"Don't be fooled by the title "Best of Styx." It came out before most of us even heard of them. But it's a great Styx CD for those times when you've listened to the familiar stuff to death and still haven't quite had your fill of Styx. It is a nice cross section of their 1st four (largely ignored) albums. Dennis (Come Sail Away & Babe) DeYoung didn't sing a lot of songs back then. James (Miss America) Young was the more predominant lead singer, and Tommy Shaw was not yet in the band. They were as stylistically diverse then as now, but the production quality is a bit weak, as they were not yet self-produced. For huge fans like me it's just fascinating to hear how the early river flowed. This CD is the "source" of Styx."
The rough beginning of a superstar group.
Somewhere in Texas | Planet Texas | 01/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation was originally released in 1975 with a different cover as a "cash in" album when Styx changed labels to A&M. It was the second Styx album I bought and looking back its a very good starter collection of songs from thier first four Wooden Nickel albums. It seems a little skimpy on CD because it was originally put together for vinyl. But the original LP ran over 45 minutes, so I thought it was a great deal back then. The album was later reissued in the early 80's with a new (ugly) cover, which has been used for this CD. Most of these songs were also released as rare 45 singles, which are becoming very collectable on E-bay.
The band was just starting to forge thier own sound on these early albums so they are not quite as cohesive as thier A&M recordings. All four Wooden Nickel albums feature a very eclectic mix between JY's and the late John Curulewski's hard rockers verses Dennis' ballads and art-prog-rock peices. It wasn't until Tommy Shaw joined the band in 1976 that they found just the right songwriter to bridge those different elements together.
The mastering on the original RCA CD that came out in the mid 80's (The CD has a large modern RCA symbol in a circle in blue ink, and a scan of the album cover on the back) - its very hissy , stay away from this one!
The remastered BMG version (with the old 40's style RCA symbol on the CD and just the track and remastering information on the back) was redone in the 90's is a huge improvement and the one to get.
Still I wish BMG would put together a lengthier compilation of thier early days. Theres one available from Japan but its very expensive! (update - they did! Look for "The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings" and you will have everything on this CD in better quality)"
The Early Days Before Greatness
Somewhere in Texas | 01/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a must for the diehard Styx fan, featuring the best of their first four albums(Styx I, Styx II, Serpent Is Rising, and Man Of Miracles)on the Wooden Nickel label, an early RCA joint label. Of course the song "Lady" is featured, along with some other good early rock pieces. Too bad though the original album cover art is no more. Originally it featured a photograph of a silver, long-nailed hand emerging from a dark lake and clutching a rose(to tie in with the band's name chosen from Greek Myth).Around 1980, RCA decided to re-release their early albums due to the band's popularty, but with new "Art Deco" styled graphic covers. Still, the music is whats important, so give it a listen."
Somewhere in Texas | 08/29/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think the early music of styx is great . This album covers all there early stuff from 72-74 And I think the reason why nobody bought is because nobody promoted it as of also there first four albums. The name says it all best of styx.Tracks like you need love and best thing should have platinum sellers (except lady)which starting selling two years after its release.There guiter work is excellent on this album.My verdict is like I said before best of styx is the best of styx!!!"
"This CD is the best of Styx during their Wooden Nickel years. This is a very good sampling of the four W.N. albums. After listening to it, I just had to get the four pre A&M albums hoping that I would find a few more hidden gems. Well, after hearing those four albums, I'm pretty sure that most of the good gems had been mined for The Best of Styx. It's kinda neat to hear John and JY featured so prominently through the album, and a song like Man of Miracles holds its own against Lady. Styx, Styx II, Man of Miracles, and The Serpent is Rising can be quite difficult to get ahold of, so if you really want the best of those early four, buy The Best of Styx, and, as advertised, you are getting the best of early Styx."