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Although they began as an artsy prog rock band, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late '70s and early '80s, due to a fondness for bombastic rockers and soaring power ballads. The seeds for the band were planted in another Chicago band during the late '60s, the Tradewinds, which featured brothers Chuck and John Panozzo (who played bass and drums, respectively), as well as acquaintance Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards). By the dawn of the '70s, the group had changed its name to TW4, and welcomed aboard a pair of guitarists/vocalists, James "JY" Young and John Curulewski -- securing a recording contract in 1972 with Wooden Nickel Records (a subsidiary of RCA). Soon after, the group opted to change its name once more, this time to Styx, named after a river from Greek mythology that ran through "the land of the dead" in the underworld.

Early on, Styx's music reflected such then-current prog rockers as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Moody Blues, as evidenced by such releases as 1972's self-titled debut, 1973's Styx II, 1974's The Serpent Is Rising, and 1975's Man of Miracles. While the albums (as well as nonstop touring) helped the group build a substantial following locally, Styx failed to break through to the mainstream, until the track "Lady," originally from their second album, started to get substantial airplay in late 1974 on Chicago radio station WLS-FM. The song was soon issued as a single nationwide, and quickly shot to number six on the singles chart, as Styx II was certified gold. By this time, however, the group had grown disenchanted with its record label, and opted to sign on with A&M for their fifth release overall, 1975's Equinox (the band's former label would issue countless compilations over the years, culled from tracks off their early releases). On the eve of the tour in support of the album, Curulewski abruptly left the band, and was replaced by Tommy Shaw (sadly, Curulewski would pass away from an aneurysm in 1988). Shaw proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Styx, as most of their subsequent releases throughout the late '70s earned at least platinum certification (1976's Crystal Ball, 1977's The Grand Illusion, 1978's Pieces of Eight, and 1979's Cornerstone), and spawned such hit singles and classic rock radio standards as "Come Sail Away," "Renegade," "Blue Collar Man," "Fooling Yourself," and the power ballad "Babe."

Despite the enormous success of "Babe," it caused tension within the group -- specifically between Shaw and DeYoung (the latter of whom was the song's author), as the guitarist wanted Styx to continue in a more hard rock-based direction, while DeYoung sought to pursue more melodic and theatrically based works. This led to DeYoung's brief ouster from the group (although it was kept completely hush-hush at the time), before a reconciliation occurred. The bandmembers decided that their first release of the '80s would be a concept album, 1981's Paradise Theater, which was loosely based on the rise and fall of a once beautiful theater (which was supposedly used as a metaphor for the state of the U.S. at the time -- the Iranian hostage situation, the Cold War, Reagan, etc.). Paradise Theater became Styx's biggest hit of their career (selling over three million copies in a three-year period), as they became one of the U.S. top rock acts due to such big hit singles as "Too Much Time on My Hands" and "The Best of Times." But the behind-the-scenes bickering only intensified in the wake of the album's success, as DeYoung was now convinced that a more theatrical approach was the future direction for Styx. Shaw and the rest of the group begrudgingly went along, and while the resulting follow-up was another hit, 1983's sci-fi-based Kilroy Was Here (which told the story of a future where rock & roll was outlawed, almost a carbon copy of the story line of Rush's 2112), the album would eventually lead to the group's breakup -- as the ensuing prop-heavy tour seemed to focus more on scripted dialogue and lengthy films than good old rock & roll.

A forgettable live album, Caught in the Act, was issued in 1984, before Styx went on hiatus, and the majority of the bandmembers pursued solo projects throughout the remainder of the decade. DeYoung issued 1984's Desert Moon (which spawned a moderate hit single with its reflective title track), 1986's Back to the World, and 1988's Boomchild, Young released 1986's City Slicker, while Shaw put forth several solo sets -- 1984's Girls with Guns, 1985's What If?, 1986's Live in Japan, and 1987's Ambition. Shaw then formed Damn Yankees along with former Night Ranger bassist/singer Jack Blades, guitarist Ted Nugent, and drummer Michael Cartellone, a group that enjoyed commercial success right off the bat with its self-titled debut in 1990 (due to the hit power ballad "High Enough"), before issuing an unsuccessful sophomore effort two years later, Don't Tread. During Shaw's tenure with Damn Yankees, Styx had re-formed with newcomer Glen Burtnik taking the place of Shaw -- issuing a new studio album in 1990, Edge of the Century, which spawned yet another hit power ballad, "Show Me the Way." But the Styx reunion was a fleeting one, as the group's members went their separate ways shortly thereafter -- with DeYoung going on to play Pontius Pilate in a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar (and issuing an album of Broadway show tunes, 1994's 10 on Broadway), while Young issued a pair of solo discs (1994's Out on a Day Pass and 1995's Raised by Wolves), and Shaw teamed up with Jack Blades for the short-lived outfit Shaw Blades (issuing a lone recording in 1995, Hallucination).

A re-recording of their early hit "Lady" (titled "Lady '95") for a Greatest Hits compilation finally united Shaw with his former Styx bandmates, which led to a full-on reunion tour in 1996. But drummer John Panozzo fell seriously ill at the time (due to a long struggle with alcoholism), which prevented him from joining the proceedings -- and he passed away in July of the same year. Although grief-stricken, Styx persevered with new drummer Todd Sucherman taking the place of Panozzo, as the Styx reunion tour became a surprise sold-out success, resulting in the release of a live album/video, 1997's Return to Paradise, while a whole new generation of rock fans was introduced to the grandiose sounds of Styx via a humorous car ad which used the track "Mr. Roboto," as well as songs used in such TV shows as South Park and Freaks & Geeks. The group even stuck around long enough to issue a new studio album, 1999's Brave New World, before friction within the band set in once again.

With the other Styx members wanting to soldier on with further albums and tours, DeYoung was forced to take a break when he developed an uncommon viral ailment, which made the singer extremely sensitive to light. DeYoung was able to eventually overcome his disorder, but not before Shaw and Young opted to enlist new singer Larry Gowan and issued a pair of live releases in the early 21st century -- 2000's Arch Allies: Live at Riverport (split 50-50 between Styx and REO Speedwagon) and 2001's Styx World: Live 2001. DeYoung began touring as a solo artist at the same time, and eventually attempted to sue Shaw and Young over the use of the name Styx (the lawsuit was eventually settled in late 2001). Around the same time, Chuck Panozzo confirmed rumors that he had contracted AIDS (but was battling the virus successfully), while the turbulent career of Styx was told in an entertaining episode of VH1's Behind the Music.

In the spring of 2003, a new studio album featuring Gowan arrived in stores. For Cyclorama, Styx consisted of Shaw, Young, Burtnik, Sucherman, and Gowan. The album also featured guest appearances from John Waite, Brian Wilson, and actor Billy Bob Thornton. By the end of the year, Burtnik was out of the band and replaced by former Bad English and Babys member Ricky Phillips, although Panozzo did play with the group on selected live dates. The two-CD Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology from 2004 did an excellent job representing the band's career, while 2005's double-disc The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings collected the band's first four albums. That same year, Styx released the cover version-filled Big Bang Theory, featuring some of their favorite picks from the Great Rock Songbook. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: The Grand Illusion / Pieces Of Eight Live (Live)

Disc 1

1. The Grand Illusion (Live)

2. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (Live)

3. Superstars (Live)

4. Come Sail Away (Live)

5. Miss America (Live)

6. Man In The Wilderness (Live)

7. Castle Walls (Live)

8. The Grand Finale (Live)

Disc 2

1. Great White Hope (Live)

2. I'm Okay (Live)

3. Sing For The Day (Live)

4. The Message (Live)

5. Lords Of The Ring (Live)

6. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) (Live)

7. Queen Of Spades (Live)

8. Renegade (Live)

9. Pieces Of Eight (Live)

10. Aku-Aku (Live)


Track List: Chronicles: 3 Classic Albums (Styx)

Disc 1

1. Put Me On

2. Mademoiselle

3. Jennifer

4. Crystal Ball

5. Shooz

6. This Old Man

7. Clair De Lune / Ballerina

Disc 2

1. The Grand Illusion

2. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

3. Superstars

4. Come Sail Away

5. Miss America

6. Man In The Wilderness

7. Castle Walls

8. The Grand Finale

Disc 3

1. Great White Hope

2. I'm O.K.

3. Sing For The Day

4. The Message

5. Lords Of The Ring

6. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)

7. Queen Of Spades

8. Renegade

9. Pieces Of Eight

10. Aku-Aku


Track List: Big Bang Theory

1. I Am The Walrus (Live)

2. I Can See For Miles

3. Can't Find My Way Home

4. I Don't Make Sense (You Can't Make Peace)

5. I Don't Need No Doctor

6. One Way Out

7. A Salty Dog

8. Summer In The City

9. Manic Depression

10. Talkin' About The Good Times

11. Locomotive Breath

12. Find The Cost Of Freedom

13. Wishing Well

14. Blue Collar Man @ 2120


Track List: The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings

Disc 1

1. Movement For The Common Man

2. Right Away

3. What Has Come Between Us

4. Best Thing

5. Quick Is The Beat Of My Heart

6. After You Leave Me

7. You Need Love

8. Lady

9. A Day

10. You Better Ask

11. Little Fugue In "G"

12. Father O.S.A.

13. Earl Of Roseland

14. I'm Gonna Make You Feel It

15. Unfinished Song

Disc 2

1. Witch Wolf

2. The Grove Of Eglantine

3. Young Man

4. As Bad As This

5. Winner Takes All

6. 22 Years

7. Jonas Psalter

8. The Serpent Is Rising

9. Kaakatoa

10. Hellelujah Chorus

11. Rock & Roll Feeling

12. Havin' A Ball

13. Golden Laak

14. A Song For Suzanne

15. A Man Like Me

16. Lies

17. Evil Eyes

18. Southern Woman

19. Christopher, Mr. Christopher

20. Man Of Miracles


Track List: Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology

Disc 1

1. Best Thing

2. You Need Love

3. Lady

4. Winner Take All

5. Rock & Roll Feeling

6. Light Up

7. Lorelei

8. Prelude 12

9. Suite Madame Blue

10. Shooz

11. Mademoiselle

12. Crystal Ball

13. The Grand Illusion

14. Fooling Your Self (The Angry Young Man)

15. Come Sail Away

16. Miss America

17. Man In The Wilderness

Disc 2

1. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)

2. Sing For The Day

3. Renegade

4. Pieces Of Eight

5. Lights

6. Babe

7. Borrowed Time

8. Boat On The River

9. A.D. 1928

10. Rockin' The Paradise

11. Too Much Time On My Hands

12. The Best Of Times

13. Snowblind

14. Mr. Roboto

15. Love Is The Ritual

16. Show Me The Way

17. Dear John

18. One With Everything


Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Lady '95

2. The Best Of Times

3. Lorelei

4. Too Much Time On My Hands

5. Babe

6. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

7. Show Me The Way

8. Renegade

9. Come Sail Away

10. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)

11. The Grand Illusion

12. Crystal Ball

13. Suite Madame Blue

14. Miss America

15. Mr. Roboto

16. Don't Let It End


Track List: Caught In The Act (Live)

Disc 1

1. Music Time (Live)

2. Mr. Roboto (Live)

3. Too Much Time On My Hands (Live)

4. Babe (Live)

5. Snow Blind (Live)

6. The Best Of Times (Live)

7. Suite Madame Blue (Live)

Disc 2

1. Rockin' The Paradise (Live)

2. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) (Live)

3. Miss America (Live)

4. Don't Let It End (Live)

5. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Men) (Live)

6. Crystal Ball (Live)

7. Come Sail Away (Live)


Track List: Kilroy Was Here

1. Mr. Roboto

2. Cold War

3. Don't Let It End

4. High Time

5. Heavy Metal Poisoning

6. Just Get Through This Night

7. Double Life

8. Haven't We Been Here Before

9. Don't Let It End


Track List: Cornerstone

1. Lights

2. Why Me

3. Babe

4. Never Say Never

5. Boat On The River

6. Borrowed Time

7. First Time

8. Eddie

9. Love In The Midnight


Track List: The Grand Illusion

1. The Grand Illusion

2. Fooling Yourself

3. Superstar

4. Come Sail Away

5. Miss America

6. Man In The Wilderness

7. Castle Walls

8. The Grand Finale


Track List: Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) (Single)

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Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is so freaky. But if you read this and ignore this you will have bad luck. Put this on 10 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will show up in big letters on your screen. This is so creepy because it actually works.
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Chuck Panozzo Is gay.
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Actually Shari, Chuck Panozzo is gay and struggles with HIV. That is why he will only be on stage for a song or two when playing live. The rest of the band is as straight as they come. They are not out to change the world to all things rainbows but do accept Chuck for who he is.
If you haven't seen them live do yourself a favor and do so. They still bring it. Absolutely one of the BEST bands you'll ever see live. But after decades of rocking they can't have many more years in them. You're missi
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snowdogthe 1st, none of them are gay, you bigoted POS.

And Zarris, DeYoung's ego is what broke the band up, he is an assat in the first degree.
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metallicagur l 1 8
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no prob,, my favorite band RUSH looks like a man and his 2 daughters
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like queen too too openly gay
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still rockin in 2016
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I think Suite Madam Blue is their best song. Lady is also a great
song. There is no song called Lady Blue, just sayin'.
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How could people not like Dennis DeYoung? He's f**king Mr. Roboto.
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I agree. Their best song is, "Lady Blue" the US could use a revival of this song on the internet, radio, and any other outlet!
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add me if you love the TV show Supernatural .
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Let's #StopTheMagi c N o n s e n s e !
Read my bio for explanation.
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Never got the credit they deserved.
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jsandmobenne t t
love this band
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Their Older MUSIC has a TOTALLY Different VIBE--, Wei
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I remember saying that if I ever had a girl, I would name her Lorelei because of this song!!!!
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all styx songs are great
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heavymetal35 9
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1 of there Many GREAT SONGS FROM THE 70S!!! WHEN THEY DID The "ROBOT SONG--- I can't remember the name-- But THEY Changed their Sound!!!! Like most AWESOME BANDS did But THEY Ruined THEIR UNIQUENESS!! !
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desiree.whee l e r
Snowblind!!! ! ! !
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justinjenny4 9 5
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Sttx are a great group Lady was always my favorite songs
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Boat on the River my favorite Styx song!
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Awesome Group....(pu t those headphones on !!)
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partygirls12 0
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Styx..their own way..their own style..ROCK
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Another great album from STYX!!
Grand illusion,not a bad song on whole album !!
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I would like to hear more songs from Styx/Equinox collection,L i g h t up, Born for Adventure. Crystal Ball collection,P u t me on,This Old Man?
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justinjenny4 9 5
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Just saw Styx at Red Rocks CO with the Colorado Orchestra backing up the band. Incredible show and I still can't get over the artistry and boundless energy. Their version of the Beatles I'm Am a Walrus with the Orchestra was totally amazing. A show I'll never forget . . . it brought back great memories growing up in the 70s.
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Styx...soooo o underrated.
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justinjenny4 9 5
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I regret not being addicted to Styx when I was younger. Crystal Ball is my favorite song as of now.
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Miss America a classic. Its so realavnt today. Great voice !!!!!
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I'm still in love with Tommy Shaw!
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Renegade is my jam!
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1977 summit,houst o n , t e x a s - Styx opened the show for Kiss (only the 1978 Texas jam in Dallas can match up to this historic concert
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Love Styx songs from the 70's. Love this song.
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I love the guitar in this! Genuine classic rock!
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Oh mama, I can hear you crying, you're so scared and all alone, hangman is coming down from the gallows and I don't have very long
The jig is up, the news is our, they've finally found me, the renegade who had it made, retrieved for a bounty, never more to go astray, this will be the end today of the wanted man......
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This is a awesome song'

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come sail away with me mimi
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alexconfiden t i a l
Why do I always see Cartman from South Park whenever I hear this song?
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Saw them last night. So much fun. Tommy is such a babe.
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fidelperezda r i a s
One of my favorite Bands!!!
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metallicagur l 1 8
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Saw Dennis DeYoung in concert last week, he was outstanding awesome concert
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I see some of these comments, people don't like sticks, what's wrong with you people!
Show more

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