Former STYX frontman Dennis DeYoung is putting the finishing touches on his last-ever collection of new material.
"On this, my final album, I decided to write songs about my journey from humble beginnings in my basement on Chicago's far-south side to the very top [of] my chosen profession," the singer wrote in a message posted to his Facebook page.
DeYoung added that the LP will contain one track which he described as his "ultimate musical and lyrical tribute" to THE BEATLES.
"If you know me, you know of my love for THE BEATLES and their effect on my life and millions of other musicians," he wrote. "But you would be hard pressed to find actual traces of THE BEATLES in STYX songs. I left all BEATLES musical references out of STYX arrangements. However, on this album I created my ultimate musical and lyrical tribute to the lads from Liverpool on one song. There's a fine line between homage and blatant rip off and I pray I haven't crossed it."
According to DeYoung, his BEATLES-inspired song is a duet, and he originally planned on recruiting John Lennon's son Julian to provide guest vocals on the track. "I wrote an email to him and was just about to send it when I listened one last time and suddenly realized Jules should not sing this song," Dennis explained. "It was my story not his."
Julian did, however, contribute his voice to another track on the LP which Dennis wrote on the the piano "specifically for he and I to sing together," DeYoung said. "The music was finished in an hour. I then recorded one verse and one chorus on piano and sang both parts and sent it. He responded by saying he loved it and would be honored to do it. We stood in the control room last night and sang a few lines together and wham bam thank you Sam it sounded even better then I had imagined. Done deal. I knew he would be great but he elevated the song with his heartfelt performance."
Back in April, DeYoung told Billboard that the track he wrote about THE BEATLES' impact on him was called "Hello Goodbye".
"I wrote that song about what THE BEATLES did to me," DeYoung said. "I've never done this before; It's going to be an homage to those records and there's all kinds of lyrical references to [BEATLES] songs. My manager was born in the same hospital that Paul McCartney was in Liverpool; he heard the music track and just flipped out, and he doesn't get excited about anything, so that made me excited about it."
DeYoung's upcoming album will be his first solo set since "One Hundred Years From Now" in 2009. The disc, which is tentatively due next year via Frontiers Music Srl, will feature songwriting collaborations with former SURVIVOR/IDES OF MARCH principal Jim Peterik, a neighbor of DeYoung's in suburban Chicago.
"He sent me an idea, and I went, 'All right.' Then he sent me another one, and I went, 'All right.' We sat down together, I blinked my eye and we had eight songs," DeYoung told Billboard. "We connected on every possible level. He's a little younger than me but we're southside guys from Chicago. We laugh at the same things. We know the same history. We're mature enough and I think wise enough — but I'm not so sure — to know when something is good. There was never one time we had, like, a real disagreement about anything. We both could recognize the excellence in each other."
One of the songs from those sessions, "Proof Of Heaven", was made available last spring.