STYX - Tommy Shaw, James JY Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips (along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo), have performed more live since 99 than all of the previous years of its career combined. Two Super-Bowl appearances, Pollstar Box Office chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company (to name only a few), two more studio albums and no end in sight, STYX continues to conquer the planet, one venue at a time.Spawned from a suburban Chicago basement in the early 70s, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late '70s and early '80s, due to a fondness for big rockers and soaring power ballads. 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, original guitarist John Curulewski abruptly left the band, and was replaced by Tommy Shaw. 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" and "Fooling Yourself.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". It also marked the first time in history that a band released four consecutive triple-platinum albums.A career-encompassing 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. 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.
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Styx (pronounced: /stɪks/) is an American rock band. Their hit songs have included "Come Sail Away", "Lady", "Mr. Roboto", "Renegade", "Babe", "Blue Collar Man" and "The Best of Times". The eight consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA.
Styx formed in Chicago. Twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo first got together with their neighbor Dennis DeYoung in 1961 in the Roseland section of the south side of Chicago, eventually taking the band name "The Tradewinds". Chuck Panozzo left to attend seminary school for a year but returned to the group by 1964. By this time, the others had brought in guitarist Tom Nardini to teach Chuck the guitar. Chuck decided to rejoin the others as bassist. Brother John was the drummer, while Dennis had switched from accordion to organ and piano. In 1965, the name "Tradewinds" was changed to TW4 after another band called The Trade Winds broke through nationally. By 1966, the Panozzo brothers had joined DeYoung at Chicago State University and kept the group together doing gigs at high schools and frat parties while studying to be teachers. In 1969, they added a college buddy, John Curulewski, on guitar after Nardini departed. Guitarist James "J.Y." Young came aboard in 1970 making TW4 a quintet.
In 1972, the band members decided to choose a new name when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records; several suggestions were made and, says DeYoung, Styx was chosen because it was "the only one that none of us hated".
The Grand Illusion (1977) became the group's breakthrough album, reaching Triple Platinum certification and spawning a top-ten hit and AOR radio staple in the DeYoung-written "Come Sail Away,", which reached #8 in 1978, as well as a second radio hit, Shaw's "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)", which reached #29 the same year.
Through the late 1970s, the band enjoyed its greatest success. The album Pieces of Eight (1978) found the group moving in a more straight-ahead pop-rock direction and spawned the Shaw-written hit singles "Renegade,", #16 in the U.S., and "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)," #21 in the U.S., plus a minor hit in the release "Sing for the Day" that stopped just short of the Top Forty at #41.
Cornerstone (1979) yielded the group's first number one 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 album also included the #26 DeYoung hit "Why Me", and "Borrowed Time" which was co-written with Shaw, plus Shaw's "Boat On The River". The popularity of the album helped win the band a People's Choice Award for Best New Song in 1980. Styx was nominated for the Twenty-Second Grammy Awards for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Cornerstone's engineers Gary Loizzo and Rob Kingsland were nominated for a Grammy at the 22nd Grammy Awards for Best Engineered Recording.