Dream Police ($5 Blowout Price!)

SKU: 82796944852
Label:
Epic Legacy
Category:
Classic Rock
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Remastered with 4 bonus tracks.

"At Budokan unexpectedly made Cheap Trick stars, largely because "I Want You to Want Me" had a tougher sound than its original studio incarnation. Perversely -- and most things Cheap Trick have done are somehow perverse -- the band decided not to continue with the direct, stripped-down sound of At Budokan, which would have been a return to their debut. Instead, the group went for their biggest, most elaborate production to date, taking the synthesized flourishes of Heaven Tonight to extremes. While it kept the group in the charts, it lessened the impact of the music. Underneath the gloss, there are a number of songs that rank among Cheap Trick's finest, particularly the paranoid title track, the epic rocker "Gonna Raise Hell," the tough "I Know What I Want," the simple pop of "Voices," and the closer, "Need Your Love." Still, Dream Police feels like a letdown in comparison to its predecessors, even though it would later feel like one of the group's last high-water marks." - Allmusic

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  • "Presenting radio with one of the best rock ballads ever, Cornerstone gave Chicago's Styx their big break with the number one single "Babe," which held that spot for two weeks in October of 1979. "Babe" is a smooth, keyboard-pampered love song that finally credited Dennis De Young's textured vocals. While this single helped the album climb all the way to the number two spot on the charts, the rest of the tracks from Cornerstone weren't nearly half as strong. "Why Me" made it to number 26, and both "Lights" and "Boat on the River" implement silky harmonies and welcoming choruses, yet failed to get off the ground. De Young's keyboards are effective without overly dominating the music, and the band's gritty rock & roll acerbity has been slightly sanded down to compliment the commercial market. The songs aren't as tight or assertive as their last few albums, but Shaw's presence can be felt strongly on most of the tracks, especially where the writing is concerned. Outside of "Babe," Cornerstone tends to sound a tad weaker than one would expect." - Allmusic guide
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  • ""Countdown to Ecstasy wasn't half the hit that Can't Buy a Thrill was, and Steely Dan responded by trimming the lengthy instrumental jams that were scattered across Countdown and concentrating on concise songs for Pretzel Logic. While the shorter songs usually indicate a tendency toward pop conventions, that's not the case with Pretzel Logic. Instead of relying on easy hooks, Walter Becker andDonald Fagen assembled their most complex and cynical set of songs to date. Dense with harmonics, countermelodies, and bop phrasing, Pretzel Logic is vibrant with unpredictable musical juxtapositions and snide, but very funny, wordplay. Listen to how the album's hit single, "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," opens with a syncopated piano line that evolves into a graceful pop melody, or how the title track winds from a blues to a jazzy chorus -- Becker and Fagen's craft has become seamless while remaining idiosyncratic and thrillingly accessible. Since the songs are now paramount, it makes sense that Pretzel Logic is less of a band-oriented album than Countdown to Ecstasy, yet it is the richest album in their catalog, one where the backhanded Dylan tribute "Barrytown" can sit comfortably next to the gorgeous "Any Major Dude Will Tell You." Steely Dan made more accomplished albums than Pretzel Logic, but they never made a better one."" - All Music Guide
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  • "Steely Dan hadn't been a real working band since Pretzel Logic, but with Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records. Instead, it's a measured and textured album, filled with subtle melodies and accomplished, jazzy solos that blend easily into the lush instrumental backdrops. But Aja isn't just about texture, since Becker and Fagen's songs are their most complex and musically rich set of songs -- even the simplest song, the sunny pop of "Peg," has layers of jazzy vocal harmonies. In fact, Steely Dan ignores rock on Aja, preferring to fuse cool jazz, blues, and pop together in a seamless, seductive fashion. It's complex music delivered with ease, and although the duo's preoccupation with clean sound and self-consciously sophisticated arrangements would eventually lead to a dead end, Aja is a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest." - All Music Guide
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  • "Guitarist Tommy Shaw joined Styx in time for this 1976, helping the band begin the rise that would soon take them to the top. The album was a hit and Mademoiselle went Top 40; it joins Put Me On; Crystal Ball; This Old Man , and more theatrical pop!"
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  • "From December 1971 to April 1972, Carlos Santana and several other members of Santana toured with drummer/vocalist Buddy Miles, a former member of the Electric Flag, and Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys. The resulting live album contained both Santana hits ("Evil Ways") and Buddy Miles hits ("Changes"), plus a 25-minute, side-long jam. It was not, perhaps, the live album Santana fans had been waiting for, but at this point in its career, the band could do no wrong. The album went into the Top Ten and sold a million copies." - All Music Guide
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  • This is the band's 1977 double album release that really caused the band to blow up on a world wide basis.  Jeff Lynne's obsession with The Beatles is in full force here.  Plenty of poppier tunes (that became world wide smash hits) but still some damn fine classical rock mixed in as well.  Going through their catalog I'd comfortably recommend this album as the stopping point.
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  • "In some ways, Styx was America's answer to Queen. The Chicago quintet never ascended to the ranks of rock-and-roll royalty, as did their English counterparts, nor are they held in as high a regard today. Nevertheless, Styx fulfilled a Midwestern American hunger for high-flown fantasy typified on Pieces of Eight with songs like Dennis DeYoung and James Young's "I'm Okay" and "Lords of the Rings," with their elaborate arrangements, soaring vocal harmonies, and lyrical pretensions. In quite another direction, guitarist Tommy Shaw writes about basic human needs and working-class values in "Blue Collar Man," while his song "Sing for the Day" is a pleasant air, and "Renegade" a hard-charging rocker. Styx may have seemed somewhat schizophrenic on Pieces of Eight but their legions of fans diminished not a whit, making the album the band's second multiplatinum effort in a row, following The Grand Illusion." 
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  • "Dog & Butterfly became Heart's fourth million-selling album and placed two songs of opposing styles in the Top 40. Like their Magazine album, Dog & Butterfly peaked at number 17 on the charts, but the material from it is much stronger from every standpoint, with Anne and Nancy Wilson involving themselves to a greater extent. The light, afternoon feel of the title track peaked at number 34, while the more resounding punch of "Straight On" went all the way to number 15 as the album's first single. With keyboard player Howard Leese making his presence felt, and the vocals and guitar work sounding fuller and more focused, the band seems to be rather comfortable once again. Average bridge-and-chorus efforts like "Cook with Fire" and "High Time" aren't spectacular, but they do emit some appeal as far as filler is concerned, while "Lighter Touch" may be the best of the uncharted material. After this album, guitarist Roger Fisher left the band, but Heart didn't let up. 1980's Bebe le Strange showed an even greater improvement, peaking at number five in April of that year." - All Music GuideRemasetered version with 3 bonus tracks.
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  • "After successfully establishing themselves as one of America's best commercial progressive rock bands of the late '70s with albums like The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight, Chicago's Styx had taken a dubious step towards pop overkill with singer Dennis DeYoung's ballad "Babe." The centerpiece of 1979's uneven Cornerstone album, the number one single sowed the seeds of disaster for the group by pitching DeYoung's increasingly mainstream ambitions against the group's more conservative songwriters, Tommy Shaw and James "JY" Young. Hence, what had once been a healthy competitive spirit within the band quickly deteriorated into bitter co-existence during the sessions for 1980's Paradise Theater -- and all-out warfare by the time of 1983's infamous Kilroy Was Here. For the time being, however, Paradise Theater seemed to represent the best of both worlds, since its loose concept about the roaring '20s heyday and eventual decline of an imaginary theater (used as a metaphor for the American experience in general, etc., etc.) seemed to satisfy both of the band's camps with its return to complex hard rock (purists Shaw and JY) while sparing no amount of pomp and grandeur (DeYoung). The stage is set by the first track, "A.D. 1928," which features a lonely DeYoung on piano and vocals introducing the album's recurring musical theme before launching into "Rockin' the Paradise" -- a total team effort of wonderfully stripped down hard rock. From this point forward, DeYoung's compositions ("Nothing Ever Goes as Planned," "The Best of Times") continue to stick close to the overall storyline, while Shaw's ("Too Much Time on My Hands," "She Cares") try to resist thematic restrictions as best they can. Among these, "The Best of Times" -- with its deliberate, marching rhythm -- remains one of the more improbable Top Ten hits of the decade (somehow it just works), while "Too Much Time on My Hands" figures among Shaw's finest singles ever. As for JY, the band's third songwriter (and resident peacekeeper) is only slightly more cooperative with the Paradise Theater concept. His edgier compositions include the desolate tale of drug addiction, "Snowblind," and the rollicking opus "Half-Penny, Two-Penny," which infuses a graphic depiction of inner city decadence with a final, small glimmer of hope and redemption. The song also leads straight into the album's beautiful saxophone-led epilogue, "A.D. 1958," which once again reveals MC DeYoung alone at his piano. A resounding success, Paradise Theater would become Styx's greatest commercial triumph; and in retrospect, it remains one of the best examples of the convergence between progressive rock and AOR which typified the sound of the era's top groups (Journey, Kansas, etc.). For Styx, its success would spell both their temporary saving grace and ultimate doom, as the creative forces which had already been tearing at the band's core finally reached unbearable levels three years later. It is no wonder that when the band reunited after over a decade of bad blood, all the music released post-1980 was left on the cutting room floor -- further proof that Paradise Theater was truly the best of times." - Allmusic Guide
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  • "Equinox produced Styx's first single with A&M, the highly spirited "Lorelei," which found its way to number 27 on the charts. Although it was the only song to chart from Equinox, the album itself is a benchmark in the band's career since it includes an instrumental nature reminiscent of their early progressive years, yet hints toward a more commercial-sounding future in its lyrics. "Light Up" is a brilliant display of keyboard bubbliness, with De Young's vocals in full bloom, while "Lonely Child" and "Suite Madame Blue" show tighter songwriting and a slight drift toward radio amicability. Still harboring their synthesizer-led dramatics alongside Dennis De Young's exaggerated vocal approach, the material on Equinox was a firm precursor of what was to come . After Equinox, guitarist John Curulewski parted ways with the band, replaced by Tommy Shaw, who debuted on 1976's Crystal Ball album." - Allmusic Guide
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  • "More than two decades before it became Eric Cartman's favorite song on South Park, "Come Sail Away" was the choice of music fans with one foot in the art-rock camp and the other in Top 40 pop. The Grand Illusion straddled the seemingly divergent directions as only Styx could, laying on the pomp with layers of keyboards and high-flown lyrical conceits, yet keeping the proceedings light with hook-filled choruses and breezy melodies. Tommy Shaw's engaging "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" is the set's highlight, offering a bit of armchair psychology even as it acted as a subtle dig at the snarling punk rockers to whom Styx was anathema. James Young's "Miss America" rocks out, while Dennis DeYoung's title track reminds us that life is fleeting and illusory. Not exactly Nietzsche, but you can dance to it, sort of."
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  • "Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were remarkable craftsmen from the start, as Steely Dan's debut, Can't Buy a Thrill, illustrates. Each song is tightly constructed, with interlocking chords and gracefully interwoven melodies, buoyed by clever, cryptic lyrics. All of these are hallmarks of Steely Dan's signature sound, but what is most remarkable about the record is the way it differs from their later albums. Of course, one of the most notable differences is the presence of vocalist David Palmer, a professional blue-eyed soul vocalist who oversings the handful of tracks where he takes the lead. Palmer's very presence signals the one major flaw with the album -- in an attempt to appeal to a wide audience, Becker and Fagen tempered their wildest impulses with mainstream pop techniques. Consequently, there are very few of the jazz flourishes that came to distinguish their albums -- the breakthrough single, "Do It Again," does work an impressively tight Latin jazz beat, and "Reelin' in the Years" has jazzy guitar solos and harmonies -- and the production is overly polished, conforming to all the conventions of early-'70s radio. Of course, that gives these decidedly twisted songs a subversive edge, but compositionally, these aren't as innovative as their later work. Even so, the best moments ("Dirty Work," "Kings," "Midnight Cruiser," "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again") are wonderful pop songs that subvert traditional conventions and more than foreshadow the paths Steely Dan would later take." - All Music Guide
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