The Grand Illusion

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The Grand Illusion
Styx - The Grand Illusion.jpg
Studio album by Styx
Released July 7, 1977
Recorded 1977 at Paragon Recording Studios, Chicago
Genre Progressive rock, art rock, hard rock
Length 38:59
Label A&M
Producer Styx
Styx chronology
Crystal Ball
The Grand Illusion
Pieces of Eight
Singles from The Grand Illusion
  1. "Come Sail Away"
    Released: 1977
  2. "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)"
    Released: 1978
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
The Daily Vault (B-) (1998)[2]
B (2006)[3]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[5]

The Grand Illusion is the seventh studio album by Styx, released on July 7, 1977. It launched the band to stardom, spawning the hit singles "Come Sail Away" and "Fooling Yourself", and selling over three million copies in the US.

According to keyboardist Dennis DeYoung, the album's theme was the struggle to overcome self-deluding superficiality in order to affirm one's genuine value.[citation needed] This theme was reflected in the lyrics of the album's title track:

So if you think your life is complete confusion
'cause your neighbor's got it made
just remember that it's a grand illusion
and deep inside we're all the same

The title of The Grand Illusion had been considered dating back to the 1975 album Equinox.


The album was recorded at Paragon Recording Studios in Chicago.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Grand Illusion" (Dennis DeYoung) – 4:36
  2. "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" (Shaw) – 5:29
    • Lead vocals: Shaw
  3. "Superstars" (Young, DeYoung, Shaw) – 3:59
    • Lead vocals and lead guitar: Shaw
    • Soliloquy: DeYoung
  4. "Come Sail Away" (DeYoung) – 6:07
    • Lead vocals and synthesizer solo: DeYoung
    • ARP Odyssey: Young
    • Lead Guitar: Shaw
  5. "Miss America" (Young) – 5:02
    • Lead vocals and guitar solo: Young
  6. "Man in the Wilderness" (Shaw) – 5:51
    • Lead vocals and guitar solo: Shaw
  7. "Castle Walls" (DeYoung) – 5:59
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
    • Lead guitar: Shaw
  8. "The Grand Finale" (DeYoung, Young, Shaw) – 1:57
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
    • Lead guitar fills: Shaw
    • Melodic guitar lead: Young

Album cover[edit]

The album cover art, created by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse, is an homage to a painting by René Magritte entitled "Le Blanc-Seing". It is also similar to the even earlier avant garde painting "L'Incantation ou Le Bois Sacré" by Paul Sérusier.






Chart (1977) Peak position
U.S. Billboard 200 6


Name Chart (1977) Peak position
"Come Sail Away" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 8
"Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" 29


  1. ^ DeGagne, Mike. The Grand Illusion at AllMusic. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  2. ^ Christopher Thelen (1998-08-08). "The Daily Vault Music Review : The Grand Illusion". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  3. ^ Melanie Love (2006-06-13). "The Daily Vault Music Review : The Grand Illusion". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  4. ^ Joe Fernbacher (1977-11-03). "The Grand Illusion by Styx | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  5. ^ 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.