Dennis DeYoung
26 East: Volume 1

Label: Frontiers Music
Three similar bands: Styx/Reo Speedwagon/Kansas

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. East Of Midnight
2. With All Due Respect
3. A Kingdom Ablaze
4. You My Love
5. Run For The Roses
6. Damn That Dream
7. Unbroken
8. The Promise Of This Land
9. To The Good Old Days
10. A.D. 2020

Jim Peterik: Guitar, Bass, Keyboard, Vocals and Vuvuzela
August Zadra: Electric Guitars, vocals
Jimmy Leahey: Acoustic and electric guitars
Craig Carter: Bass, vocals and invocations
Mighty Mike Morales: Drums and all day sound checker
John Blasucci: Keyboard’s
Mike Aquino: Electric Guitars
Kevin Chalfant: backing vocals
Matthew DeYoung: Drums on “To The Good Old Days”
Julian Lennon- vocals on "To the Good Old Days"
Ed Breckenfeld: Drums on “Unbroken”
Zoe and Austin Orchard for Ring Around The Rosie
The Chicago Children’s Choir and conductor Josephine Lee
Dennis DeYoung: Keyboards, fake drums, fake bass, fake news and some vocals. Oh and Vuvuzela

Desert Moon (1984)
Back to the World (1986)
Boomchild (1989)
10 on Broadway (1994)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1998)
One Hundred Years from Now (2007/2009)
And the Music of Styx Live in Los Angeles (2014)
With Styx:
Styx (1972)
Styx II (1973)
The Serpent Is Rising (1973)
Man of Miracles (1974)
Equinox (1975)
Crystal Ball (1976)
The Grand Illusion (1977)
Pieces of Eight (1978)
Cornerstone (1979)
Paradise Theater (1981)
Kilroy Was Here (1983)
Edge of the Century (1990)
Brave New World (1999)


Mastered by Dave Collins, DaveCollins Mastering. L.A.

Released 2020-05-22
Reviewed 2020-07-


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26 East is the address in Roseland, Chicago where Dennis DeYoung grew up a long time ago. It was in the basement of that address he and the Panozzo brothers formed what would become the highly successful band Styx. It was there the train ride to the stars that is depicted on the artwork was initialised, and this album tells the story of that ride – or if it is the first part of the story as this is volume 1 out of two. It was also announced earlier that this 26 East was to be Dennis’ last album, that is quite understandable as I don’t think anyone wants to work their whole life and Dennis has been around and done music for a long time now. So, what about this album then?

Anyone who knows the music of Dennis DeYoung will find this to be fairly familiar as it is his voice singing the songs and his style of song-writing, but it still has a relatively fresh feel to it. There may not be many surprises through the songs, but we get a duet with Julian Lennon, the son of Beatles legend John Lennon. We get an album that is nostalgic but without overly glorifying the past, even though To the Good Old Day with said Lennon is pretty much a celebration to the past. But I guess you can be forgiven for looking back a bit when you have more past then future, and if done well there is no reason to complain. And this is really well produced with strong melodies, that theatrical melodic rock that we have come to expect from Dennis DeYoung, and I have to say that he still sings really well despite his age.

This is a great album with great songs and melodies, really enjoyable to listen to and probably a fine trip down memory lane without feeling too sentimental. I may be formed by growing up with Styx and really enjoying the vocal prowess and song writing of Dennis, but in many regards this is a template for how to make this kind of music, if you do like this you cannot really fail. It is great. And To the Good Old Days shows that he hasn’t lost the skill to write those ridiculously infectious songs that just sticks to your mind, a top hit single if it got the right exposure. On the album as a whole it is clear that Dennis has written and made better albums during his long career, but this is definitely one that is worth giving time and attention as it is really enjoyable and really good, a fine ode to the good old days – if there ever was a need for one of those.

Anyone who likes Styx in the old version where Dennis DeYoung was the key player, singer and writer, should like this album as it is in that style that they would like. I know I have enjoyed listening to it and will probably play it many more times while I wait for volume 2. So why not make a visit to 26 East, the place where it all started?