Styx 1979 Van Giveaway Ad

You Know You Want This Styx Van from 1979, So Don’t Pretend Otherwise

Straight out of a Billboard magazine issue from February 1979 comes this groovy beauty:

Styx 1979 Van Giveaway Ad

Laugh all you want, but this made total sense in ’79. Styx was huge at the time, having released the successful Pieces of Eight album in September 1978. It was one in a string of multi-platinum records for the band. So who wouldn’t want to rock the paradise with a painted Styx van featuring album art from Pieces of Eight and The Grand Illusion? I’d like one of the tour jackets too, please.

Hell, I’d drive one of those bad boys around today. You can keep the Betamax player though.

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days:

  • A rundown of the 15 best Burger King ad campaigns by Crispin Porter + Bogusky: Long live the Burger King! (AdFreak)
  • Tommy Shaw sits down for an awesomely candid and funny interview about his career in Styx. Hint — it involves lots of drugs. (The AV Club)
  • It came from Reddit — the Good Intentions Axe Murderer / Dating Site Murderer Meme. (Next Round)
  • Here’s a less-than-memorable Budweiser slogan from 1922: “Stimulates the Appetite – Assimilates the Food.” (Shorpy)
  • You just know this couple owns every Meat Loaf album and knows all the words. (Awkward Family Photos)
  • So how does Libya’s air force compare to the coalition’s? (National Post)
  • A series of excellent “Historically Hardcore” promotional ads for the Smithsonian (imgur)
  • Here’s a very cool set of artsy fartsy photos depicting old TVs shutting off, for those who remember what that means. (Make)
  • Twitter madness of the week — a bitter American named Peter Coffin stalks a vain Singaporean woman named Wendy Cheng. She does a little digging and finds out he has, among other things, a fake girlfriend that he has conversations with. (Xiaxue)
  • The video meme that won’t die — another Hitler rant, this time against the commercialization of SXSW. (YouTube)
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Album cover of the week: Equinox

Although Styx is now shorthand among music snobs for cheesy ’70s arena rock (heavy on the syrupy ballads, please), there was a time that this wasn’t so.  Released before they broke big in America, 1975’s Equinox marked the creative apex of the band’s early period.  On this album they did a much better job at melding their prog rock aspirations with the crisp, straightforward hard rock they were much better at handling.

Other than the excellent music contained therein, Equinox is notable for being the last studio album to feature Styx co-founder and guitarist John Curulewski.  He left prior to the supporting tour and was replaced by Tommy Shaw.  Within a few years, Styx was one of the biggest bands in the land.

The whole fire/ice thing has been played out countless times on album covers and art in general, but this is a particularly appealing example to me.  Given that the art budget here can’t have been terribly large (even though this was the band’s first album for A&M, a much bigger label than their previous one, Wooden Nickel), the design is very well-done.

I’m also a fan of the blue color scheme and the thin, metallic rendering of the group’s first logo.  The logo, incidentally, was used for one more album (Crystal Ball) before falling into disuse.  Styx revived it for their 2005 album Big Bang Theory and it is now used for a lot of their marketing materials.

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