Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The World Needs More Songs About Pirates

When I was young, I was a big Styx fan. Phew. I feel better getting that off my chest already. Yes, it was back in the 70s so it was before the Mr. Roboto days but I actually had all of their records up through Cornerstone and that includes the four pre-TS albums. In the early 80's, though, I discovered Rush and never went back.

Last weekend, I found a CD that had all four of the Wooden Nickel albums so I bought it just to relive my carefree youth. This morning I was listening to "The Serpent Is Rising" and was amazed at how much I could remember of those songs. I couldn't have told you anything about those songs yesterday but as they started it all came back to me. It's amazing how those things stick in your head over such a long time.

The songs are sooooo 1970s. Classic chord progressions, real synthesizers from the days when there were no presets, screaming high vocals and the lyrics -- oh man those 1970's lyrics.

Krakatoa you've changed your ways
from evil days.
Oh I know a once violent isle
and gentle smile.
When the dust and lava cooled
you were sterile as the rock from which the earth was tooled.

Wow. That's powerful stuff. As I rolled up to the office today, though, the song Jonas Psalter came on. A touching tale of pirate greed that perhaps went too far. Was it Ann Bonnie who done him in or was it his own remorse of having achieved all that one pirate could in life? We may never know. But you know... it made me wonder why bands just don't write songs about volcanos or pirates anymore.

Those were the days.

BTW - here are some things I learned today about Styx that I didn't know before.
1) Tommy Shaw's birthday is September 11. It seemed like a regular day back then.
2) Styx did an album with REO Speedwagon. Kind of sounds like one of those Scooby Doo meets Superfriends cartoons, doesn't it?

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