This morning, skimming through my Facebook feed, I noticed a “Musicians and Friends” group member posted a video of a Styx tribute band playing “Lorelei.”
I immediately had memories of a friend playing the original song on the stereo at his house in the St. Norbert suburb of Winnipeg, Canada in what must have been early 1976 (the record, Equinox, Styx’s fifth, came out in December 1975). “Lorelei” didn’t seem to ever make it to the hit status of the rock anthem, “Lady” (from Styx II, 1973), but has to be one of the happier rock songs I can think of from that era. It’s an upbeat tune telling the story of a man in awe of his woman and celebrating moving in together for a life “brighter than the stars, forever.” I can relate to the feeling!
Styx had a theatrical element to them, not completely unheard of from bands at that time, though they also included originals inspired by or renditions of classical pieces on some of their albums, like Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Little Fugue in G” (also on Styx II). The late John Curulewski, who resigned from the band just after they finished recording Equinox, wrote and played a classically-oriented guitar piece, “Prelude 12,” which appears on that album. It’s a lovely little piece at one minute, twenty-one seconds; a beautiful prelude to the acoustically-inspired, arena rock ballad, “Suite Madame Blue.” I’ve included a link to the two pieces, below the usual YouTube link to the daily song, just in case you want an extra bit of Styx today, or any day.
As a little factoid, “Light Up,” the opening track from Equinox, was believed to be a celebration of smoking marihuana.
Styx was big in my high school friends’ group and played here in Winnipeg at least a couple of times during those years. I saw them on June 12, 1977, at the old Winnipeg Arena when they toured in support of The Grand Illusion. The five-piece band used a lot of acoustic instrumentation along with ripping electric guitars and synthesizers. It was a fabulous show.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the audio for the song from Styx’s official YouTube channel:
Bonus song selection: “Prelude 12” / “Suite Madame Blue”: