producer||John Ryan, Bill Traut (exec.)|
|Singles from Styx II|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
After releasing their debut album, which consisted mostly of cover songs, the band intended to write some strong original new material; Dennis DeYoung was particularly in favor of this. DeYoung had written a song by himself on an electric piano in the band's garage, and had originally intended for it to be on the first album. He later decided to play it on an acoustic piano. However, Bill Traut wanted to save it for the second album. That song was Lady, written about DeYoung's wife Suzanne.
"Lady" failed to be a hit when it was first released in 1973; however, after the band released their fourth album "Man of Miracles" in 1974, they went to WLS, the most powerful Chicago radio station, and the program director (Jim Smith) had a plan to release this song as a hit. It was played frequently on the air in Chicago. In May 1975, the song broke out nationally, eventually peaking at no. 6 on the Billboard charts.
Besides Lady, the album contained some upbeat and prog rockers songs, such as the upbeat rockers "You Need Love & I'm Gonna Make You Feel It," which was written by DeYoung and sung by James "JY" Young.
The rocker "Earl of Roseland" was written by DeYoung based on early memories from when he grew up in the Roseland neighborhood, where he had formed the band with the Panozzo brothers.
This is also the first album that John Curulewski wrote and sang only 2 songs which are: The proggish jazzy "A Day" which is an unusual sound for the band, and the boogie humor song "You Better Ask" which the outro for the song featured a snippet of Strangers in the Night on calliope organ and evil laugh.
Side 2 opens with a DeYoung rendition to Little Fugue in G, by Bach as he played on pipe organ in the cathedral in Chicago and combines into the mellow prog rocker Father O.S.A. which DeYoung was raised as a Catholic who was half-Dutch from his father and half-Italian from his mother.
After Styx moved to A&M Records and achieved national success in the US, Styx II went Gold shortly before the success of The Grand Illusion (1977) and the only big seller album from Wooden Nickel era, because of "Lady". The album was reissued in 1980 by their prior label, Wooden Nickel. Under the title Lady, the reissue had new artwork (though it is not to be confused with a Styx compilation album that was later released with the same name). It is also the only Styx album to not feature material written or co-written by Young (apart from their covers 2005 album, Big Bang Theory).
|Side one — "Heads"|
|1.||"You Need Love"||DeYoung||Young||3:44|
|4.||"You Better Ask"||Curulewski||Curulewski||3:54|
|Side two — "Tails"|
|5.||"Little Fugue in G"||Johann Sebastian Bach||(instrumental)||1:17|
|7.||"Earl of Roseland"||DeYoung||DeYoung||4:39|
|8.||"I'm Gonna Make You Feel It"||DeYoung||Young||2:23|
- Dennis DeYoung – vocals, keyboards
- James Young – vocals, electric guitars
- John Curulewski – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards
- Chuck Panozzo – bass guitar
- John Panozzo – drums and percussion
In 1975, Billboard (United States) listed the album as #20 in the Pop Albums charts and the single "Lady" as #6 in the Pop Singles chart.