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Why I think Paradise Theatre is one of the greatest albums of all time…

Discussion in 'music' started by JoeJoe, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. JoeJoe

    JoeJoe pfm Member

    Yes, for me Styx’s finest moment is up there with ‘The Wall’ and ‘Sergeant Pepper’. This is a concept album like no other and, totally unique too. And here’s why; it plays like a Broadway Musical and in fact, could easily have been one (in my opinion, of course!)
    Musically, it’s a masterpiece….lyrically, vocally and artistically.
    Vocals are projected in the finest music-theatre fashion, truly impactful and always on theme with the albums concept….
    And what a concept; a reflection of the current state of America, (from its 1980 time perspective), it’s culture, politics and socio-economic background, reflected through the decay of a now derelict Theatre ( The Paradise ), that had its glory days in the 1920’s. The ‘time-jump theme’ between present and past America is confirmed by the album’s sleeve, depicting the Paradise Theatre in pristine 20’s glory and then, 80’s abandonment.
    This neglect, and forgotten past, is the metaphorical message that runs through the album, and is the bands comment on where America is at that point in the very early 80’s.
    It’s an absolute gem of an observation because it’s salient across the globe as, music-hall was superseded by cinema, then TV, and ultimately by advertising and marketing which leads to the indoctrination and materialistic aspirations of a populous. This questionable progression culminates in the albums penultimate and glorious comment on capitalisms failings, ‘halfpenny-twopenny’. Wow! A crescendo that has built like no other on a concept album I’ve ever heard!

    If you’ve never listened to this album be sure to sit down with the lyric sheet for the first time.
    I hope that this beautifully crafted and recorded album will become as huge as the 2 albums referenced at the beginning of my post.

    It’s an album that comments on the moral and socio-economic paralysis of its time and salutes the past with fond affection. The hardest of hearts cannot fail to be moved by the albums run-off; a 1920’s slightly off-tune piano, warbling out the albums recurring riff in music-hall style. I’m in awe!……
     
    Frizzy likes this.
  2. Frizzy

    Frizzy Liberal anarchist

    Styx were along with Bruce my first musical loves. Have everything on vinyl bought as spotty Herbert in early seventies,still got the early wooden nickel releases.
    Personal fave is crystal ball but a underrated band tainted by later hair rock videos, Tommy shaw one of my fave guitarists and the band had three songwriters with the songs and styles evident on a variety of tracks.
    When home will dig out paradise not played recently, maybe a blast of ‘mr roboto’, great chorus.
     
  3. MichaelC

    MichaelC pfm Member

    Good post JoeJoe. It prompted me to dig this out. I haven’t listened to it in years. Yes, I can picture this being performed in a theatre now. A tale of the times, perhaps just as much now, some forty years since it was released.
     
  4. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    One of my favorite bands. Their six-album run from Equinox to Paradise Theater was a high point of my formative years. I was in a band in high school and we basically wanted to BE Styx (especially side 2 of Paradise Theater). Closest we could get was covering Renegade and Queen of Spades. Still listen to and love these albums, as well as the Wooden Nickel stuff. I admit they lost me at Kilroy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021

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