DVD REVIEW: Styx – 20th Century Masters: The Video Collection (2004)

STYX – 20th Century Masters: The DVD Collection (2004 Universal)

These 20th Century Masters DVDs were a fun way to pick up key music videos from major bands at a cheap price.  Today this role is largely filled by sites such as YouTube.  The Styx edition features six of their cheesy best, and Styx did indeed make some cheesy music videos back in the day.  There are no frills and no extras, just the vids, so let’s have a look.

Tommy Shaw’s “Blue Collar Man” is a rock staple with cool lyrics.  This is a live version, and because of the big KILROY backdrop, I’m assuming this is from the Styx Caught in the Act DVD.  I love the 80’s clothes although the haircuts haven’t changed as much as you’d think.  The best part of this video is watching the late John Panozzo flailing away on drums, a sight that Styx fans certainly miss.

Thankfully, “Come Sail Away” is not live:  it is the cheesy original.  A bearded Dennis DeYoung croons and tinkles, hair highlighted by the spotlights.  John Panozzo’s afro can be seen bobbing over the drum kit, before Shaw and James Young kick in with the chords.  The band dressed in white appear to glow on stage, and it’s a gloriously terrible music video.  Things like this have kitsch value to me.  “Too Much Time On My Hands” is also the original, and this is just indescribably bad, so I’ll just present you these still photos to show you what I mean.  It’s pretty hilarious.  Fortunately it’s a good song!

“The Best of Times” is among my favourite Styx songs, in fact I had it played at my wedding reception. Judging by Dennis’ sparkly vest, it’s from the same video shoot as “Too Much Time On My Hands”.  It has some of the same camp value, but without the embarrassing “acting” scenes.  But damn, isn’t this a great song?  Shaw’s “Boat On a River” is also excellent.  Tommy plays mandolin, while bassist Chuck Panozzo weilds a big stand-up double bass.  DeYoung’s on accordion, mustachioed instead of bearded.  The folksy tune has always struck me as very Queen-like.

Finally, “Mr. Roboto” closes the DVD, as it must.  Taking scenes from Styx’s short Kilroy Was Here film, it depicts Jonathan Chance (Tommy Shaw) searching for imprisoned rock star Kilroy (Dennis DeYoung).  Kilroy is seen attacking a “Roboto” prison guard and thereafter making his escape wearing the mask of the robot.   It’s a nifty little sci-fi music video, something I’m a huge sucker for.  “Mr. Roboto” is still a great memorable song with a cool little video.

3/5 stars

11 comments

  1. This is really awesome for three reasons. First, I like Styx. Especially now that they’re full of Gowan-y goodness! Second, that’s a pretty sweet track list, even if the videos are Cheesy McCheesiness. And third, I HAD NO IDEA that they even made DVDs for this series! i thought they were only CDs. Once again, gotta come to Lebrain’s to get schooled.

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    1. I think if you so desired you could find a bunch of these dirt cheap at your local Wally World. I remember there being a lot of them! I have a Kiss one here on deck that is the next DVD I have to review.

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  2. Styx – one of the best bands EVER! Dennis has an amazing voice. I saw a TV special several years ago with him doing a solo show. It might have been on PBS. But I will look for the above video, as it sounds like a good investment.

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    1. Dennis was supposed to play here a couple years ago. I had second row seats. But the show was canceled, maybe due to lack of sales. Too bad! He was doing an evening of solo and Styx music.

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      1. That sucks when you’re looking forward to a good show, then it gets canceled. A co-worker had tickets to see Cher this month, and the show was postponed until January. She ended up selling her tickets because she didn’t want to take a chance on their being a snowstorm or icy roads at that time, because the venue is about 80 miles away.

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