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STYX & REO SPEEDWAGON
ARCH ALLIES - LIVE

CMC International
Produced by: Reo & Styx

Released: OUT NOW
GENRE: Rock
OVERALL: 60%

    Disc 1 - Styx:
  1. Blue Collar Man
  2. Grand Illusion
  3. Fooling Yourself
  4. Lady
  5. Brave New World
  6. Edge Of The Century
  7. Heavy Water
  8. Too Much Time On My Hands
  9. Renegade
  10. Blue Collar Man (with REO)
  11. Roll With The Changes (with REO) Disc 2: Reo Speedwagon
  12. Don't Let Him Go
  13. Music Man
  14. Take It On The Run
  15. Can't Fight This Feeling
  16. Time For Me To Fly
  17. Back On The Road Again
  18. Keep On Loving You
  19. Roll With The Changes
  20. Ridin' The Storm Out
  21. 157 Riverside Avenue
  22. Blue Collar Man (with Styx)
  23. Roll With The Changes (with Styx)

This is an interesting release. One that fans of both bands will pick up at a great rate no doubt, but also one that could have been done a lot better.
First and foremost - to the music. The recording of both live sets is first rate. Absolutely top of the range sound.
Secondly, the performances are also top rate. That should be expected as both bands have been at this a long time, but in this instance in particular, they sound fabulous.
A special mention of the Styx set needs to be made. This is the first taste of the new line up most of us have had and to say the least, they smoke!
For long time die-hard Lawrence Gowan and Glen Burtnik fans (and I mean long time...like me) this is a real treat. It's great to hear two guys I have loved in a band that I rather quite like!
As for their part int he sound, they have done better than even I could have imagined. Glen of course is an old hat at it, while Gowan is the newest recruit.
He has replaced the irreplaceable Dennis DeYoung and done a bloody good job of it. His vocals are slightly different than those of Dennis, but for fans of him generally, it's great to hear him singing the material and singing it well.
I also like the inclusion of the Burtnik sung hit Edge Of The Century.
Now to the odd complaint. Firstly, if it wasn't for the new blood in Styx, there really wasn't a call for another live album of all the hits rolled out again.
Secondly, I don't understand at all the duplication of the end of set tracks.
One track from each would have been better than both of each others songs on each CD.
And further more, with the guys playing and recording this together, would it not have been too hard to share a few more of each other's songs?
This does smack of being a little staged when all that happens is one encore featuring only two tracks with all the guys on stage. And two tracks that have already been featured in their solo sets!
BOTTOM LINE: I think there could have been a little more effort put into this release, as the premise of it all was a good idea, but the execution just looks a little like a cash in.
That aside, the performances are great and the Styx set features two classic AOR men that make it a great listen.
PRODUCTION: 90% SONGS: 90% VIBE: 65%ATTITUDE: 40%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Long time REO Speedwago and Styx fans...some Lawrence Gowan & Glen Burtnik fans.




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