In the early and mid-1980s, my two best friends and I were kind of stuck in the 70s with our much of our music taste. There wasn’t much of the current pop music that we were listening to, and we were definitely not into the very popular heavy metal, big hair bands of the time. So we reached back into the 70s, and the band we found was Styx. The song of course has to be Come Sail Away. Right after Dennis DeYoung tore the band apart by making them do the heavy concept album “Kilroy Was Here” a live album, Caught in the Act, was released. We pretty much burned that cassette up in John’s Buick Skyhawk. Even though, we listened mostly to the live album, Come Sail Away comes from the 1977 release, The Grand Illusion. I pick this album also because it demostrated making an album with a cohesive theme. They weren’t the first to do this obviously. The Beatles really paved the way for this aspect of popular music with Sgt. Peppers and Abby Road, and Pink Floyd took it to the extreme under the leadership of Roger Waters (which also tore that band apart coincidentally). These are both of course far superior bands and albums, and I considred choosing one of these for this pick as influencing the “thematic” aspect of my music taste, but it’d be a lie. While I will much more readily put on a Beatles album, or Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut, than a Styx album, it was Styx that was this influence during my formative years. Which means, this folk singer has to try and record a Styx song. May the God’s of arena rock forgive me for this one. Here’s Come Sail Away. Ugh.