Out today (June 16) is The Mission, the first new studio album from Styx in 14 years.
The album's concept, about the first manned mission to Mars, was conceived by the group's Tommy Shaw, who tells us the idea was to craft the kind of album Styx fans would immediately gravitate towards:
"As soon as we got to thinking about a Styx album, what's your favorite era of Styx? To me it's 'The Grand Illusion,' 'Pieces Of Eight.' That was just the prime. Everybody was in the prime...The idea was, 'Let's make this record...make sure it sounds like Styx, the Styx that everybody grew up with, and so that became the margins for it."
Styx recorded The Mission at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, with Shaw's longtime collaborator Will Evankovich co-producing as well as co-writing the tracks.
Styx released two songs, "Gone Gone Gone" and "Radio Silence," prior to "The Mission's" release. The group is touring this summer with REO Speedwagon.
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.