RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Styx – Paradise Theater (SACD)
Audio Fidelity


Rating: B

Styx was riding a wave of success that few have ever come close to in 1981 when they released their 10th album, titled Paradise Theater.  The album became their fourth consecutive release to sell over three million copies, going Triple Platinum.  Paradise Theater was the bands only release to top the Billboard Album Charts.

The album gave the band two major hit singles with the ballad “The Best of Times” and the upbeat pop rocker “Too Much Time on My Hands.”   Album cuts that received FM airplay were “Rockin’ the Paradise” and “Snowblind.”  Elsewhere, the album leaned away from pop music and celebrated the progressive and hard rock sides of the band as heard in the tunes “Lonely People” and “Half-Penny, Two-Penny.”

Audio Fidelity has done an amazing job on this SACD bringing the rich tones of both the instruments and the vocal harmonies to new life. The louder you play it, the better that album sounds.  In fact, Audio Fidelity exceeded expectations with Paradise Theater.  One bets that when they reach out to other bands to give them their specialized audio treatment, Audio Fidelity will use this disc as a sales tool. 

Styx would begin to split apart after this album, and they never again reached the kind of commercial success they had with Paradise Theater.  The fictitious tale of the closing of a beautiful theater in Chicago was the brainchild of keyboardist Dennis DeYoung.  The times had changed, and the theater went from a grand example of brilliance to a decaying mess….much like Styx over the next few years.

A.D. 1928
Rockin' the Paradise
Too Much Time on My Hands
Nothing Ever Goes As Planned
The Best of Times
Lonely People
She Cares
Half-Penny, Two-Penny
A.D. 1958
State Street Sadie

By Jeb Wright