Styx – The Mission

It’s funny how easily you can have misconceptions.

An old friend of mine went to see Styx in concert yesterday. From the post on Facebook, a friend of hers and I got into a debate about Dennis DeYoung, their singer, keyboardist, and one of their songwriters in the ’70s and ’80s, and his replacement, Lawrence Gowan. In that discussion, I made a comment in which I give them kudos for knowing that their new album wasn’t going to sell because their style of music just wasn’t popular anymore, and wasn’t what sold today, yet still releasing it anyway.

She posted that at the concert, Tommy Shaw (vocals and guitar) said their newest album was currently at number 6 on the Billboard charts. I had to check this out, and yes, that is the truth.

Here are the official chart positions for “The Mission” as of today:

#6 Top Rock Albums
#11 Physical Albums
#11 Vinyl Albums
#13 Current Albums
#14 Billboard Top Albums
#16 Retail
#29 Digital Albums
#45 Billboard 200 (includes catalog and streaming)

My faith has been restored in popular music.

As for the debate over Lawrence Gowan or Dennis DeYoung … Having seen Styx in concert a few years back as well as hearing their last two studio albums, I feel Gowan is just as accomplished on keyboards as DeYoung was. Plus, as a singer, he has all the vocal range that Dennis DeYoung had but can also have much more power in his voice when he wants. Lawrence Gowan can sing every part Dennis DeYoung could, but not so the other way around; and “The Mission” proved that Gowan is also an equal or better songwriter. I think Styx is a better more versatile band with him and the success of “The Mission” proves it.