Styx was another one of those great rock bands that had a
large influence on the rock of the 1970's and early 1980's. The
roots of the band Styx can be traced back to 1961 in Chicago as a band
called The Tradewinds (and then later shortened to TW4). By 1972,
the early iteration of the band was in place, and Wooden Nickel Records
signed the band to a record deal. They changed their name to Styx
(from Greek mythology, this is the Styx is the river that separates
heaven and hell).
Styx's first self-titled album was released in 1972, and
they essentially went on to release four albums under Wooden Nickel
Records: Styx II (1973), The Serpent Is Rising
(1973), and Man of Miracles (1974). Notable songs you may
remember from these early releases include "Best Thing" and "Lady".
Switching to A&M Records, the band's 1985 release, Equinox, began
bringing them greater attention. You may remember the hit songs
"Lorelei" and "Suite Madame Blue" from this album. It was just
before the tour to support this album that guitarist J.C. Curulweski
left the band was replaced with Tommy Shaw (who most of us know as the
band's guitarist). With Shaw on guitar, Crystal Ball was released
in 1976. This album featured the title track in addition to
"Mademoiselle" and "This Old Man".
It was Styx's seventh album (The Grand Illusion),
released on 7/7/1977, that became the breakthrough album for the band
(Triple Platinum). Two hit songs from this album include "Come
Sail Away" and "Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)". Yet the 70's
hits did not stop with this release. Pieces of Eight (1978)
featured the songs "Renegade", "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)", and
"Sing for the Day". Cornerstone (1979) brought us the
band's must successful international hit to date ("Babe"), in addition
to the songs "Why Me", "Boat on the River", and "Borrowed Time".
Styx's 1981 release, Paradise Theatre, was their greatest
success, ultimately charting at number 1 on the Billboard charts.
The album brought the world the singles "The Best of Times", "Too Much
Time on My Hands", and "Rockin' the Paradise".
Kilroy was Here, which was released in 1983, was a rock opera album
with a story line that many people aren't familiar with. The story
line of the album was about Kilroy, and unjustly imprisoned rock star in
a future where rock music is forbidden. Jonathan Chance, a young
rocker fighting for the right to bring Rock music back into the
mainstream, helps to free Kilroy from prison (guarded by Robotos).
The album went platinum, featuring the two top 10 hit songs "Mr. Roboto"
and "Don't Let It End".
It was the elaborate tour for Kilroy Was Here and
finally brought the creative differences of the band members to a head.
By 1984, the band had parted ways and many members went on to solo
careers. Dennis De Young released the album Desert Moon in
1984, and Tommy Shaw released Girls with Guns. Both albums
met with moderate success. By 1989, Shaw had joined up with the
band Damn Yankees. He was unable to initially re-join the band as
they continued to produce, but eventually did hook back up with them in
1995. Edge of the Century, which was released in 1989 sans
Shaw, featured several notable hits, including "Love at First Sight",
"Love is the Ritual", and "Show Me the Way". It was in 1999, with
Shaw back on guitar, that they released Brave New World.
The band's 2003 release, Cyclorama, featured the song "Waiting for Our
As the years have continued to roll on, Styx has been
active on the tour circuit and in the studio, although not with all
original members. In fact, at the moment, Dennis De Young is not
even part of the band, and whether or not they ever get back together
again was still in question at the time of this writing (2012).
The Styx Discography is as follows:1972: Styx
1973: Styx II
1973: The Serpent is Rising
1974: Man of Miracles
1976: Crystal Ball
1977: The Grand Illusion
1977: Best of Styx
1978: Pieces of Eight
1980: Lady (Best of)
1981: Paradise Theater
1983: Kilroy Was Here
1984: Caught in the Act Live
1987: Styx Classics Volume 15
1990: Edge of the Century
1991: Styx Radio Made Hits 1975-1991
1992: Greatest Hits
1995: Styx Greatest Hits Part 2
1997: Return to Paradise Live
1997: The Best of Times: The Best of Styx
1999: Brave New World
1999: The Best of Styx 1973-1984
2000: Arch Allies: Live at Riverport
2000: Singles Collection
2000: Extended Versions
2001: Styx World: Live 2001
2001: Styx Yesterday & Today
2002: At the River's Edge: Live in St. Louis
2002: 20th Century Masters
2003: Rockers (Greatest Hits)
2003: 21st Century Live
2004: Come Sail Away - The Styx Anthology
2005: Big Bang Theory
2005: The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings
2006: One with Everything: Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra
2012: Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight Live