Album Cuts – STYX: Paradise Theatre


Side 1:

  1. “A.D. 1928” (Dennis DeYoung) – 1:08
  2. Rockin’ the Paradise” (DeYoung, James Young, Tommy Shaw) – 3:35
  3. Too Much Time on My Hands” (Shaw) – 4:31
  4. Nothing Ever Goes As Planned” (DeYoung) – 4:48
  5. The Best of Times” (DeYoung) – 4:19

Side 2:

  1. “Lonely People” (DeYoung) – 5:28
  2. “She Cares” (Shaw) – 4:17
  3. Snowblind” (Young, DeYoung) – 5:00
  4. “Half-Penny, Two-Penny” (DeYoung, Ray Brandle) – 4:33
  5. “A.D. 1958” (DeYoung) – 2:27
  6. “State Street Sadie” (DeYoung) – 0:28

Styx is an American rock band from Chicago that became famous for its albums from the mid-1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for melding the style of pop rock with the power of hard-rock guitar, strong ballads and elements of international musical theater.

Dennis DeYoung – Keyboards, Vocals

Chuck Panozza – Bass

John Panozzo – Drums, Percussion

Tommy Shaw – Guitars, Vocals, Vocoder

James Young – Guitar, Vocals

Paradise Theatre is the tenth album by the rock band Styx, released in January 19, 1981.  Recorded in 1980 at Pumpkin Studios, Oak Lawn, Illinois, and the album was 40:37 minutes in length. The album was released on the A&M label. Produced by Styx.

A concept album, the album is a fictional account of Chicago’s Paradise Theatre from its opening to closing (and eventual abandonment), used as a metaphor for America’s changing times from the late 1970s into the 1980s. (Dennis DeYoung confirmed this in an episode of In the Studio with Redbeard which devoted an entire episode to the making of the album.)

The album consists of four charted singles. “The Best of Times“, written by Dennis DeYoung, went to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Too Much Time on My Hands“, written by Tommy Shaw, went to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, Shaw’s only top 10 hit for Styx. “Nothing Ever Goes as Planned“, written by DeYoung, went to #54 on the US Pop Chart. “Rockin’ the Paradise” — written by DeYoung, Shaw and James Young — went to #8 on the Top Rock Track Chart.

The song “Snowblind” (lyrics by Young, music by Young and DeYoung) was an attack on drug addiction. The track would come under fire for alleged backward messages and was branded by Tipper Gore’s PMRC as “Satanistic”. James Young and DeYoung denied this on the In the Studio episode devoted to the making of Paradise Theatre.

Paradise Theatre became Styx’s only US #1 album. It was the band’s fourth consecutive triple-platinum album, and (as of 2014) the last multi-platinum album by the band.

Vinyl copies of the album have a design featuring the name of the band laser etched directly onto the vinyl on side 2 (some copies had a wax design of the cover art). The vinyl record sleeve was a gate-fold and was painted by artist Chris Hopkins. On the back cover, label and spine, the title of the record is spelled “Paradise Theater”, while on the front cover, the title is spelled “Paradise Theatre”.

Vinyl releases and initial CD pressings of the album had the musical segue between “Half-Penny, Two-Penny” and “A.D. 1958” indexed as the intro to “A.D. 1958”. Subsequent pressings of the CD had the segue indexed as the fade to “Half-Penny, Two-Penny” instead.

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