|Spawned from a suburban Chicago basement, Styx’s soaring power ballads transformed the arena rock landscape throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Today, after over a dozen studio albums, two Super Bowl appearances, and chart-topping tours with some of the biggest names in rock… there’s no end in sight for Tommy Shaw, James Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman, Ricky Phillips and Chuck Panozzo.
|While Styx’s early ‘70s releases reflected progressive-rock style of the day, they only broke through to the mainstream when the track “Lady” got substantial airplay in late ‘74. On the eve of their 1975 tour, Styx’s original guitarist 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 late ‘70s releases went platinum and spawned hit singles and classic rock radio standards like “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man” and “Fooling Yourself.”
The band’s first release of the ‘80s would be Paradise Theater, loosely based on the rise and fall of a once-beautiful theater — a metaphor for the state of the U.S. at the time. The album became Styx’s biggest hit of their career, as they became one of the top rock acts in the U.S. thanks to hit singles like “Too Much Time on My Hands.”
Styx went on hiatus in the mid-'80s, with its members pursuing solo projects throughout the decade. A re-recording of "Lady" for a greatest hits compilation finally reunited Shaw with his former bandmates, which led to a full-on reunion tour in 1996. When drummer John Panozzo passed away in July of the same year, Styx persevered, with new drummer Todd Sucherman joining and the reunion tour becoming a surprise sold-out success.
A whole new generation of rock fans were introduced to the grandiose sounds of Styx via a humorous car ad that used the track "Mr. Roboto," as well as various songs used in TV shows like South Park and Freaks & Geeks.