My good friend Ryan introduced me to a lot of classic rock during our grade school years. He was a CD collector at heart, grabbing everything he heard on 95.7 The Kar – KARX-FM in Amarillo, TX, the nearby classic rock station. This was the late 90′s, so the format “classic rock” was still a pretty new thing, and the playlists were a lot deeper. It was a good way to introduce myself to the past, even if most of it was album-oriented, 70′s music, and pretty generic overall.
Ryan and I would do the weekly album swap – he would grab my newer stuff, and I would burn CDs from his steadily growing classic rock stack. Some of it he loved, some of it I hated, and vice versa. One album in particular we couldn’t agree on was Greatest Hits by Styx. Though it was his album, he didn’t much care for it, and so when I borrowed it for a length of time most would consider theft, he didn’t mind in the least.
I suppose it’s my affinity for late 70′s ballad-y, arena rock (“Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon is one of my all-time faves, and I’m pretty certain I was conceived to “Waiting For a Girl Like You” by Foreigner), but man, this compilation is still great, years later. I remember the first time I listened to it all the way through, shocked at how many Styx songs I already knew…I just didn’t know they were Styx songs. It’s great for road trips, karaoke picks, and general fist-pumping in the bar. AOR was a great genre combining sheer talent and rock’s best trait – escapism. And Styx delivered like no other. Below are my favorites.