Memories In Paradise
(Calm & Storm 039)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – January 13th, 1982
Disc 1 (57:51): Opening, State Street Sadie, AD 1928, Rockin’ The Paradise, Blue Collar Man, The Grand Illusion, Lights, Great White Hope, Acoustic Guitar Solo, Crystal Ball, Suite Madame Blue, Snowblind
Disc 2 (75:44): Too Much Time On My Hands, The Best Of Times, Fooling Yourself, Sakura Sakura / Sukiyaki, Boat On The River, Guitar Solo, Miss America, Babe, Renegade, Come Sail Away, Borrowed Time, Half-Penny Two-Penny / AD 1958, State Street Sadie
Styx were on an amazing five year run by the time they played in Japan in January 1982. Starting with The Grand Illusion in 1977, all of their albums charted and they enjoyed the pinnacle of their success. Paradise Theater, released in early 1981 was similarly successful. The semi-concept format came out of their more progressive tendencies to create a sustained narrative depicting the changing tastes in theater.
After touring the US for much of 1981, they played the final two Paradise Theater shows in Japan on January 12th and January 13th, 1982 in the Budokan in Tokyo. The last night was recorded and video taped. The seventy-three minute video soundtrack was pressed on The Live Illusion (Fire Power FP-019) and an audience tape was released on The Final Paradise (Private Master PMO64/065).
Memories In Paradise offers a new recording from Miracle Man. It’s very good but distorted because of the screaming audience. Much of the distortion is found near the beginning of the show with improvement as the show goes on. There is a cut in “Too Much Time On My Hands” from fifty-nine seconds to four minutes twenty-one seconds which is filled with another tape source.
The set is heavily based on the sequence of Paradise Theater. All of the songs from the new album are played except for “Nothing Ever Goes As Planned” (strange since it was the first single from the LP), “Lonely People” and “She Cares.” Included also are some of their older numbers.
The opening contains the taped music leading into Dennis DeYoung’s serene introduction and the heavy “Rockin’ The Paradise.” He then plays an epic organ introduction to “Blue Collar Man.”
“This is an historic show for us” DeYoung says afterwards. “This is the last show for the Paradise Theater … and also our first appearance in Tokyo” before introducing “The Grand Illusion.” This is another of DeYoung’s spectacular introductory compositions
James Young introduces his song “Great White Hope” complete with the James Bond theme introduction, and Tommy Shaw follows with an acoustic guitar solo leading into the serene “Crystal Ball.” DeYoung follows with “Suite Madame Blue” from Equinox, the oldest song played in the set.
After “Fooling Yourself” Shaw speaks about visiting a real geisha house where he finds a shamisen, a Japanese guitar, and plays “Sakura.” DeYoung plays “Sukiyaki,” another Japanese folk tune, on the accordion. They both play on a stomping version of “Boat On The River” with the audience clapping along.
Afterwards James Young gives his normal speech for this tour about his Mama-san and Papa-san complaining about the noise in his room growing up and how now he will play as loud as he wants. His guitar solo leads into “Miss America.” They follow with DeYoung’s current hit “Babe.” The rocking “Renegade” has a nice jazzy call-and-response game with the audience and “Come Sail Away” is the set closer.
“Borrowed Time” from Cornerstone was the opening song on that album’s tour in 1980 but was moved to be the first encore. The show finally ends with “Half Penny / Two Penny” leading into “AD 1958″ and a reprise of “State Street Sadie” to close the final Paradise Theater concert.
Memories In Paradise is the first new Styx silver to be released in quite a while. Although the sound isn’t as good as other Miracle Man tapes, this is still a very enjoyable sounding recording on an important show. It comes with a replica of his ticket to the show (section F 31) and with many photos on the event on the artwork.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)