Ex-Styx frontman, Dennis De Young, will release a solo album titled “26 East: Volume 1” being his second to last of his career. “This was supposed to be my final album but there were so many songs written that Serafino Perugino, CEO of Frontiers, suggested dividing it into two albums rather than one,” DeYoung states. “So be it. This is Volume 1, which sounds pretentious to me, but the marketing folks wanted you to know there are going to be two of them, so hey kids, there are two of them; this is Volume 1.”
It all started when Jim Peterik, a fellow Chicagoan and nearby neighbor, sent a song demo to Dennis.
“If not for Jim Peterik’s encouragement, talent and prodding I would not have recorded this music,” said DeYoung. “He once told me that the world needed my music; to which I replied, ‘Have the world text me for verification.’ We collaborated from the get-go, happily and seamlessly, and at this time, we have written nine songs together, of which five will be on Volume 1. Just two Chicago guys doing what they do best, making music and having a laugh.”
The collaboration with Julian Lennon came about when DeYoung wrote a verse and chorus of a song with Lennon in mind. Lennon heard the demo and said he would be honored to participate. Lennon’s vocals were recorded in October at Mission Sound in Brooklyn, New York.
DeYoung shares: “The moment we sang together in the studio, it felt magical. I wrote the song specifically for our two voices. I had never met Julian previously, but I have been an admirer since ‘Valotte’.”
The album title “26 East” represents the birthplace of Styx. 26 E 101st Place was the address where DeYoung grew up in Roseland, on the south side of Chicago. Across the street at 39 E 101st Place lived the Panozzo twins, Chuck and John, who would go on to form Trade Winds in 1962, which a decade later would become the core of Styx. The cover artwork of “26 East” features three locomotives, representing the three original members of Styx leaving the Chicago train yard dreaming of bigger and better things.