Styx is a veteran hard rock band formed in Chicago that became famous beginning in the mid 1970s. The band's original lineup consisted of James "J.Y." Young (guitar, vocals), John "J.C." Curulewski (guitar, keyboards, vocals) (October 3, 1950 - February 13, 1988), twin brothers Chuck (bass) and John Panozzo (drums, vocals), and lead singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung who also served as one of the band's main songwriters. Curulewski left the band in 1975 and was replaced by Tommy Shaw, and Lawrence Gowan took over as lead singer in 1999. With a long history dating back to 1961 when three of the original members first got together as kids to form a group, the band had become known as TW4 by 1970 before finally changing its name to Styx in 1972 after signing with Wooden Nickel Records. With a unique mix of various acoustic instruments, hard rock electric guitars, and '80s-styled synthesizers, Styx began as a progressive/art rock band, gradually incorporating soft rock, pop rock, and other genres. At the height of its commercial fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Styx became one of that era's largest arena rock bands, amassing a huge following, and released a series of top-selling concept albums, four of which are certified multi-platinum.
Styx debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1972 with "Best Thing," a song from the band's eponymous debut album. The band's fame began to take off in 1974 with "Lady," a soaring power ballad that became a Top 10 hit and one of many Styx signature songs. In 1979, Styx had its greatest hit with the romantic soft rocker, "Babe," the lead single from the band's triple-platinum album, "Cornerstone," which topped the Pop/Rock charts in the U.S. as well as Canada and South Africa. The band's long string of hits also includes such classic rock staples as the epic "Come Sail Away" (1977), the confrontational "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" (1978), the hard-hitting "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" (1978), the ominous "Renegade" (1979), the more upbeat "Why Me" (1979), the uplifting "The Best Of Times" (1981), the disco-styled "Too Much Time On My Hands" (1981), the enigmatic "Mr. Roboto" (1983), the pleading "Don't Let It End" (1983), and the spiritual "Show Me The Way" (1990) (not to be confused with the same-named Peter Frampton 1976 smash hit). More recent Styx chart hits include "Love At First Sight" (1991) and "Paradise" (1997), the latter of which made the Adult Contemporary chart Top 40.
After Styx disbanded in 1984, DeYoung and Shaw both went on to pursue solo careers. The band reunited briefly in 1990-1991 and again in 1995 on a more permanent basis. Styx has since continued to tour and record to the present day, with a number of personnel changes over the years. The current lineup is a sextet consisting of three original and early members - Chuck Panozzo, Tommy Shaw, and James Young - with newer members Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, and lead singer Lawrence Gowan.
- For more info about Styx and the band's latest projects, visit styxworld.com.
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- Lady 1974
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