Styx’s Tommy Shaw On The Difference Between Genesis And Yes

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In a recent interview with Louder Sound, Styx’s longtime singer Tommy Shaw compared the styles of the leading progressive rock bands like Yes and Genesis.

Bands that have been around in the music industry for long years tend to change the sound of their music as time progresses. After having their original style, many bands want to experiment and evolve with different sounds, which was the case for bands like Styx and Yes. Even though they started their journey in the progressive era, both of them explored several musical styles in the following years.

After Shaw joined the classic Styx line-up, the subsequent albums brought the band a period of significant success. Between 1977 and 1981, they became the first band to have four albums that sold more than two million copies in the US. The albums were ‘The Grand Illusion,’ ‘Pieces Of Eight,’ ‘Cornerstone,’ and Paradise Theater.’ This was the era in which Styx was known for being one of the pioneers of pomp rock that was more in tune with the demands of commercial radio while still emphasizing musicianship and lyrics.

Tommy Shaw noted that people like to put bands in boxes and incorporate them into a genre and style of music. However, in reality, bands have different sounds they create for their audience. He added that even though Yes and Genesis are considered part of prog rock, they sound pretty different. The same goes with pomp rock. Even if people expect a particular sound from bands, it doesn’t mean they can’t step out of the box to explore different sounds.

Shaw’s thoughts about the sounds of Yes and Genesis follow:

“It’s like calling Yes, Genesis, and ELP prog rockers. Did they sound like each other? No. They were all different. The same goes for all the big bands who were called pomp rock. We were never bothered by what people expected from us.”

Styx has never been afraid to adapt to the musical evolution in the industry over the years. They’ve produced albums in different styles and appealed to a broader audience. They have been an example of keeping up with the times in creating albums that have brought them many years of success.