Styx is an Illinois rock band from Chicago and is best known for melding hard rock guitar with acoustic instruments and synthesizers to produce upbeat tracks and power ballads. Some of their top 20 hits were “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” and “Mr. Roboto.” Styx has sold more than 54,000,000 records.
In 1961 brothers Chuck and John Panozzo began playing music with their neighbor Dennis De Young and Tom Nordini in their first group TW4 (Trade Winds Four). In 1969 they added a college buddy, John Curulewski, on guitar after Tom Nardini departed. J.Y. Young joined the group in 1970 making TW4 a quintet. In 1972 the band was signed to Wooden Nickel Records and the new name Styx was chosen because it was the only name “none of them hated.” The band released four albums that contained straight-ahead rockers mixed with progressive rock flourishes. In the spring of 1975 “Lady” hit #6 in the U.S., and Styx II went gold. “Lady” is considered by music critics to be the first rock power ballad.
The band signed with A&M Records and released Equinox in 1975 which sold well and yielded the hit “Lorelei.” Styx’s seventh album The Grand Illusion was released in 1977 and became their breakthrough record reaching triple-platinum certification. It spawned a top-ten hit in De Young’s “Come Sail Away” and Tommy Shaw’s “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man.)” 1978’s Pieces of eight spawned Shaw’s “Renegade (#16) and Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” (#21).
1979’s album Cornerstone yielded their first #1 hit, the De Young ballad “Babe.” The album reached #2 in the Billboard Top 200 chart and Styx was nominated for Best Rock Vocal Performance at the 22nd Grammy Awards. The group released Paradise Theater in 1981—a concept album that became their biggest hit reaching #1 on the Billboard pop album chart and yielded the hit singles “The Best of Times,” (#3) and “Too Much Time on My Hands” (#9).
The 1983 album Killroy Was Here embraced the rock opera form and included the track “Mr. Roboto.” Killroy Was Here went platinum and the band mounted an ambitious stage show in support of the record.
The band parted ways for several years and reunited in 1990 with Edge of the Century featuring De Young’s ballad “Show Me the Way” which reached #3.
The band continues to perform with the current lineup of Chuck Panozzo (bass), James Young (guitar and lead vocals), Tommy Shaw (guitar and lead vocals), Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (keyboards), Ricky Phillips (guitar), and Will Evankovich (guitar).