Dennis DeYoung had a simple goal in mind for his new studio album, 26 East, Vol. 1, which was released on Friday:
“I said it was a concept album and the concept is ‘don’t suck.’ That was my goal. I wanted to make this album into a listening experience where the sum is every bit as important as the parts.”
Go back to that phrase in the quote above: “The concept is ‘don’t suck.'” That line comes directly from DeYoung to us in our recent feature story (click here) about the singer‘s career and time with Styx, and it’s very much what he focused on with the record.
26 East, Vol. 1, the sixth solo album from Dennis DeYoung, was released via Frontiers Records on Friday, and is named after the address where he grew up in Roseland, on the far south side of Chicago.
It’s also the location of where DeYoung formed Styx in 1962, so quite obviously there’s a lot of history going into this album.
“I timed it perfectly to be released in the middle of a pandemic,” DeYoung cracked in our interview when discussing the contributions of his old pal Jim Peterik, who collaborated with him on the album. So, too, did Julian Lennon, who guests on a warm, nostalgic song titled “The Good Old Days”:
In all, it’s a dramatic statement of confidence from Dennis DeYoung, who is very much content to move forward rather than backward at this time.
“[With the new album], my heart and soul is in there. It will be good for music lovers to hear it. I’m thinking of running a campaign: Download this record and you’re guaranteed not to get a virus.”
Stream 26 East, Vol. 1 below, via Spotify.