By MATT FRIEDLANDER, ABC News
Former Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung's new album, 26 East, Volume 1, his first studio effort since 2009's One Hundred Years from Now, hit stores today.
DeYoung tells ABC Audio that he initially wasn't interested in making a new record, but his friend Jim Peterik of Survivor and The Ides of March fame eventually changed his mind.
"[H]e kept saying, 'Den, you got to make this album, because the world needs your music,'" DeYoung recalls. "I said, 'Have the world text me, 'cause I don't believe it'…Finally, he wore me down and he said, 'Let me send you some songs. We'll work on it together.'"
The collaboration was fruitful, and over the course of two years, Dennis amassed 18 songs, eight of which he co-wrote with Jim. 26 East, Volume 1, features 10 of the songs, while the remainder are earmarked for a second volume due out later.
The album's first single was the nostalgic "To the Good Old Days," a duet with the late John Lennon's son, Julian. DeYoung initially planned to have Lennon join him on a song he'd already penned celebrating The Beatles, one of Dennis' biggest influences, but decided instead to write a new tune especially for his and Julian's voices.
DeYoung tells ABC Audio that another of his favorite songs from 26 East is the rocking, profanity-laced "With All Due Respect," a fiery critique of the news media.
"If people hear that song and don't go, 'Uh-huh! Uh-huh!,' I'll be surprised," says Dennis, "because how many times have you yelled at the TV set in the last couple of years? I don't even care what side you're on."
DeYoung also says he expects fans of classic Styx will love the album's lead track, "East of Midnight."
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