Legendary vocalist and musician Dennis DeYoung has announced the release of his final studio album, “26 East, Vol. 2” on June 11, 2021 via Frontiers Music Srl. Additionally, today, DeYoung has also released the first single and video from the album, ‘Isle Of Misanthrope’.
Former Styx founding member Dennis DeYoung is back with the second volume of his fond farewell to recorded music, “26 East, Vol. 2.” As with the preceding volume, “26 East, Vol. 2” once again hints strongly at DeYoung’s rock roots with Styx. The production and musicianship are EPIC, and those timeless vocal arrangements get delivered in spades. A fitting goodbye and a final signature on an outstanding body of work which will stand the test of time.
Vol. 2 picks up where Vol. I left off, with DeYoung mining similar musical territory. With direct links to the classic Styx sound, as only he can provide, along with some straight ahead rock. The breadth of the album is illustrated on tracks like ‘The Last Guitar Hero’, with help from the Houdini of guitarists Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), to two signature DeYoung ballads, ‘Your Saving Grace’ and ‘Made For Each Other’ to the piece de resistance, the first single, the ‘Isle of Misanthrope’, an eight minute masterpiece with a surprise finish.
“My musical goals for this album are the same as they have always been and that’s to write the best songs possible and make great sounding records out of them. By now, Styx fans know pretty much what they can expect and I hope they will be pleased. I am,” says DeYoung in his usual witty manner.
“When people ask ‘What’s the first single “Isle of Misanthrope” about?’, I reply “About 6 minutes.” Not to be too cute, but the lyrics are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Wait that’s Winston Churchill’s statement about the Soviet Union. Sorry. ‘Misanthrope’, metaphorically speaking (ooooh look, big words) is a commentary on the contemporary state of mankind under the guise of ancient times. The more things change the more they remain the same. Also, ‘Isle of Misanthrope’ is my musical journey back to the days of Styx’s ‘Equinox’ and ‘Suite Madame Blue’, as I attempt to explain the exasperating and confounding nature of mankind through metaphor. It’s got a good beat, but won’t be a hit at the disco,” explains DeYoung of the album’s first single.
DeYoung has previously stated that “26 East” will mark his retirement from the world of recorded music. It was thanks to Frontiers President and Head of A&R, Serafino Perugino, that given the abundance of material, Dennis agreed to split the album in two parts. This second half starts where the previous one left off and sees DeYoung collaborate again with fellow Chicagoan and Grammy Award winning songwriter Jim Peterik. The process that brought forth these two albums in the first place started when Peterik, DeYoung’s friend and neighbor, sent a song to Dennis that he thought would suit his vocals perfectly. That song became the catalyst for ten more collaborations from the pair, of which four appear on this new release.
“The last album was supposed to be my final album, but there were so many songs written that Serafino [Perugino] of Frontiers suggested dividing it into two albums rather than one,” DeYoung states.
“26 East” was the address where DeYoung grew up in Roseland, IL on the far south side of Chicago. Across the street lived the Panozzo twins, John and Chuck, who along with DeYoung would go on to form the nucleus of Styx in DeYoung’s basement in 1962.
1. Hello Goodbye
2. Land Of The Living
3. The Last Guitar Hero (Featuring Tom Morello)
4. Your Saving Grace
5. Proof Of Heaven
6. Made For Each Other
7. There’s No Turning Back Time
8. St. Quarantine
9. Little Did We Know
10. Always Time
11. The Isle Of Misanthrope
12. Grand Finale
– Vocals: Dennis DeYoung
– Drums: Mike Morales, Ed Breckenfeld, Matthew DeYoung & The Late Khari Parker
– Guitar: Jim Peterik, Mike Aquino, August Zadra, Jim Leahey, Solo on Last Guitar Hero: Tom Morello “The Great Houdini”
– Bass: Jim Peterik, Jim Majors, Me on Synth Bass.
– Keyboards: Me & Why Not?
– Horns on Hello Goodbye, The Ides Of March: Tim Bales, Steve Eisen & Henry Delgado
– Accordion: Mr.Tacit
– Background Vocals: Jim Peterik, August Zadra, Kevin Chalfant, Suzanne Deyoung, Tito Gobi, Craig Carter, Mike Morales & Me. Mostly Me, I Work Cheap And Was Always Available. Besides My Voice Always Reminds People Of A Very Popular ’70s And ’80s Group. No, Not The Pointer Sisters.
– Michael Manson Gospel Group on Your Saving Grace.
– Matthew DeYoung would like to dedicate his performance on the Grand Finale to his mentor John Panozzo. The ride cymbal Matthew used was given to him by John.