Styx

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Styx  is an American rock band from Chicago that formed in 1972 and became famous for its albums released in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for melding the style of pop rock and hard rock with the power of a hard-rock guitar balanced with acoustic guitar, synthesizers mixed with acoustic piano, upbeat tracks with power ballads, and incorporating elements of international musical theatre.
 
Styx is best known for the hit songs *" Lady ", *" Come Sail Away ", *" Babe ", *" The Best of Times ", *" Too Much Time on My Hands " and *" Mr. Roboto ". Other major hits include *" Show Me the Way ", *" Don't Let It End ", and *" Renegade ". Styx has had 4 consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA as well as 16 top 40 singles in the US, 8 of which hit the top 10.
 
At 12 years of age, twin brothers Chuck (bass) and John Panozzo (drums) first played music together with their 14-year-old neighbor Dennis DeYoung (vocals and keyboards) while living in the Roseland, Chicago area, eventually using the band name 'The Tradewinds'. Chuck left to attend seminary school for a year but returned to the group by 1964. Tom Nardini had been brought in to replace Chuck on guitar, and Chuck decided to play bass guitar when he returned to the band. John Panozzo was the drummer, while Dennis DeYoung had switched from accordion to organ and piano. In 1965, the Tradewinds name was changed to TW4 (There Were 4) after another band, the Trade Winds, achieved fame nationally. By 1966, the Panozzo brothers had joined DeYoung at Chicago State College and kept the group together by performing at high schools and fraternity parties while studying to be teachers. In 1969 they added a college friend, John Curulewski, on guitar after Tom 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 after being spotted by a talent scout at a concert at St. John of the Cross Parish in Western Springs, Illinois (James Young's hometown). Several suggestions were made and, according to DeYoung, the name Styx was chosen because it was "the only one that none of us hated".
 
The band's * Wooden Nickel recordings * Styx  (1972), * Styx II  (1973), * The Serpent Is Rising  (1973) and * Man of Miracles  (1974) were a mixture of straight-ahead rock with some dramatic prog-rock flourishes and art-rockaspirations. These albums showcase intricate and powerful organ, guitar, vocal and percussion solos as well. The Serpent Is Rising would foreshadow later endeavors by the group—the concept album is an idiom upon which Styx would rely heavily by the 1980s.
 
On the strength of these releases and constant playing in local clubs and schools, the band established a fan base in the Chicago area, but was unable to break into the mainstream, though the song *" Best Thing " from Styx charted on 9-16-72 and stayed on Billboard's "Hot 100" chart for 6 weeks, peaking at #82. Then, the power ballad "Lady" (from Styx II), began to earn some radio time, first on WLS in Chicago in 1974 and then nationwide. In the spring of 1975, nearly two years after the album had been released, "Lady" hit No. 6 in the US and Styx II went gold soon after.
 
On the heels of its belated hit single, Styx signed with A&M Records and released * Equinox  (1975), which sold well and yielded a minor hit in *" Lorelei ", No. 27 in the US. More importantly, it contained the rock anthem *" Suite Madame Blue ", which gained the band considerable recognition and airplay on FM radio in the relatively new Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format. Following the move to A&M, guitarist John Curulewski suddenly left the band as they were to embark on a nationwide tour in December 1975, due to his desire to spend time with his family. After a frantic last-minute search, the band brought in guitarist  Tommy Shaw  as Curulewski's replacement.
 
*Crystal Ball  (1976), the first album to feature Shaw, was moderately successful. The album showcased the band's newest member, as Shaw's *" Mademoiselle " was another minor hit, reaching No. 36, and the album's title track, also written and sung by Shaw, quickly became another AOR hit.
 
Styx's seventh album, * The Grand Illusion, was released on July 7, 1977, (7/7/77) and became their breakthrough album, reaching Triple Platinum certification. It spawned a top-ten hit and AOR radio staple in the DeYoung-written *" Come Sail Away ", which reached #8 in 1978. Shaw's *" Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) " was a second radio hit and reached #29 the same year. The title track also received significant airplay
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Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, the band enjoyed its greatest success. Their 1978 album * Pieces of Eight  found the group moving in a more straight-ahead hard-rock direction and spawned three Shaw sung hit singles "Renegade" (#16 in the US) and * Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) " (#21 in the US), plus a minor hit *" Sing for the Day " that stopped just short of the Top Forty at #41.
 
Their 1979 album * Cornerstone  yielded their first #1 hit, the DeYoung ballad "Babe". By early 1980, "Babe" had become the band's biggest international hit and first million-selling single, reaching #6 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 " (1980), which was a hit in much of Europe and Japan. The popularity of the album (#2 Billboard) helped win the band a People's Choice Award for Best New Song in 1980. At the 22nd Grammy Awards, Styx was a nominee for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, and Cornerstone's engineers Gary Loizzo and Rob Kingsland were nominated for a Grammy for Best Engineered Recording.
 
 
From 1977 to 1981, Styx released four consecutive albums that have been certified Multi-Platinum, for at least 2 million units sold each, by the RIAA: The Grand Illusion (1977), Pieces of Eight (1978), Cornerstone (1979) and Paradise Theatre (1981).
 
A longstanding, oft-repeated claim in the music industry and the mainstream press is that Styx were the first band to release four consecutive Triple-Platinum albums, signifying at least 3 million units sold.
During the period when these albums charted, the RIAA's only certifications were for Gold (500,000 units sold) and Platinum (1 million). Multi-Platinum awards were introduced in late October 1984. Following this development, record companies submitted their most popular artists' sales records to accountants in order to achieve the new thresholds. Styx did score three Triple-Platinum albums—The Grand Illusion (1977), Pieces of Eight (1978) and Paradise Theatre (1981)—and one Double-Platinum album—Cornerstone (1979)—on the same date, November 14, 1984. Complete and detailed historical sales figures for record albums are not readily available to the public, but the certifications, which can be found at the RIAA site, show that the feat the band actually achieved was being the first group to be awarded four consecutive Multi-Platinum albums with three of those ranking better than Double Platinum. Styx achieved another Double-Platinum album—* Greatest Hits (Volume I) —on August 23, 2005.
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Posted by ClassicRockA-Z ​​

​Source -  Wikipedia

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