Styx is an American rock band.band that became famous for its albums from the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Chicago band is known for melding the style of prog-rock with the power of hard rock guitar, strong ballads, and elements of American musical theater. The band is best known for the hit songs "Lady", "Come Sail Away", "Babe", "The Best of Times", "Too Much Time on My Hands" and "Mr. Roboto". Other hits by the band include "Show Me the Way", "Don't Let It End" and "Renegade". The band has four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA .Over the years they have released 15 studio albums, 6 live albums, 14 compilation albums and 31 singles.
In 1972, the band members decided to choose a name when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records and Styx, the name of the river in Greek mythology between Earth and the Underworld, was chosen because it was "the only one that none of us hated".
The band's first four albums, Styx (1972), Styx II (1973), The Serpent Is Rising (1973), and Man of Miracles (1974), were a mixture of straight-ahead rock with some dramatic prog-rock flourishes and art-rock aspirations.
In 1975, the album Equinox was released and yielded a minor hit in "Lorelei", and the rock anthem "Suite Madame Blue", which gained the band considerable recognition and airplay on FM radio. Crystal Ball was released in 1976 and was moderately successful
The Grand Illusion was released in 1977 and became Styx' breakthrough album, reaching Triple Platinum certification. It spawned a top-ten hit and AOR radio staple in the 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. The title track also received significant airplay. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, the band enjoyed its greatest success. Their 1978 album Pieces of Eight found the group moving in a more straight-ahead pop-rock direction and spawned the singles "Renegade" and "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)".
Styx' 1979 album Cornerstone yielded their only #1 hit, the DeYoung ballad "Babe." 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 popularity of the album helped win the band a People's Choice Award 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.
In January 1981, Styx released Paradise Theatre, a concept album that became their biggest hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard pop albums chart and yielding five singles, including the top ten hits "The Best of Times" and "Too Much Time on My Hands". 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 of backmasking Satanic messages in their anti-cocaine anthem, "Snowblind."
In 1983, Kilroy Was Here was released and was 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.
Kilroy went Platinum in 1983, boasting two Top Ten hits, the synthesizer-based "Mr. Roboto" and power ballad "Don't Let It End". 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 duetting. The elaborate show was expensive to produce and was not as profitable as previous tours.
In 1984, the band released its first live album, Caught in the Act. The project featured one studio track, "Music Time", which became a Top 40 hit. The concert was also filmed and released on VHS and later on DVD. However, by the time of the album's release, the band had already parted ways. Glen Burtnik
The band reunited 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 eventually claimed his life. They documented the reunion tour with a two-disc live set, 1997's Return to Paradise, which featured three new studio tracks: "On My Way", "Paradise" 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" peaking at number twenty-seven on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
In 1999, the band released its first new studio album in almost a decade: Brave New World. 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 attempted to convey a hard rock vein, Dennis DeYoung's penchant for other styles resulted in dramatic differences in the material on Brave New World. 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 DeYoung had already been replaced by Canadian Lawrence Gowan, though no official statement regarding a firing or replacement had been made.
Styx's new lineup released several live albums and released the studio album Cyclorama in February 2003, which reached #127 on the Billboard 200 album charts failing to make much of an impact. Styx toured extensively during this period and released additional live albums. 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. Their version of The Beatles 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. In 2005, DeYoung released a CD of re-recorded Styx hits from a solo concert with a symphony orchestra.
In October 2007, Styx received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association) in Nashville, Tennessee. In July 2010, Styx announced the forthcoming release of Regeneration: Volume 1, a new EP featuring six re-recorded hits and a new song entitled "Difference In the World".