If you were between the ages of 13 and 18 years old in 1979, chances are the rock group Styx was your favorite band, at least according to a Gallup poll taken at the time. They were one of the best examples of what was known back then as “pomp rock” and, during the late 70s and into the early 80s, had a stream of 5 platinum albums and also one triple platinum album that they released in 1981, Paradise Theater.
The group was formed by John and Chuck Panozzo, twin brothers who, along with Tom Nardini and Dennis DeYoung, could we find it working the Chicago area bar circuit in the late 1960s. During that time the boys were in and out of college and a couple of them came and went but, in 1974, they coined the name Styx (it’s a river that, in Greek mythology, flows through Hades) and began touring like mad.
Their big break came with their #6 single Lady in 1975 and, from then until their breakup in 1984, every single one of the albums that released went to platinum selling status or better. Those included The Grand Illusion in 1977 that made it to #6 and sold 3 million copies, Pieces of Eight which also made it to number three. #6 in 1978 and sold 3 million copies, Cornerstone which sold 2 million copies and made it up to #2 in 1979 followed by the album Paradise Theater and then, in 1983, Kilroy Was Here which sold 1 million units and end up making it up to #3 in 1983.
They had a slew of memorable and the still popular to this day hits including, Come Sail Away in 1977, Blue Collar Man in 1978, Babe in 1979 and both The Best of Times and To Much Time on My Hands which were released in 1981.
The group at the element Kilroy Was Here and made it into a theatrical presentation that they toured with in 1983, filling up smaller halls of approximately 3000 fans along the way. The album was anti-censorship and included a couple of their bigger hits including Mr. Roboto and Don’t Let it End.
In the early part of 1984 DeYoung and Shaw, who had written most of the group’s songs, decided to go their separate ways and embark on relatively successful solo careers. In 1990, after a couple of releases that were nearly as successful, Chawla ended up joining Dam Yankees, Ted Nugent’s group.
Styx, then with newcomer Glen Burtnik, got back together in the fall of 1990 and released their last album, Edge of the Century. The single Show Need the Way made it to #3 and, during the first Golf More, became an unlikely theme song.