Styx Overview

Styx ( ) is an American rock rock music band, best known for their most po***r hit songs "Lady Lady (Styx song) " (#6, 1975), "Come Sail Away" (#8, 1977), "Babe Babe (song) " (#1, 1979), "The Best of Times The Best of Times (song) " (#3, 1981) and "Mr. Roboto" (#3, 1983). Other hits such as "Show Me the Way Show Me the Way (Styx song) " (#3, 1991), "Don't Let It End" (#6, 1983) and "Renegade Renegade (Styx song) " (#16, 1978) are recognizable as well. The band has four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA.

 
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Twin brothers Chuck Chuck Panozzo and John Panozzo first got together with their neighbor Dennis DeYoung in 1961 in the Roseland Roseland, Chicago section of the south side of Chicago, eventually taking the band name "The Tradewinds". Chuck Panozzo left to attend seminary school for a year but returned to the group by 1964. Tom Nardini was brought in to teach Chuck the guitar. Chuck decided to play bass guitar for the band. John Panozzo was the drummer, while Dennis DeYoung had switched from accordion to organ and piano. In 1965, the name "Tradewinds" was changed to TW4 after another band called The Trade Winds broke through nationally. By 1966, the Panozzo brothers had joined DeYoung at Chicago State University and kept the group together doing gigs at high schools and frat parties while studying to be teachers. In 1969, they added a college buddy, John Curulewski, on guitar after Tom Nardini departed. Guitarist James "J.Y." Young James Young (American musician) came aboard in 1970 making TW4 a quintet.

In 1970, the band members decided to choose a new name when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records; several suggestions were made and, says DeYoung, Styx was chosen because it was "the only one that none of us hated".


Wooden Nickel years

The band's Wooden Nickel recordings The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings , Styx Styx (album) (1972), Styx II (1973), The Serpent Is Rising (1974) and Man of Miracles (1974), were a mixture of straight-ahead rock with some dramatic prog-rock Progressive rock flourishes and art-rock Art rock aspirations. The Serpent Is Rising would foreshadow later endeavors by the group—the so-called concept album is an idiom upon which Styx would rely heavily by the 1980s.

On the strength of these releases and constant playing in local clubs and schools, the band established a fan base in the Chicago area, but was unable to break into the mainstream until an earlier song, the power ballad "Lady Lady (Styx song) " (from Styx II), began to earn some radio time, first on WLS WLS (AM) in Chicago and then nationwide. In the spring of 1975, nearly two years after the album had been released, "Lady" hit #6 in the U.S., and Styx II went gold after.


Move to A&M

On the heels of its belated hit single, Styx signed with A&M Records and released Equinox Equinox (Styx album) (1975), which sold well and yielded a minor hit in "Lorelei Lorelei (Styx song) ", #27 in the U.S. More importantly, it contained the rock anthem "Suite Madame Blue", which gained the band considerable recognition and airplay on FM radio in the relatively new Album Oriented Rock Album-oriented rock (AOR) format. Following the move to A&M, Curulewski suddenly left the band in December 1975 just as they were to embark on a nationwide tour. After a frantic last-minute search, the band brought on guitarist Tommy Shaw as Curulewski's replacement.

Crystal Ball Crystal Ball (Styx album) (1976), was moderately successful and also includes Shaw's "Mademoiselle Mademoiselle (song) " (which was another minor hit, reaching #36) and DeYoung's "This Old Man".


Breakthrough

The Grand Illusion The Grand Illusion (album) was released in 1977 and became Styx' breakthrough album, reaching Triple Platinum gold album certification RIAA certification . It spawned a top-ten hit and AOR Album Oriented Rock radio staple in the DeYoung Dennis DeYoung -written "Come Sail Away", which reached #8 in 1978. Shaw's "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" was a second radio hit, and reached #29 the same year.

Through the late 1970s, the band enjoyed its greatest success. Their 1978 album Pieces of Eight Pieces of Eight (album) found the group moving in a more straight-ahead pop-rock direction and spawned the singles "Renegade Renegade (Styx song) " (#16 in the U.S.) and "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) Blue Collar Man " (#21 in the U.S.), plus a minor hit "Sing for the Day" that stopped just short of the Top Forty at #41.

Styx' 1979 album Cornerstone Cornerstone (album) yielded their first number one hit, the DeYoung ballad "Babe Babe (song) " .. By early 1980, "Babe" had become the band's biggest international hit and first million-selling single, reaching number six in the United Kingdom .. The album also included the #26 DeYoung hit "Why Me Why Me (Styx song) ", and "Borrowed Time Borrowed Time (Styx song) " which was co-written with Shaw, plus Shaw's "Boat On The River Boat On The River (song) ". The po***rity of the album helped win the band a People's Choice Award People's Choice Awards for Best New Song in 1980. At the 22nd Grammy Awards, Styx received a nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group ,, and Cornerstone's engineers Gary Loizzo and Rob Kingsland were nominated for a Grammy for Best Engineered Recording.
Paradise Theatre

In January 1981, Styx released Paradise Theatre, a concept album that became their biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Billboard magazine pop albums chart and yielding five singles, including the top ten hits "The Best of Times The Best of Times (song) " by DeYoung (#3) and "Too Much Time on My Hands" by Shaw (#9). Paradise Theater became the band's fourth consecutive Multi-Platinum album.

The band was accused by a California religious group and later the P.M.R.C Parents Music Resource Center of backmasking Satanic Satanism messages in their anti-cocaine anthem, "Snowblind." James Young James Young (American musician) has refuted this charge during his introduction for "Snowblind" when played live. Dennis DeYoung has refuted the accusation as well, joking on the In the Studio with Redbeard program "we had enough trouble to make the music sound right forward."

Throughout the 1980s, the band would use the album's opening track, "Rockin' the Paradise" (charted at #8 on Top Rock Tracks Chart) to open their shows.



Kilroy was Here and breakup

On the successes of the ballad "Babe" and the Paradise Theatre album, Styx founder DeYoung began pushing for a more theatrical direction, while Shaw and Young favored a harder-edged approach. (This arguing over musical direction had even led to a bit of tension in 1979 after "Pieces of Eight", when DeYoung briefly left the band. But things were quickly smoothed over and cooler heads prevailed, leading to his quick return. )

The band followed DeYoung's lead with their next project, Kilroy Was Here Kilroy Was Here (album) (1983), another, more fully-realized concept album, embracing the rock opera form. Set in a future where performing and playing recorded rock music has been outlawed due to the efforts of a charismatic evangelist, Kilroy featured Dennis DeYoung in the part of Kilroy, an unjustly imprisoned rock star. Tommy Shaw played the part of Jonathan Chance, a younger rocker who fights for Kilroy's freedom and the lifting of the ban on rock music. This future society is served by robots. Called Robotos, these automatons perform many jobs, not the least of which are as Kilroy's prison guards.

Part of the impetus for the Kilroy story was the band's reaction to accusations of including backwards satanic messages embedded in their prior releases. The album included James Young's song "Heavy Metal Poisoning", which includes lyrics sarcastically mocking the allegations against the group. Its introduction intentionally included a backward message, the Latin phrases, "annuit coeptis" and "novus ordo seclorum," from the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States. Referring to the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, these are translated, "Annuit cœptis - He (God) favors our undertakings, and Novus ordo seclorum - A new order of the ages." . Both choices also served the Kilroy story as well, as the villain is an evangelist that seeks to expand his vision of morality movement through mass demonstrations.

Kilroy went Platinum in 1983, boasting two Top Ten hits, the synthesizer-based "Mr. Roboto" (#3 U.S.) and power ballad "Don't Let It End. (#6 U.S.)" The album earned a nomination as Best Engineered Recording for engineer and long-time friend Gary Loizzo, and fellow engineers on the album Will Rascati and Rob Kingsland, for the Twenty-Sixth Grammy Awards (1983)

In 1983, the band mounted an ambitious stage show in support of Kilroy featuring theatrical presentations of three songs utilizing instrumental backing tracks, including "Mr. Roboto", which featured DeYoung singing live while disguised as a Roboto, "Heavy Metal Poisoning" with James Young as the evangelist Dr. Righteous singing while the Panozzo brothers acted as his henchmen on stage and "Haven't We Been Here Before" with Tommy Shaw as Jonathan Chance and DeYoung (as Kilroy in Roboto costume) duetting. The elaborate show was expensive to produce and was not as profitable as previous tours.

Kilroy brought the creative and competitive tensions within the band beyond the breaking point. Tommy Shaw departed the band for a solo career at the conclusion of the Kilroy tour. In 1984, the band released its first live album, Caught in the Act Caught in the Act (Styx album) . The project featured one studio track, "Music Time Music Time (song) ", which became a Top 40 hit. The concert was also filmed and released on VHS under the same title (and on DVD in 2007). However, by the time of the album's release, the band had already parted ways.Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw released a string of solo albums, beginning with DeYoung's Desert Moon and Shaw's Girls with Guns Girls with Guns (album) in 1984. Both Shaw and DeYoung generated a moderate amount of interest with their first solo albums. DeYoung scored a Top 10 hit with the title track, "Desert Moon Desert Moon (song) ", which was also heavily featured on MTV. Shaw also cracked the Top Forty with "Girls with Guns" and he made a cameo appearance on the NBC television series Miami Vice. DeYoung's follow up single "Don't Wait for Heroes" also featured a video that was heavily featured on MTV, but it failed to generate significant radio airplay, only peaking at #83. During the filming of the video, DeYoung injured his back, causing him to back out of opening a North American concert tour for Huey Lewis and the News. Shaw, however, did tour in the fall of 1984 as an opening act for The Kinks.

Shaw's 1985 album What If What If (Tommy Shaw) and DeYoung's 1986 album Back to the World Back to the World (Dennis DeYoung album) also charted, along with singles from film soundtracks. Shaw's "What If (Remo's Theme)" from Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins entered the Billboard Billboard (magazine) Hot 100, while DeYoung's "This is the Time" from The Karate Kid, Part II soundtrack was featured for a short while on MTV. The first single from DeYoung's Back to the World, "Call Me", peaked at number six on the Adult Contemporary chart and was a modest pop hit, peaking at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100.

However, by the late 1980s, both Styx members' solo careers gradually simmered down to a modest but loyal fan base. Neither DeYoung's Boomchild Boomchild (album) nor Shaw's Ambition achieved nearly the same levels of earlier albums, although Shaw's cover of Jim Peterik's "Ever Since the World Began" charted briefly. Shaw also recorded sessions with Peterik's group, Survivor Survivor (band) , on 1986's When Seconds Count.

Meanwhile, James Young recorded his own solo albums: City Slicker (with Jan Hammer) and Out On a Day Pass, both attracting only minimal attention. In 1995 James Young partnered with other Chicago musicians and released an album under "James Young Group" titled "Raised by Wolves"

In 1989, Tommy Shaw formed Damn Yankees Damn Yankees (band) with Ted Nugent, Jack Blades and Michael Cartellone. Meanwhile, the remaining members of Styx made plans for a comeback in the new decade.
Edge of the Century

In 1989, with Shaw achieving big success with Damn Yankees Damn Yankees (band) Styx reformed, bringing in Glen Burtnik (in 1990) to take Shaw's vacated position.

The new line-up released one album, Edge of the Century, featuring the Dennis DeYoung ballad "Show Me the Way Show Me the Way (Styx song) ", which received an additional boost just prior to the first Persian Gulf War Gulf War . Some radio stations edited the Top Three smash to include the voices of children whose parents were deployed in Saudi Arabia between 1990 and 1991. This contributed to the song's longevity at Adult Contemporary radio, where the song also peaked at #3 and notably remained in the top 40 for an impressive thirty-one weeks. With the huge success of "Show Me The Way," Styx joined a handful of musical acts to have top 10 singles in 3 different decades and under 4 different presidential administrations.

Burtnik's songwriting also helped buoy Edge of the Century, contributing to the hits "Love at First Sight Love at First Sight (Styx song) " (#25 Billboard Hot 100 Charts, #13 Adult Contemporary) and "Love Is the Ritual" (#80 Billboard Hot 100, #9 Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks), as well as album tracks "All In a Day's Work", "World Tonight" and the title track. On the strength of the singles, particularly "Show Me the Way", Edge of the Century peaked at number sixty-three on the Billboard album chart and was certified Gold Gold record .

Styx toured across the U.S. in the spring and summer of 1991, but despite the success of the album, a top 3 single and a top 25 single, the band was dropped after A&M Records was purchased by PolyGram Records. A set of demos internally titled "Son Of Edge" were completed and shopped to other record labels. But with Grunge now dominating the rock press, video channels and airwaves, and with singles being phased out, there was little interest from major record companies and Styx disbanded once again by 1992. Portions of the "Son of Edge" demos have resurfaced in various forms over the years in Styx, DeYoung, and Burtnik anthologies.

In 1994, DeYoung recorded 10 on Broadway, an album of showtunes. A single "On the Street Where You Live" received limited airplay.


Reunion

The band reunited once again in 1995, with Tommy Shaw returning to the fold, to re-record "Lady" for Styx Greatest Hits. A tour was mounted in 1996, but John Panozzo was unable to participate in the tour due to declining health caused by problems with alcohol, which claimed his life soon after.

The band continued with Todd Sucherman replacing Panozzo. The 1996 "Return to Paradise" tour was also a success. They documented the reunion tour with a two-disc live set, 1997's Return to Paradise Return to Paradise (album) , which featured three new studio tracks: "On My Way", "Paradise" (a soft rock hit that also appears in another version on Dennis DeYoung's Hunchback of Notre Dame Hunchback of Notre Dame (album) album) and "Dear John", a tribute to the late Styx drummer John Panozzo that has become a cult favorite among Styx fans. Return to Paradise was a surprise hit in 1997, achieving gold status, with the single "Paradise Paradise (Styx song) " peaking at number twenty-seven on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Return to Paradise was the first gold album for Styx's new record company, CMC.


Brave New World and split

Two years later, in 1999, the band released its first new studio album in almost a decade: Brave New World Brave New World (Styx album) . The album received a lukewarm reception, sold very slowly, and the single, "Everything Is Cool", failed to chart.

Once again, during work on the album, personality conflicts drove the band members apart. While Tommy Shaw and James Young's material followed a hard rock vein, Dennis DeYoung's penchant for Broadway styles resulted in dramatic differences in styles on Brave New World.

Arguments over which songs to release as singles, the album's artwork, the track sequencing, the slow album sales, and the omission of DeYoung's vocals and keyboards from many of the Shaw/JY tracks fueled the fire. The band was further hindered by a viral illness contracted by DeYoung which temporarily made his eyes sensitive to light. DeYoung asked his bandmates to delay touring but they refused and decided to go forward without him..

Chuck Panozzo was sidelined in 1998 after revealing to his bandmates that he was*** and battling HIV. His public "coming out" occurred in 2001 at the annual Human Rights Campaign banquet.

On June 5, 1999, Styx played their final show with Dennis DeYoung for the Children's Miracle Network Telethon. This was probably one of the hardest shows to do as Dennis had already been replaced by Canadian Lawrence Gowan, though no official statement regarding a firing or replacement had been made. As a result of the replacement, DeYoung filed a lawsuit charging that the remaining members of the band were using the Styx name without his consent, and he in turn was eventually countersued by Shaw & JY for using the billing of "Dennis DeYoung, the voice of Styx" in his solo concerts. The suit was eventually settled with the agreement that DeYoung could bill himself as "performing the music of Styx" or "formerly of Styx", but not as "the voice of Styx", and Styx continued on with Shaw & JY at the helm.


Cyclorama and beyond

With Chuck Panozzo focusing on his health concerns, Glen Burtnik returned to fill Chuck's bass duties, with Chuck participating on a part-time basis, sitting in as his health permitted.

Styx's new lineup released several live albums and released the studio album Cyclorama Cyclorama (album) in February, 2003, which reached #127 on the Billboard 200 album charts failing to make much of an impact. The Single "Waiting for Our Time" reached #37 on the Billboard mainstream rock chart, and softer "Yes I Can" received substantial radio play on adult contemporary stations but didn't reach the Billboard charts. Styx toured extensively during this period and released additional live albums.

Burtnik left Styx in 2003 and recorded a solo album, Welcome to Hollywood Welcome to Hollywood (Glen Burtnik album) . He was replaced by Ricky Phillips, formerly of The Babys and Bad English.

On June 5, 2004, Styx participated in Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival covering songs by Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, and Slim Harpo with Jeff Baxter as a special guest

In 2005 Styx released an album of cover tunes, Big Bang Theory, which reached the Billboard Top 50 on the album charts, their highest charting album since 1990. The song "I am the Walrus" received some radio play and a video was made for the song, which was subsequently featured in their live shows.

DeYoung continued his solo career by re-arranging and performing his Styx hits with a symphony orchestra. In 2005, DeYoung released a CD of re-recorded Styx hits from a solo concert with a symphony orchestra (titled The Music of Styx - Live with Symphony Orchestra). The album also contained three new DeYoung songs. DeYoung's CD became a modest hit in Canada, selling 30,000 copies there. Burtnik now often appears with DeYoung in his solo shows.

As of April 21, 2006, according to the RIAA which awards artists and groups gold/platinum status, Styx ranks number 127 with 17.5 million records sold within the United States. The blurb on Amazon.com about Chuck Panozzo's book "The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life with Styx" states that Styx has sold over 54 million records.

On April 16, 2007, Def Leppard announced a 50-date 2007 tour, which included Styx and REO Speedwagon as supporting acts.

On October 16, 2007 Styx received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association) in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2008, Styx performed on a double bill with Boston Boston (band) in a North American summer tour, playing 53 dates in 12 weeks.

In the opening sequences of the April 2, 2009, episode of the CW television show, "Supernatural Supernatural (TV Series) ," Sam and Dean, posing as FBI agents, introduced themselves as "agents DeYoung and Shaw," an apparent homage to the two Styx members.

As of 2009, Styx was on tour with REO Speedwagon and .38 Special. Styx and REO Speedwagon teamed up to record a single entitled "Can't Stop Rockin," released April 23, 2009... That tour continued into early 2010.

On February 21, 2010 the current incarnation of the band performed before the Sprint Cup Auto Club 500 In Fontana, California.

It was Announced that Styx was to co-headline a spring tour of North America with Foreigner with special guests Kansas Kansas (band) .;Current members
*James "J.Y." Young James Young (American musician) / vocals lead vocals , guitar, keyboard Keyboard instrument s (1972 / present)
*Tommy Shaw / vocals, guitar, talkbox (1976 / 1983, 1995 / present)
*Todd Sucherman / drums Drum kit , percussion Percussion instrument , backing vocals (1995 / present)
*Lawrence Gowan / vocals, keyboards, guitar (1999 / present)
*Ricky Phillips / bass guitar, backing vocals Backing vocalist (2003 / present)From 1977 to 1981, Styx released four consecutive albums that have been certified Multi-Platinum, for at least 2 million units sold each, by the RIAA: The Grand Illusion The Grand Illusion (album) , Pieces of Eight Pieces of Eight (album) , Cornerstone Cornerstone (album) , and Paradise Theatre.


A longstanding, oft-repeated claim in the music industry and the mainstream press is that Styx were the first band to release four consecutive Triple-Platinum albums, signifying at least 3 million units sold. During the period when these albums charted, the RIAA's only certifications were for Gold (500,000 units sold) and Platinum (1 million). Multi-Platinum awards were introduced in late October 1984. Following this development, record companies submitted their most po***r artists' sales records to accountants in order to achieve the new thresholds.
Styx did score three Triple-Platinum albums—Paradise Theater, Pieces of Eight and The Grand Illusion—and one Double-Platinum album—Cornerstone—on the same date, November 14, 1984. Complete and detailed historical sales figures for record albums are not readily available to the public, but the certifications, which can be found at the RIAA site, show that the feat the band actually achieved was being the first group to be awarded four consecutive Multi-Platinum albums with three of those ranking better than Double Platinum. Styx achieved another Double-Platinum album—Greatest Hits (Volume I)—on August 23, 2005.Volunteers For America was a benefit concert held on October 20, in Atlanta, Georgia and October 21, 2001 at the Smirnoff Music Center, Dallas, Texas. The concerts were held in tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Styx band members, Tommy Shaw, James Young James Young (American musician) along with others put the benefit concert together in a short period of time. The Concert was in Atlanta Georgia on October 20, and moved over night to Dallas, Texas for the October 21st show. Proceeds from the concerts went to the families of firemen killed in the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
 

 

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