Presenting radio with one of the best rock ballads ever, Cornerstone gave Chicago's Styx their big break with the number one single "Babe," which held that spot for two weeks in October of 1979. "Babe" is a smooth, keyboard-pampered love song that finally credited Dennis De Young's textured vocals. While this single helped the album climb all the way to the number two spot on the charts, the rest of the tracks from Cornerstone weren't nearly half as strong. "Why Me" made it to number 26, and both "Lights" and "Boat on the River" implement silky harmonies and welcoming choruses, yet failed to get off the ground. De Young's keyboards are effective without overly dominating the music, and the band's gritty rock & roll acerbity has been slightly sanded down to compliment the commercial market. The songs aren't as tight or assertive as their last few albums, but Shaw's presence can be felt strongly on most of the tracks, especially where the writing is concerned. Outside of "Babe," Cornerstone tends to sound a tad weaker than one would expect.
Performance CreditsStyx Primary Artist
Dennis DeYoung Keyboards,Vocals
Tommy Shaw Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Autoharp,Electric Guitar,Vocals
James Young Synthesizer,Guitar,Autoharp,Vocals
Steve Eisen Saxophone
Chuck Panozzo Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
John Panozzo Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Arnie Roth Strings
Ed Tossing Horn
Technical CreditsStyx Producer
Rob Kingsland Engineer
Gary Loizzo Engineer
Arnie Roth Arranger
Ed Tossing Arranger
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cornerstone based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I like this album not only for the hit smash "Babe" (DeYoung) but also for the Italian-flavored "Boat on the River" (Shaw). The latter is a track that Godfather-era Mobs will soon enjoy to get their first taste of Styx.