Personnel: James Young , Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar); Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards); Chuck Panozzo (vocals, bass guitar); John Panozzo (vocals, drums, percussion); Steve Eisen (saxophone); Mark Ohlson, Mike Halpin, John Haynor, Billy Simpson, Dan Barber (horns).
Recording information: Pumpkin Studios, Oak Lawn, IL; Universal Recording.
PARADISE THEATER was arguably the last great Styx album, as the rift between Dennis DeYoung's balladry and the more hard-hitting approach of James Young and Tommy Shaw hadn't yet wreaked havoc on the group's output. There's a vague concept about the tearing down of an old theater, but as with most concept albums, the songs are the important thing.
"Rockin' The Paradise" is one of the group's most effective rockers and most substantial group efforts (its one of the few songs written by all three of the band's composers). Tommy Shaw brings his pop sensibilities to the fore on the ridiculously catchy (and hugely successful) "Too Much Time on My Hands," whose synth bass hook became part of the pop pantheon. DeYoung proves his mettle as a balladeer once again on the hit "The Best of Times," and the Young/Shaw-sung "Snowblind" finds the boys getting downright bluesy.