Sunday Chuckle Screening: Styx – “Love is the Ritual” (1990)

In 1990, Styx reunited — but without Tommy Shaw. Busy with Damn Yankees, Shaw would have to be replaced. And, let’s face it, it always seemed like most of the Styx friction was between Tommy Shaw and Dennis DeYoung. Needing someone to fill Tommy’s “Shooz”, they recruited young singer/songwriter/guitarist Glen Burtnik.

The DeYoung/Young/Burtnik/Panozzo/Panozzo lineup produced one album, Edge of the Century. It was heralded by lead single “Love is the Ritual”, a decidedly un-Styx-like attempt to break into the 1990 rock market after a seven year absence.

You could mistake it for Winger. With Burtnik front and center, Styx take a back seat in their own music video. Dennis is rarely seen, only needed when there’s a “Hey!” backing vocal.  Glen fronts the band with microphone in hand — no guitar. If ever there was a music video built to appeal to the young while trying to hide the age or identity of the band, it is “Love is the Ritual”. The clip is padded out with shots of women and a Fabio-like dude. Truly an awful video, and an embarrassing attempt to grab the brass ring one more time.

43 comments

      1. Now I’m listening to Winger for the first time in forever. Some of those demo versions show how much heavier the songs on those first two albums could have been without all the Beau Hill frills. Some of the B-sides are better than what made the albums too. Like I’d take this song over almost any other on In the Heart of the Young.

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    1. It reminds me of “Can’t Get Enuff” which I really don’t like. The big almost Beau Hill esque backing vox. Don’t want to slag Winger though. Pull is a pretty good album though, and they’re solid gents. Great musicians.

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        1. Funny enough he did direct a video for Styx for a song off that album, but not that one.

          His films suck. Totally adolescent sexist garbage. Bad Boys I & II are fucking horrible, I don’t get why people like them so much. The third one not directed by him is the best one, and it’s still just decent.

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        2. I also love that your film fandom is so great that you feel the need to poo on Michael Bay at the mere mention of his name!

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        3. I just looked it up, apparently Michael Bay directed the video for “Love is a Ritual” too. So obviously a Winger rip! They’re even both in Ab, though Winger’s song modulates in the chorus.

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        1. Yeah, from that same album. I only know because I looked up his video discography. He directed “Show Me the Way”

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    1. I hate the song. It’s like a remake of Can’t Get Enuff by Winger. There’s good Winger and bad Winger, and Can’t Get Enuff was baaaaaad Winger. Pandering to below their pay grade. Same goes for Styx. This is well beneath them.

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    1. Styx reunited without Tommy in 1990. But then Tommy came back in 1995 for Lady ’95 and has been with them ever since! But amazingly enough, that wasn’t the end of Burtnik. He came back on bass in 1999 or so when Chuck stopped touring regularly. So there is a version of this song out there without Dennis, with BUT Gowan, Tommy Shaw and Glen singing.

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        1. The first two Winger albums are products of their time, what the label wanted and the limitations of the producer or what the producer was paid to do by the label.

          For the band, the musicians are technically excellent and then Kip poised for Playgirl. wTF. I remember reading an interview from Beach and he wasn’t too impressed

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