from ICE Magazine - The CD News Authority
June 1996

"Styx Fix"

Styx fans have a lot to look forward to this summer: a national tour featuring the band's most popular lineup; the release of Styx's Greatest Hits Vol. II, with two newly recorded tracks; and the reissue of guitarist Tommy Shaw's mid-'80s solo albums, Girls With Guns and What If.
Both of Shaw's solo albums, set for a May 21 release on fellow Styx member James "JY" Young's Absolute Records, have been remastered by Eddy Schreyer and the artist himself, with the latter having been resequenced as well. "We got there just in time," Shaw tells ICE. "The masters were actually shedding so much they were gumming up the machine. By using his digital processors, Eddy was able to really bring it back; he made the stuff come alive."
During the remastering sessions, Shaw seized the opportunity to update some of the sounds on Girls With Guns. "There was a lot of reverb on that record that we couldn't take off," he notes, "so we did everything we could to enhance what was inside the reverb. We also straightened out the bass end somewhat, to give it a little more snap."
Although What If required less sonic tweaking, the reissue features a slightly altered track sequence. "The reason I re-sequenced it is because I absolutely hate the song 'Friendly Advice,'" Shaw says with a laugh. "Not only did I put it last, but if you're not paying attention you won't even hear it. If I hadn't listed it, it would have been considered a hidden track."
In fact, Shaw took great pains to bury - and great pleasure in burying - the track. "I asked Eddy if he had a sample of a needle scratching on vinyl. He didn't, so we took an old record and recorded about a half-dozen samples of a stylus [scratching] the record. People were coming in and saying, 'What the hell is going on here?' I stuck the sample way past the end of the last song, and then followed it with 'Friendly Advice.'"
As for the second Styx greatest-hits package, Shaw says it will contain two new tracks: "Little Suzie" and "It Takes Love." "'Little Suzie'" is a rock track that could have easily been of the Pieces of Eight album," Shaw says. "And 'It Takes Love' is a finger-snappin' track, almost like a Boyz II Men song. But it's definitely Styx."