They split in the mid 80"s, reformed for one album in 1990, and reformed again a few years ago. They've just released a new studio album. Visit their website.

Styx - Fooling Yourself (The angry young man), from "The Grand Illusion", their 7th album, released in 1977. We've featured Styx many times in the past on The Dinosaur Days and they are extensively mentioned elsewhere on these pages, so we won't go into too much detail again here. What we will tell you, though, is that this was arguably one of their best albums and it was guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw's first major success with the band. You may or may not recall that Shaw replaced original guitarist and founder member John Curulewski in 1975, and it was due in part to Shaw's writing ability that Styx's fortunes and popularity took a turn for the best from then on. Joining Shaw on this album were vocalist/keyboard player Dennis de Young, guitarist/vocalist James Young, bassist Chuck Panozzo and his drummer brother John, who sadly passed away a few years ago. Styx had come a long way since their early days when they were known as The Tradewinds and later TW4 - they were one of the US's best concert attractions, on a par with Journey and REO Speedwagon. The above line-up stayed constant through a further seven years and five albums, releasing such classics as "Cornerstone" and "Pieces of Eight". They split after 1984's live "Caught in the Act" album, with Shaw going on to form Damn Yankees with fellow guitarist/vocalist Ted Nugent, ex-Nightranger bassist Jack Blades and drummer Mike Cartellone. Young, de Young and Shaw all also released solo albums, although it must be said that Shaw's solo material was infinitely better than that of his previous band mates. Styx reformed for a one off album called "Edge of the Century" in 1990, with Glen Burtnick in for Shaw. This was quite a good album and it saw Styx return to the form that made them concert favourites. Unfortunately, this reunion didn't last beyond this one album, and the band were "put on ice" once again. 1996 saw this great band reform once again, this time with Shaw, but with drummer Todd Sucherman replacing the late John Panozzo. The live "Return to Paradise" album, recorded in Illinois in 1996 and released the following year, was the shot in the arm faithful Styx fans needed - the band hadn't lost any of the magic. In fact, if ever there was a band for whom "the flame still burns", Styx is it. The latest offering from our Chicago based friends was 1999's "Brave New World", with the same line-up as for the "Return to Paradise" album. There's apparently something new on the way soon as well. We'll keep you posted, as always. By the way, if you'd like to catch this stunning band in all their glory, there's a DVD of the "Return to Paradise" concert available at your local music store.  
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Biography by Greg Prato
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 their 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 their 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 non-stop touring) helped the group build a substantial following locally, Styx failed to break through to the mainstream, until a track originally from their second album, "Lady" started to get substantial airplay in late '74 on the 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 their record label, and opted to sign on with A&M for their fifth release overall, 1975's Equinox (their 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 which 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 being briefly ousted from the group (although it was kept completely hush-hush at the time), before a reconciliation was met. The band 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 its members 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 who enjoyed commercial success right off the bat with their 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 its 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 '95, 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 — as 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 were 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 between bandmembers 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 Lawrence Gowan and issuing 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. It 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 select live dates. Come Sail Away: The Styx Anthology from 2004 did an excellent job of representing the band's career in two CDs while 2005's double disc The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings collected the band's first four albums. That same year, the band recorded their picks from the "Great Rock Songbook" and released the cover version filled Big Bang Theory. 


Glen Burtnik
Dennis DeYoung
Tommy Shaw
James Young
John Curulewski
Larry Gowan
Chuck Panozzo
John Panozzo
Todd Sucherman

Night Ranger
Bad English
James Young Group
Shaw Blades
Def Leppard
Dream Theater
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Alan Parsons Project
Meat Loaf
Electric Light Orchestra
Van Halen

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Styx - 1972 - Styx - 2/5

Styx - 1973 - Styx II - 3/5

Styx - 1974 - Man of Miracles - 2.5/5

Styx - 1974 - The Serpent is Rising - 2/5

Styx - 1975 - Equinox - 2.5/5

Styx - 1976 - Crystal Ball - 3.5/5

Styx - 1977 - The Grand Illusion - 4/5

Styx - 1978 - Pieces of Eight - 4/5

Styx - 1979 - Cornerstone - 4/5

Styx - 1981 - Paradise Theatre - 4/5

Styx - 1983 - Kilroy Was Here - 3/5

Styx - 1984 - Caught in the Act - 1.5/5

Styx - 1990 - Edge of the Century - 2/5

Styx - 1997 - Return to Paradise - 4/5

Styx - 1999 - Brave New World - 2/5

Styx - 2003 - Cyclorama - 2.5/5

Styx - 2005 - Big Bang Theory - 3.5/5

Styx - 2006 - One with Everything - 3/5



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