StyxIt is an American progressive rock band formed in Chicago , Illinois , in 1971 as “The Tradewinds.” First musical band to have four consecutive triple platinum albums.


[ hide ]

  • 1 Artistic career
  • 2 Origins
  • 3 Modifications to the band
  • 4 Publications
  • 5 Dissolution of the band
  • 6 Discography
    • 1 Disc covers
  • 7 Sources

Artistic career

A simple and amplified plot, with the main role on the guitar, was the essential characteristic of the new musical style, halfway between pop and the future heavy metal , which was affirmed between the late sixties and early seventies thanks to groups like Grand Funk Railroad , Mountain and Blue Cheer . The greatest exponents of this “new wave” (Styx, REO Speedwagon , Foreigner , Journey , Toto ) had already been playing for several years, but without achieving great success. REO Speedwagon, formed in 1971, they gained a discreet notoriety by acting as opening act for more famous groups, such as Aerosmith and James Gang .

In the seventies they enriched their style with spectacular vocal melodies and very hard instrumental passages, reaching success in 1980 with the album Hi infidelity . Styx had been formed in the early sixties, but only in 1976 , after many adventures, with the album The grand illusion , they managed to become international stars. Founded in 1976 , Foreigner, drew its roots in the activity of the British Mick Jones , a “rock drifter”, who, once in the United States , met Ian McDonald , another veteran of the British rock scene (he had played in the first and formidableKing Crimson ). No less prestigious is the origin of Journey: Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon had played with Carlos Santana ; Aynsley Dunbar , exponent of the British blues of the sixties, had been a much sought after drummer, due to the strength of his drumsticks.

Journey’s sound, dominated by synths, is calculated to the millimeter, but retains a great freshness. By the late 1970s, the most spectacular (and most commercially successful) American rock was dominated by these groups. Foreigner, Journey and Styx combined scenic perfection, artistic quality and high-level commerciality. Styx offered a new way of understanding rock, coating it with pompous arrangements and theatrical stenography. All this resulted in a long chain of platinum records for their sales in the American market. But things did not work out so well in the rest of the world , where their popularity did not spread as they would have deserved.


Styx’s origins date back to 1963 , when brothers Chuck and John Panozzo (bassist and drums, respectively) in Chicago began playing, for fun, with singer and keyboardist Dennis De Young. For the first five years, music was a hobby for them. Then, in 1968 , guitarists James Young and John Curulewski entered the scene, and the group, under the name Tradewinds, began performing in the Chicago area. They were not as powerful and original as Chicago, which dominated the American jazz-rock scene at that time, but they had a great spirit of improvement.

In 1970 , after having changed their name to Styx, they signed a contract with Wooden Nickel , a local company, and released their first album, Styx, promising and full of ideas, although made on a very low budget.

His second album, ‘Styx II’ ( 1973 ), contains his first great success, the song ‘Lady’, which, in 1975, climbed the singles charts; It was an isolated case, since both this album and the following ones, ‘The serpent is rising’ (1973) and ‘Man of miracles’ ( 1974 ), went almost unnoticed. At this point they decided to make a radical change: in 1975 Styx went to the prestigious company A&M, and published ‘Equinox’, which represents a sound and artistic turn of great quality, thanks to the presence of some fundamental songs in the history of the group. , like ‘Midnight ride’, ‘Born for adventure’ and the epic ‘Suit madame blues’, which even today are true workhorses in their repertoire.

Modifications to the band

The replacement of guitarist John Curulewski by Tommy Shaw , gave them the opportunity to enrich their sound, allowing singer Dennis De Young to support his voice in some firm guitar plots. They also developed a characteristic that became one of the band’s strengths: the ability to sing in various voices, reaching moments of overwhelming spectacularity. Following a different path, Styx contributed to defining a mature and adult rock that later, in 1979 , with the success of the album Breakfast in America , by the British Supertramp, exploded as a commercial phenomenon of great relevance.

Finally, in 1977 , fortune began to smile on them. With the publication of the album The grand illusion , the group obtained a deserved success: the public finally accepted its original formula based on poetic lyrics (often melancholic) and sometimes a little pretentious and spectacular arrangements. The first public that Styx conquered was that of rural America. Concert after concert, Styx eventually became the stars of the stadium circuit: his fans were growing in number and his sound and light shows ever more impressive. On the album The grand illusion there are many memorable songs: Miss America , Superstars, Castle walls and Come sail away, which in a short time entered the Top Ten. The gang took over the market.


They released, for three consecutive years, one album every twelve months, occasionally obtaining exceptional sales successes. Pieces of eight ( 1978 ), characterized by a greater attention to soft vocal harmonies, and Cornerstone ( 1979 ), more powerful in sound and inspiration, went platinum, while the single Babe (a romantic ballad) reached the first. ranked in America and sixth in Great Britain .

His tenth album was titled Paradise theater ( 1980 ), a concept album built on the history of the Paradise theater in Chicago. The author, Dennis De Young, used this story as a metaphor to narrate the decline of certain American ideals in the late 1970s.

Indeed, the Paradise Theater, built in the 1930s and which, according to the municipality’s claims, should have lasted for centuries, was demolished in 1958 . Like the Apollo project , also those progressive ideals, so alive in America in the 1970s, were dying on the threshold of the next decade. Two singles from this album conquered a position in the Top Ten of America: The best of the times , majestic and related to the enveloping melodies of Queen , and Too much time on my hands .

In 1983 Kilroy was here appeared , another concept album. Also created from an idea by De Young, this album tells the story of Kilroy, the last surviving rocker in a nation, the United States of the future , who has declared rock illegal and imprisoned all musicians. To promote the album, Styx made an eleven-minute film starring them; It was directed by Brian Gibson, who had made the film Breaking glass a few years earlier .

In 1984 the band released “Caught In The Act” , a double album recorded live with the most splendid jewels of a group that has given much to entertainment rock. Later, Tommy Shaw formed a new band called Damn Yankees, with Ted Nugent . The band is also remembered for another of their great popular hits, the song Mr. Roboto , from the album Kilroy Was Here , a musical work with a rock-opera concept, released in February 1983 . The title of the song originates from a famous graffiti. Following the album’s release, the band embarked on a US tour, which was documented in a video and a live double album,Caught In The Act .

Band dissolution

Certain tensions in the band made it dissolve in 1984 , coinciding with the release of the album. Meanwhile, Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw released their respective solo albums, Desert Moon and Girls With Guns .

In 1990 , Tommy Shaw had left the band and was replaced by Glen Burtnik , thus the band released “Edge of the Century” which reached a gold record in the USA. This was the last album in which John Panozzo participated, who would pass away 6 years later. The song “Show me the way” reached # 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Also noteworthy are “Love is a Ritual” and “Love at First Sight” .

In 1992 , the band broke up and later reunited in 1995 . Tommy Shaw would return to the group and Todd Sucherman joined the drums . In 1996 they began the successful tour “Return to Paradise” which was documented on a double CD that reached a gold record .

In 1999 they released “Brave New World” . The album reached # 175 on the US charts and # 10 on Billboard’s Top Internet Album chart. After this album, Dennis De Young was replaced by Lawrence Gowan. In 2003 , Styx released “Cyclorama” , with Glen Burtnik on bass. The album did not have any commercial success. In 2005 , Styx released the tribute album “Big Bang Theory” . The album includes covers of The Beatles , The Who , Jimmy Hendrix , Procol Harum, Jethro Tull , Blind Faith , among others. The album peaked at # 46.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment