's feisty, straightforward brand of album rock is represented best by "Blue Collar Man" from 1978's Pieces of Eight
, an invigorating keyboard and guitar rush -- hard and heavy, yet curved by Tommy Shaw
's emphasized vocals. Reaching number 21, with the frolicking romp of "Renegade" edging in at number 16 only six months later, Pieces of Eight
maintained their strength as a front-running FM radio group. Even though these two tracks were both mainstream singles, the rest of the album includes tracks that rekindle some of Styx
's early progressive rock sound, only cleaner. Tracks like "Sing for the Day," "Lords of the Ring," and "Aku-Aku" all contain slightly more complex instrumental foundations, and are lyrically reminiscent of the material from albums like The Serpent Is Rising or Man of Miracles, but not as intricate or instrumentally convoluted. While the writing may stray slightly from what Styx
provided on The Grand Illusion
, Pieces of Eight
kept their established rock formula in tact quite firmly.