Styx: Tommy Shaw (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); James Young (vocals, guitar); Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer); Chuck Panozzo (vocals, bass); John Panozzo (vocals, drums, percussion).
Recorded at Paragon Recording Studios, Chicago, Illinois.
Personnel: Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); James Young (vocals, guitar); Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer); Chuck Panozzo (vocals, bass guitar); John Panozzo (vocals, drums, percussion).
Recording information: Paragon Recording Studios, Chicago, IL.
CRYSTAL BALL marks a major turning point for Styx. Original member John Curulewski was replaced by young guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Shaw whose rock energy and pop smarts would soon help lead the group to superstardom by contributing some of Styx's most memorable tunes. He debuts auspiciously enough here, co-writing a couple of songs with Dennis DeYoung and James Young.
Predictably, though, his solo compositions are the most effective, including the folky, introspective ballad that gives the album its title, and the gritty rocker "Shooz." For his part, DeYoung contributes a couple of ingratiating romantic paeans ("Jennifer," "Ballerina") and a somewhat overwrought tribute to the working man ("This Old Man"). With Shaw on board, however, Styx was clearly ready for the big time.