Styx has advanced The Mission, its first new album in 14 years, with the single "Gone Gone Gone," which is the opening track of the concept album.
The song was something of a team effort, with Tommy Shaw telling us it began with a guitar riff by bandmate James Young that he and co-writer Will Evankovich:
"That was one he actually had played over a couple of days and I said, 'Let me record it and then you show me how to play it.' So I captured it and learned how to play it. Then Will and I got in the studio and I played it for him and he was like, 'Yes, this has got to be a song,' so we started fleshing it out...It went round and round. There's one version of it with an awesome B3 (organ) solo in it but we realized that it needed to be JY's solo, and when you hear the solo you understand why."
Young, meanwhile, adds that he hopes the song will be one radio fancies enough to play:
"It's a really cool two minutes and nine, 10, 11 seconds...I think may have a chance to squeak onto rock radio because it's strong enough, the guitar riff is...It's almost like 'Goin' Home' by Ten Years After. It's a guitar (riff) I think that really captures your attention and by the time it loses your attention, it's over."
The Mission comes out June 16, and Styx will be touring all summer to promote it, co-billed with REO Speedwagon.
Music video by Styx performing Gone Gone Gone. (C) 2017 Alpha Dog 2T, Inc. under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc. http://vevo.ly/T9fZpq
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.