In my quest for picture sleeve 7″ Singles from my favorite artist in the 70/80/90’s, I found this one from Styx. It is the 7″ Single for the song “Mr. Roboto” from the album ‘Kilroy Was Here’, the album that basically killed the band for a short time anyway. This song was released on February 23, 1983 and went all the way to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and selling over 1,000,000 copies.
The album was a concept album which Styx was not unfamiliar with and they still do them today, but this one caused a riff in the band. Dennis DeYoung wanted to really focus on the theatrics and he loved doing the soft ballads, which was against the grain for what James Young and Tommy Shaw wanted to do. It led to a short break-up, if you want to call it that. Tommy left and eventually came back but Dennis was gone by then and still gone today. But this is all for another day, let us get to the song.
The song is about…well…let’s let Wikipedia explain it as they can do a better job than I can…
The song tells part of the story of Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK), in the rock opera Kilroy Was Here. The song is performed by Kilroy (as played by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung), a rock and roll performer who was placed in a futuristic prison for “rock and roll misfits” by the anti-rock-and-roll group the Majority for Musical Morality (MMM) and its founder Dr. Everett Righteous (played by guitarist James Young). The Roboto is a model of robot which does menial jobs in the prison. Kilroy escapes the prison by overpowering a Roboto prison guard and hiding inside its emptied-out metal shell. When Jonathan Chance (played by guitarist Tommy Shaw) finally meets Kilroy at the very end of the song, Kilroy unmasks and yells “I’m Kilroy! Kilroy!”, ending the song.
2021 was not quite as strange as 2020 as things started to get back to normal. I got out to see a couple concerts and back to digging in the record stores and even went in to the office a few times. Covid pushed back a lot of albums in 2020 and they finally came out in 2021. Some were worth the wait and well, some weren’t. But there were some great releases and I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This year I am doing things a little different. I am only doing one list post, but that list will be centered around my Favorite Rock Albums of the year. At the end I’ll give you my Top 5 Non-Rock Albums of the year as I didn’t listen to a ton of new releases this year as I was focused so much on my Kiss, Judas Priest, Queen and now Cheap Trick & Aerosmith Series. That took a lot of time.
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. You won’t find the cool trendy bands, because they are usually here today gone tomorrow. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2020:
THE TOP ROCK ALBUMS OF 2021:
#10 – Eclipse – ‘Wired’:
Eclipse is a melodic rock / glam rock /hard rock band out of Sweden and let me tell you Sweden knows how to pump out these bands. I think there are more rock bands in Sweden then there are people. It is just a guess. The two original guys, Erik Martensson and Magnus Henriksson. are back with their 9th album and they keep delivering. Erik’s vocals are killer and Magnus can lay down some riffs. The three opening tracks, “Roses On Your Grave”, “Dying Breed” and “Saturday Night (Hallelujah)” just suck you in and you know you are in good hands and just along for the ride at this point. Continue reading “The Top Albums of 2021”→
IT IS FRIDAY!!!!! The biggest Friday for me in a long time. Man, there are some great stuff coming out this week and I am sure you will find something. There are over 35 releases on the list and I know it is way too much to listen to everything, but there are so many I want to hear. There are actually 3 albums I have on Pre-Order and they are the first three on my list. All my choices will be in Blue like normal. Make sure to tell me what you want to hear and what albums I may have missed. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful and enjoyable weekend. I know I will as I can feel the sandy beaches and ocean calling my name right now!!!
Mammoth WVH – Mammoth WVH – (EX1 Records): First up this week is the debut album Wolfgang Van Halen. Yes, Eddie’s son is out with his one band and this is going to be awesome. Wolfgang is making his own path with this very modern rock album. And the guy can sing and play all the instruments too!! A major talent in the rock world that is ready to be unleashed. Hold on tight and grab on because this is going to blow you away!!! Can’t wait for the delivery guy to get here with my copy!!
Kiss – Off the Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (Live) – (Universal / Simstan Music): Kiss!! Is there anything that needs to be said…well…yeah actually. Kiss is starting a series of albums called “Off the Soundboard” and is going to be bootleg type albums from concerts of the past and what a good one to start with. I can tell you if this becomes a regular thing, someone is going broke!!! And it will be worth it!! Yes, I bought this too!!
Finally!! Yes, there are some albums I am actually excited about this week. It has been awhile for me since the last week that anything I was anxiously awaiting. This week, I have two that will definitely get a spin first thing in the morning while I am sitting at home in my office like I have for the last two months…I can’t wait to sit in traffic and drive to work. I never thought I would say that!!! Anyhoo, my choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in hearing and what I may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!
Dennis DeYoung – 26 East, Vol. 1 – (Frontiers Records): I couldn’t tell you the last time a Dennis DeYoung record got any press, but this one is making the rounds. I have heard nothing but positive comments on this one so far, so it has really piqued my interest. I have heard there is a strong Styx element and why wouldn’t there be as he was a huge part of that sound. We will see.
One Desire – Midnight Empire – (Frontiers Records): Okay, this one might the first one getting a spin this morning. These two songs I have heard so far are a couple of the best I’ve heard this year. If you like some solid guitar driven, heavy melodic rock with a guy that can sing his heart out, this is the one for you to hear. I think this is going to be the one to beat this year.
For My Sunday Song #106, I bring you “Renegade” by the band Styx. The song was released in 1978 off the album ‘Pieces of Eight’. It did pretty well on the charts and reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song for me is much better than that.
The song is about an outlaw (or renegade) who has been arrested for his crimes and is about to be hanged for those said crimes according to the lyrics…”Hangman is comin’ down from the gallows and I don’t have very long”. The lyrics are basically a letter to the renegades mom telling her that he has been caught and is going to die.
There is a dark, ominous feel to the song especially in the opening verse which is just Tommy’s vocals and small kick drum in the first two lines and then a chorus of voices for the next two. It is so eerie that it is wonderful. And don’t forget the scream that kicks the song into overdrive. And damn, that opening line is so impactful…”Oh, Mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law”.
What is also great about this song is the music. Whether it is the guitar solo by James “JY” Young, the keyboards by Dennis DeYoung or John Panozzo’s drumming or a combination of all three, it just works. Normally when Tommy write’s a song, he does the guitar solo, but he let JY do it instead and I think that was a good choice so he could focus on the vocal delivery.