SEE BELOW TO ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW!
STYX & REO SPEEDWAGON
ARCH ALLIES - LIVE

CMC International
Produced by: Reo & Styx

Released: OUT NOW
GENRE: Rock
OVERALL: 60%

    Disc 1 - Styx:
  1. Blue Collar Man
  2. Grand Illusion
  3. Fooling Yourself
  4. Lady
  5. Brave New World
  6. Edge Of The Century
  7. Heavy Water
  8. Too Much Time On My Hands
  9. Renegade
  10. Blue Collar Man (with REO)
  11. Roll With The Changes (with REO) Disc 2: Reo Speedwagon
  12. Don't Let Him Go
  13. Music Man
  14. Take It On The Run
  15. Can't Fight This Feeling
  16. Time For Me To Fly
  17. Back On The Road Again
  18. Keep On Loving You
  19. Roll With The Changes
  20. Ridin' The Storm Out
  21. 157 Riverside Avenue
  22. Blue Collar Man (with Styx)
  23. Roll With The Changes (with Styx)

This is an interesting release. One that fans of both bands will pick up at a great rate no doubt, but also one that could have been done a lot better.
First and foremost - to the music. The recording of both live sets is first rate. Absolutely top of the range sound.
Secondly, the performances are also top rate. That should be expected as both bands have been at this a long time, but in this instance in particular, they sound fabulous.
A special mention of the Styx set needs to be made. This is the first taste of the new line up most of us have had and to say the least, they smoke!
For long time die-hard Lawrence Gowan and Glen Burtnik fans (and I mean long time...like me) this is a real treat. It's great to hear two guys I have loved in a band that I rather quite like!
As for their part int he sound, they have done better than even I could have imagined. Glen of course is an old hat at it, while Gowan is the newest recruit.
He has replaced the irreplaceable Dennis DeYoung and done a bloody good job of it. His vocals are slightly different than those of Dennis, but for fans of him generally, it's great to hear him singing the material and singing it well.
I also like the inclusion of the Burtnik sung hit Edge Of The Century.
Now to the odd complaint. Firstly, if it wasn't for the new blood in Styx, there really wasn't a call for another live album of all the hits rolled out again.
Secondly, I don't understand at all the duplication of the end of set tracks.
One track from each would have been better than both of each others songs on each CD.
And further more, with the guys playing and recording this together, would it not have been too hard to share a few more of each other's songs?
This does smack of being a little staged when all that happens is one encore featuring only two tracks with all the guys on stage. And two tracks that have already been featured in their solo sets!
BOTTOM LINE: I think there could have been a little more effort put into this release, as the premise of it all was a good idea, but the execution just looks a little like a cash in.
That aside, the performances are great and the Styx set features two classic AOR men that make it a great listen.
PRODUCTION: 90% SONGS: 90% VIBE: 65%ATTITUDE: 40%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Long time REO Speedwago and Styx fans...some Lawrence Gowan & Glen Burtnik fans.



18/02/01: Beards - dcaman@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
I agree with the earlier comment on Kevin's vocal change. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it has changed over the years. The songs themselves still sound good however.
Styx on the other hand do a great job! I saw Styx at the legendary Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake a couple years back. I'm telling you Gowan is quite the performer. His spinning keyboards and his ability to do Dennis's songs close to the original, but with his own touch is remarkable. Buy it? Sure!
IF for nothing more than to check out the new Styx. These boys know how to rock. And one correction from an earlier review. It said that the early Wooden Nickle Styx records didn't have any of the now members of Styx. Wrong...JY was there then, and he is here now.

Beards

10/02/01: Rachel - morganrh@email.uc.edu
Rating: 100
REO Speedwagon rules! And, yeah this is their second live CD, but after 24 years since the first one I think it is excusable!!! 1976 Live You Get What you Play For, has a MUCH different setlist than the one found on this album! Plus, if you guys really listened to the originals of some of these songs or past live versions there are quite a few songs which are revamped like Music Man, Don't Let Him Go. Plus, I think those jams with both bands are priceless...I don't know why they are repeated except that maybe at some point they are planning on releasing the discs separately(purely speculation). Any way, I'm an REO die hard so maybe my opinion is slightly skewed, but no one puts on a show like Kevin Cronin and the boys!!!!!

09/02/01: Gary - gpendergraft@leectysch.com
Rating: 75
Hey Styx fans, please tell me you don't think Arch is better than RTP. There really is no comparison. AA could have been so much better. They should have played Put Me On after the intro. That would have been awesome. Everything is cool should have been on there as well. The new lineup sounds great as TS and JY would make any band sound great. But think about it, what? 10 top 10 hits, all written by Mr. DDY. Gentlemen also you are not a co-headliner, you are the band. Do not open for anybody. Add some other tunes, Borrowed Time for one. Brave New World sounds awesome on AA.

07/02/01: Rick Hickey - hick007@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
As a huge Styx fan and REO fan from the Chicago area, it's really hard to warm up to this new live recording. I have read some comments above and agree that the repeated songs were just that repeated. I have Caught in the Act and Return to Paradise Theatre why do I need another live album from Styx? Maybe, because I wanted to hear the Brave New Sound? No I saw then last summer. I guess because I have all of their recordings and I want to keep the collection up to date. As for the DDY thing, I just don't miss Dennis, I miss John and Chuck also. What we have on stage as Styx is not the same band that put out all those great tunes back in the 70's and early 80's. I have Wooden Nickle records that don't have a single member of the band current known as Styx on them. That's right, No JY, No Tommy Shaw. It was Dennis, Chuck, John and CJ who started this band and now it's Tommy's and Jy's band. I thought Larry did a nice job, Glenn is top notch and let's not forget Todd. He is a great drummer! It's too bad I remember the old days. I like to think this ego trip they all are on will settle down and the lawsuit will pass and we all can get back to enjoying the music with out the politics. Good luck to Styx and REO, but this CD won't see much time in my player.

Rick

04/02/01: Darren - didjafart@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
When I caught Journey in Vegas on December 30, I accidentally arrived in time to catch REO's set. It was the first time I'd seen them since '85 and I was amazed at how little their set had changed in 15 years! Heck, Kevin was still using the same between-song banter, for crying out loud. With that in mind, I listened this CD (for no other reason than to hear the NEW Styx out of morbid curiosity, I guess) and soon discovered that you can't teach these old dogs any new tricks at all. Styx turn in by-the-numbers performances, much like the post-Cetera Chicago or Brian WIlson-less Beach Boys have been doing for years, to the almost-bored-but-not-quite delight of county fair attendees across the US. To have it all captured in Digital is a lot like having someone else paint a pretty good copy of a Van Gogh and then reduce it to a .JPG, I guess. What's the point, really? If Styx were about wanting to make their fans happy, they wouldn't have shafted Dennis DeYoung.

01/02/01: Jeff - new_world_man2001@yahoo.com
Rating: 60
I would agree with most of the previous comments, but would simply add, WHY??? This is REO's 2nd or 3rd live album, and STYX has now had 3 themselves, with many of the songs repeated on all three of them!! Why Styx didn't throw in some different classic album tracks is beyond me. The biggest tease of the CD is when Styx plays the beginning of "Put Me On" from the classic "Crystal Ball" album, only to segue into the rather dull (IMO) "HEAVY WATER". And repeating the same songs at the end of both discs is totally rediculous. Why not split them up and put one on each??? Why would anyone want the same songs on both discs? But this is from the crowd who has now had live versions of "Blue Collar Man" and "Renegade" on 3 different live CD's. I got this one free through a connection in the music biz, but it's not worth buying.

01/02/01: Jody Serner - Jodes97@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Okay.. Like many people around the globe that still care about Classic rock bands, when I heard that Dennis Deyoung was not going to be able to tour with Styx, my heart Sank..Then I heard who would be doing keyboards and vocals for the Brave New World tour 99, Mr. Larry Gowan. Being a HUGE Gowan fan, my spirits were raised and I thought, FINALLY, Larry gets his Break in the States! Now, I know a lot of DDY diehards have automatically consider Gowan the enemy and that should be hung and quartered for singing DDY's songs (which I can't believe how many of there you are you should be ashamed of yourselves!) Gowan is trying to keep Styx's music alive the best way he knows how.. C'mon, Larry Gowan deserves more respect! He truely Repects Mr. Deyoung and the contributions he's made to Styx. Gowan knows he can't please all of you, Look at the shoes he's filling for God sakes! He's not Dennis Deyoung, he doesn't claim to be, and neither is he a DDY clone (Journey and Judas Priest come to mind) He's no Dennis Deyoung, but Dennis Deyoung is no Larry Gowan! There. Rant is Done.. Now on to the review! The real test was seeing this lineup live after the Magical "Return to Paradise" tour. Could they hold up? Well, to the hundreds of thousands that have seen it in Canada, Japan and the USA, YES THEY HAVE! They bring a new energy and freshness to a band that seemed to be missing in the 97 tour, this linuep has a Chemistry which I have never seen in any band live before.. As for Arch Allies, Larry has two tracks on this CD and he does Deyoung Proud! All of the Styx tracks are superb in quality. The addition of Larry and Glen to the Harmonies department makes this cd stand on it's own, especially on Too Much Time and Brave New World, which I think is the best song on both of the cd's! Now there were some gems left off this cd (they were pulled at the last minute), like JY singing Lorelei and the hardest rocking Styx tune ever, "Everything Is Cool" now that was not due to the band, but their inept, anemic and non-fan friendly label, CMC Records. (Blame them!) I will agree that 3 versions of BCM and Roll With The Changes is a bit much (both jams are cool though!), that could have easily been taken care of, but again, CMC Drops the ball on a very good cd which could have been better! I just hope the video/DVD includes those above mentioned songs (EIC, Lorelei) and my favourite from this tour, Come Sail Away, which is breathtaking. Hopefully this will complete the deal that Styx did with CMC and they can find a better label! Now I am still a Dennis Fan and a Styx fan.. YOU CAN BE BOTH! Now here'e hoping that both have great success.. And who knows, maybe one day all SEVEN of them can perform on one stage together. Nobody ever thought Glen Burtnick would be back.. Something to think about.. I look forward to your comments!


Jodes

26/01/01: paul stephenson - kinnyboy@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
I couldn't agree more with the general comments about these discs. Great performances-although Kevin Cronin has not fared as well in the vocal department as Tommy Shaw-but what is it with these so-called jams? Absolutely redundant as they don't add anything to the bands' versions and as has been sadi they just take up spcae. I must say the Styx selections do show a little more imagination and are not a total duplicate of past live albums but Reo have been doing that set for the past 15 years so it really doesn't need another recording of it. Overall I have to say it could have been so much better.
es

25/01/01: Eric - Bourg000@aol.com
Rating: 78
Great to have some melodic rock in Dolby Digital - and nice to have a live concert in a nice format of these 2 legends. However, I am not in love with the energy, and I don't like the repeated songs at the end.

25/01/01: Snake65 - EPReed@aol.com
Rating: 70
What kills this "great idea" of a CD from two great bands is the repeat of the same jams on each disc. This shows that this was just a rush job to get a product out. By taking away one sides repeat each band could have added one song. STYX also left off Come Sail Away which I loved when I saw Lawrence do it in concert.


ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW!

Name:

E-mail:

Rating:

Comment: