SAVATAGE — Streets: A Rock Opera — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

SAVATAGE - Streets: A Rock Opera cover
3.82 | 44 ratings | 8 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1991

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Streets (6:51)
2. Jesus Saves (5:13)
3. Tonight He Grins Again (3:28)
4. Strange Reality (4:56)
5. A Little Too Far (3:27)
6. You're Alive (1:51)
7. Sammy And Tex (3:07)
8. St. Patrick's (4:18)
9. Can You Hear Me Now (5:12)
10. New York City Don't Mean Nothing (4:02)
11. Ghost In The Ruins (5:34)
12. If I Go Away (5:18)
13. Agony And Ecstasy (3:33)
14. Heal My Soul (2:35)
15. Somewhere In Time (3:17)
16. Believe (5:42)

Total Time 68:33


- Jon Oliva / vocals, piano
- Criss Oliva / guitars, backing vocals
- Johnny Lee Middleton / bass, backing vocals
- Steve Wacholz / drums, percussion

About this release

Release date: October 4, 1991
Label: Atlantic Records

Reissued in 1997 by Edel with the following tracklist:

1. Streets (6:48)
2. Jesus Saves (5:27)
3. Tonight He Grins Again / Strange Reality (8:02)
4. A Little Too Far (3:34)
5. You're Alive / Sammy And Tex (4:58)
6. St. Patrick's (4:29)
7. Can You Hear Me Now (5:11)
8. New York City Don't Mean Nothing (4:03)
9. Ghost In The Ruins (5:31)
10. If I Go Away (5:17)
11. Agony And Ecstasy / Heal My Soul (6:11)
12. Somewhere In Time / Believe (9:02)
13. Desirée (3:54) (bonus track)

Total Time 72:31

Reissued in 2002 by SPV with following tracklist:

1. Streets (6:48)
2. Jesus Saves (5:27)
3. Tonight He Grins Again / Strange Reality (8:02)
4. A Little Too Far (3:34)
5. You're Alive / Sammy And Tex (4:58)
6. St. Patrick's (4:29)
7. Can You Hear Me Now (5:11)
8. New York City Don't Mean Nothing (4:03)
9. Ghost In The Ruins (5:31)
10. If I Go Away (5:17)
11. Agony And Ecstasy / Heal My Soul (6:11)
12. Somewhere In Time / Believe (9:02)
13. Ghost In The Ruins (live) (5:20) (bonus track)
14. Jesus Saves (live) (4:04) (bonus track)

Total Time 77:59

Reissued and remastered in 2011 by Ear Music with following bonus tracks:

17. This Isn't What We Meant (acoustic version, 2011) (3:16)
18. Morning Sun (acoustic version, 2011) (4:41)

Reissued in 2013 by Ear Music under the title Streets: A Rock Opera Narrated Version

1. Streets (6:48)
2. Narration To "Jesus" (1:05)
3. Jesus Saves (Original Version) (Previously Titled DT Jesus) (4:49)
4. Narration To "Tonight He Grins Again" (0:18)
5. Tonight He Grins Again (3:26)
6. Narration To "Strange Reality" (0:35)
7. Strange Reality (4:54)
8. Narration To "A Little Too Far" (0:16)
9. A Little Too Far (3:23)
10. Narration To "You're Alive" (0:25)
11. You're Alive (1:51)
12. Narration To "Sammy And Tex" (0:17)
13. Sammy And Tex (3:06)
14. Narration To "St. Patrick's" (0:42)
15. St. Patrick's (4:15)
16. Narration To "Can You Hear Me Now" (0:30)
17. Can You Hear Me Now (5:09)
18. Narration To "New York City Don't Mean Nothing" (0:57)
19. New York City Don't Mean Nothing (3:59)
20. Narration To "Ghost In The Ruins" (0:21)
21. Ghost In The Ruins (5:29)
22. Narration To "If I Go Away" (0:15)
23. If I Go Away (5:15)
24. Narration To "Agony And Ecstasy" (0:22)
25. Agony And Ecstasy (3:32)
26. Narration To "Heal My Soul" (2:03)
27. Heal My Soul (2:33)
28. Narration To "Somewhere In Time" (0:37)
29. Somewhere In Time (3:15)
30. Believe (5:41)
31. Larry Elbows (previously unreleased) (4:09)

Total Time 80:17

Thanks to progshine, Time Signature, Lynx33, 666sharon666 for the updates


More places to buy metal & SAVATAGE music


Specialists/collaborators reviews

Savatage’s first attempt at a full on Rock Opera is mostly successful. The sound mostly picks up right from the more operatic parts of Gutter Ballet. They turn up the cheese, usually working well with it as they always have. The highs here are magical; Tonight He Grins Again is one of their finest songs ever, and Believe is a great ballad and closer.

The issue here is the same as many other overlong concept albums. At 16 tracks and almost 70 minutes, there is a lot of filler. The first half particularly struggles to deliver as many of the songs are kind of just fun rockers, which is not Savatage’s niche (The only ballad on this half, A Little Too Far, is their worst ever). The second half leans more into the melodic balladry they’re so good at, picking up a nice melancholic tone that brings it home nicely. The lyrics are good, but the story itself really isn’t all that compelling, as it’s just a rock star who got fame, hit rock bottom, got back to rocking… We’ve heard it a million times.

Overrated, especially compared to their other albums, but still holds many gems.
‘Streets: A Rock Opera’, released in 1991, is the sixth studio album by American metal band Savatage. It sees the band further develop their unique style which incorporates huge influences from musicals and classical music, and features a concept based on the rise and fall of fictional musician D.T. Jesus. Coming at a time when metal was becoming stale to mainstream fans, it was no doubt a risky move by the band to continue this route, but the end result is one of their most highly revered and well-received albums.

Riding a wave of momentum from their previous albums, ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ and its successor, ‘Gutter Ballet’, and once again continuing their working relationship with producer Paul O’Neill (who wrote the original story for the album), the band have hit their stride here, finding their niche and sounding more confident than ever before.

Wonderfully produced, the sound of the album evokes many moods throughout its diverse track list. From heavy rockers, to melodic tearjerkers, the production perfectly captures the essence and mood of each song. At times haunting and eerie, melancholic and depressing, or uplifting, head banging metal anthems, O’Neill has done a tremendous job of capturing the right vibe which suits the style of the band, and gives each member ample space to shine.

With songs such as ‘Jesus Saves’, ‘Somewhere in Time/Believe’, ‘Tonight He Grins Again/Strange Reality’, ‘Ghost in the Ruins’, ‘You’re Alive/Sammy and Tex’ and ‘Agony and Ecstasy/Heal My Soul’, there’s no shortage of Savatage highlights here. Along with Jon Oliva’s hauntingly passionate vocals and Criss Olivas classically-inspired guitar acrobatics, this is a pivotal album for the band, which would see them continue to ignore musical trends in favour of their own musical and artistic integrity, making ‘Streets: A Rock Opera’, a worthwhile addition to the collection of all rock and metal fans.
"Streets: A Rock Opera" is the 6th full-length studio album by US, Florida based heavy/power metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in October 1991. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "Gutter Ballet (1989)" as second guitarist Chris Caffery has left, making Savatage a four-piece again. "Streets: A Rock Opera" is a concept album telling the story of troubled rock star DT Jesus. The story is based on a play (titled "Gutter Ballet") that producer Paul O'Neill had written in 1979 and which he had originally intended for a Broadway musical. It remained in a drawer in his house until Criss Oliva found it, and the band picked it up and turned it into "Streets: A Rock Opera".

"Streets: A Rock Opera" sees Savatage developing their style once again. "Gutter Ballet (1989)" saw them incorporating elements from musicals, orchestration, and just a generally more sophisticated and detailed songwriting approach than before. That musical direction is continued and further developed on "Streets: A Rock Opera". The basis in the music is still heavy/power metal with the rare nod towards progressive metal. The progressive tendencies are more due to the overall concept of the release, than due to the compositions themselves, which are predominantly vers/chorus structured. Savatage challenge conventional songwriting here more than ever though and at times the tracks are relatively adventurous, although you won´t be exposed to long instrumental parts or other progressive metal traits. Keyboards/piano play a more dominant role on this album than on any Savatage release before it, but they rarely function as a lead instrument. They are rather used for atmosphere, orchestration, and harmonization.

Musically "Streets: A Rock Opera" was the most diverse Savatage release up until then. It´s a highly dynamic release featuring both heavy/power metal tunes like "Jesus Saves" and "Agony And Ecstasy", heavy mid-paced epic tracks like "Streets" and "Ghost In The Ruins", up-tempo energetic rockers like "Sammy And Tex" (that swing rhythm is infectiously catchy) and "Strange Reality", epic power ballads like "Tonight He Grins Again" and "If I Go Away", and shorter ballad type tracks like "You're Alive" and "Heal My Soul". All musical styles and songs are placed strategically on the tracklist to make most impact along with the concept story.

"Streets: A Rock Opera" is a well produced album, featuring a powerful, detailed, and clear sound production, which suits the music perfectly. The musicianship is as always on a high level. The rhythm section of drummer Steve Wacholz and bassist Johnny Lee Middleton are a hard pounding machine, who drives the music forward with great energy and passion, while guitarist Criss Oliva plays one great catchy riff after another and also delivers blistering solo work. Lead vocalist Jon Oliva sings with both his commanding rusty voice and in a more sensitive fashion, but always with a great melodic sensibility. His performance here is both varied and very well executed.

So upon conclusion it´s safe to say that "Streets: A Rock Opera" is a very impressive high quality release. The concept isn´t the most original as artists like The Who and Pink Floyd (just to mention a few) have done similar things in the past, but it still works reasonably well, as Savatage skillfully combine music and lyrics into a great whole. Even with 16 tracks and a full playing time of 68:33 minutes, the album never feels long and there´s nothing on the album which feels unnecessary or doesn´t live up to the high quality of the rest of the material. This is through and through a well thought out, well executed, and well produced album. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.
With vocalist Jon Oliva's Alice Cooper-inspired delivery honed to perfection and the band in good form, Savatage's Streets: A Rock Opera is an enjoyable listen which may get a little cheesy here and there (especially on concluding track Believe) but is entertaining enough to let me just about accept the cheese. From the opening skit, which manages to pitch itself perfectly between theatrical flair and realistic grit, the band manage an impressive tightrope act which ensures that no aspect of their sound from the progressive to the cheesy to the balls-out heavy goes wanting for attention, making this a well-rounded album which should have wide appeal to a broad range of listeners.
Streets: A Rock Opera was the sixth full-length studio album by the American Progressive Metal band Savatage. As you can probably tell from its title, the album is a concept album that is tied together by a singular narrative in which each song tells a part of the same story.

The story in question is based on a play called ‘Gutter Ballet’ (which was also the title of the band’s previous studio album with which some material here overlaps) written by the album’s producer Paul O’Neil. It chronicles the life of a petty drug dealer who gains success as a rock star before loosing it all, trying to get it all back and who sees his friend murdered when his past comes back to haunt him.

Singer Jon Olivia masterfully expresses the emotions of the story’s central character (named DT – ‘Down Town’ or ‘Detox’ – Jesus, depending on the flawed memory of another character) and the musicians are excellent at conveying the mood of each track as determined by the story (for example ‘Sam And Tex’ is a faster, more anarchic track which reflects the fight which is occurring in the story).

Furthermore, Chris Oliva’s guitar solos are absolutely out of this world. There are some seriously creative, impressive and expressive solos on this record that really elevate it to a whole other level musically.

If you are generally into the excesses of Prog Metal or even modern Prog-like music, and love the theatrics of albums like Metropolis Pt. 2, Operation: Mindcrime or the whole Amory Wars series then this should almost certainly be of some interest for you. It flows very differently than a lot of other concept albums seem to however, and is already pretty interesting on that structural level alone.

To be fair, if you are only into very straight faced Metal and don’t care for the overuse of ballads, pianos, ‘cheesy’ moments or anything too theatrical then this is not a great album to start your Savatage journey with. The album got labeled as ‘Broadway Metal’ by some people at the time precisely because it shares an awful lot in common with musicals, so if that idea seems unappealing then maybe you should start off with something heavier and more direct like ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’ instead.

After releasing this album Jon Olivia would take a back seat within the band’s line-up away from the limelight for over a decade and a new era would begin. Just a few years later Chris Olivia would be dead. Historically, Streets is a very interesting final chapter of sorts and its easy to see both musically and historically why it is so dear to many fan’s hearts. If you are a fan of the band at all then you really ought to check it out.

Overall; It could be argued that the album is a little overlong, a bit cheesy and that there isn’t enough Metal sounding material on offer. When you are listening to album highlights like the amazing ‘Ghost In The Ruins’ or ‘Believe’ however, you probably won’t regret purchasing this record. It is definitely an interesting album and it grows a lot on repeat listens. I’d definitely recommend it as long as ballads and concept albums aren’t absolute anathema to you.
The Block
Jesus Saves

What a superb album! Savatage, one of my favorite power metal bands, has released many good albums, but this, by far, is one of the best. To add to the great guitar and keyboard work, it is a concept album. I tend to like concept albums more, since they have a story and you can follow the movements and different parts of it which adds to the overall enjoyment of the album. This is also one of Savatage’s more progressive albums, and I like prog metal more than any other.

The album takes us through DT (Downtown) Jesus’s life as a low life. He is hit by hard times, and then gets thrown onto the streets where he becomes a drug dealer. He rises out of the trash heaps of New York City as a guitarist for a band he forms. He soon gets into a quarrel with the other band members and leaves. His life, though sad, is frighteningly similar to that of lead singer Jon Oliva’s at the time.

Since it is a concept album, it is hard to pick out specific “best songs”, since they all blend so well together. Also, almost every song is absolutely superb, so picking a best one would be near impossible. But, one song that stood out to me is “Jesus Saves”. I like the opening skit, with a homeless guy stopping a passerby to tell him about DT Jesus, because it leads nicely into the main theme. The nice heavy guitar riffs give it that power metal feel, but it’s not that cheesy sound that most power metal bands offer up. This sound is very unique and good. Jon Oliva’s grainy voice, while by itself I might not like it, fits in very well in this song. Steve Wacholz does a great job drumming on this track and guitarist Chris Oliva does a good job, too. Another reason why I like this song is because it sums up the whole theme of the album into one song. It quickly hints at both DT Jesus’s rise and fall.

One other song of mention is “Believe” which is the softest song on this album. It is a very uplifting and joyful song, which really rounds out the whole album. I like the beginning of the song when Jon Oliva’s voice is very soft because he has a very nice voice that blends in very well with his piano playing. The song eventually gets more metal, but this song might be one of my favorite because it is softer. It is also more catchy then the other, except maybe “Jesus Saves” which has a relatively simple chorus.

The simplicity of this album makes it what it is. While some parts are more complex like “New York Don’t Mean Nothing”, but most of it is simple metal. But, Savatage does it in such a way that it seems complex. I can easily remember most of the songs on this album and it sticks in my mind, which is one of the reasons I keep playing it over, and over. For a great progressive power metal album Savatage gets 4.5 stars.
Conor Fynes
'Streets (A Rock Opera)' - Savatage (4/10)

For an album of sixteen tracks, you would think there would be at least one song that really stands out, and could be called a really great song. Especially in the case of a highly acclaimed and influential band like Savatage, on one of their most popular albums. While people might think of this as a high and mighty album, I personally cannot find a reason why this album would be a masterpiece in the slightest.

What attracted me to this in the first place was the fact that it's a rock opera. Rock/Metal operas in the past I've listened to include the works of Ayreon, Avantasia's 'Metal Opera Pt I & II,' and Dream Theater's 'Scenes From A Memory' among many, many others. For the most part, I've found them very enjoyable, and the addition of a storyline to the music to bind it together is always a plus in my books...

But what we have here is an album that sounds like a more hard-rock oriented version of Journey at their most commercial and mainstream. While Savatage is a band that certainly has used progressive elements in their music, theres nothing to be seen here that makes me think 'wow, that was creative and original!' The storyline is sort of lame and feels like a happy and bouncy version of 'Operation: Mindcrime' (by Queensryche) minus the complex, psychological factors.

It's not braindead by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm sorry I can't agree with everyone else and say this is some magnificent masterpiece, because it honestly isn't. There's alot better for Savatage, and there's certainly alot better for progressive metal in general.

Members reviews

1967/ 1976
That "Streets: A Rock Opera" is a beautiful album, I have no objection. Of course in this album there are memorable moments, at other times seem to hear an album that features a mix of Journey and Queen. And yet, I can only agree (not totally... I mean subject) with those who say that this is a good album. To be honest... And I must be honest... I disagree with those who tell me that this is a great album. A major flaw, in my opinion? The use of keyboards. Why? Because they tend to make too sweet sound of songs, whereas the weight of the guitar parts. And since this happens in the songs where their invasion is noted too, I can not please me the thing. Since basic "Streets: A Rock Opera" is a mix Between Traditional Metal, Power Metal and AOR the fact of wanting Prog Metal thanks to the arrangements is a is something that I don't approve.

Speaking of songs... I admit that I like the songs. But don't conquest my mind. Very well written and performed with the defects that I described, I must convince myself that "Streets: A Rock Opera" is a good album. Not a masterpiece, as too progressive.

So, although I can not define "Streets: A Rock Opera" album really successful and able to make me jump for joy, I find it very beautiful and interesting.

Ratings only

  • lopolik
  • karolcia
  • GWLHM76
  • feagles76
  • MrMan2000
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • Psydye
  • Pintos
  • Seven Moons
  • tempest_77
  • Necrotica
  • Lock24
  • michelandrade
  • Unitron
  • Nightfly
  • cennsor
  • wintercrescent
  • Immortalis
  • Lynx33
  • stefanbedna
  • Colt
  • yair010390
  • Stooge
  • artsagile
  • zappino
  • Anster
  • 13hammer
  • Zargus
  • zeik
  • Bartje1979
  • IndianaJones
  • ollischr
  • Tlön
  • CCVP
  • irregardlessly
  • m@x

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

God Damned You To Hell Traditional Doom Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Absence Melodic Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Unextinct Technical Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Powerlords Power Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Battle Ballads Power Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Bosh66· 3 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us