You have to hand it to Styx, they are pretty bold and brash when it comes to politics for an art-rock band. On their concept 1983 release Kilroy Was Here, they don’t hold back on their anti-censorship stance.

Kilroy was Here follows the story of a former rock star, Kilroy (lead singer Dennis De Young), living in prison in a future where rock n’ roll is illegal due to the the hands of of the MMM (Majority for Musical Morality) and a fascist government. The album picks up in the future where robots manufactured in Japan, called Mr. Robotos, work nonstop in jobs once held by humans. In addition to this bleak future, there are the ever-present anti-rock music rallies where citizens literally burn guitars, records, and other rock paraphernalia.

However there is a rebel leader, Jonathan Chance (Tommy Shaw), who wants to bring back rock music. The album follows both Chance and Kilroy’s attempts to prove Kilroy’s innocence as well as break up the MMM.

Kilroy Was Here is a clear stab at the then-prevalent Moral Majority and Tipper Gore‘s Parental Music Resource Center – better known as the PMRC.  This is due in part to Christian fundamentalists branding their song Snowblind as “satanic.”

The album itself is a great album both musically and, for the most part, lyrically. On almost every single the synthesizer reflects the eerie time that this world could come to if such a power akin to the MMM were to be in power.

Overall I would highly recommend this album if you are a big musical fan, but otherwise forget it.

However, it is still entertaining to watch.


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