ROCK HISTORY | PoP LEGENDS : STYX

Mention Styx online and chances are you are going to be trolled. But for a time, the pop-rock quintet were one of the biggest bands on the planet.

For me personally, it is the run of five albums that cemented their place as PoP Legends. From 1976’s Crystal Ball – the first LP with guitarist Tommy Shaw on board – till Paradise Theatre in 1981, Styx made music that struck a balance between progressive rock and commercial pop-rock that was hugely successful.

Before this mainstream acceptance, Styx had paid their dues with four albums under the Wooden Nickel label before signing with A&M for Equinox – which sold well and yielded a minor hit in “Lorelei”.

Although Kilroy Was Here (1983) was certified platinum like the four albums before it, the uneven work signalled the beginning of the end for Styx.

What worked for the band was the constant tension between the creative poles of Dennis De Young – who favoured a greater pop direction – and James Young and Shaw – who wanted a heavier rock approach.

This push and pull, in my opinion, resulted in eclectic affairs that kept my attention throughout those intriguing albums.

However, this conflict would ultimately break up the band in 1984 with Shaw and De Young pursuing solo careers. The band did reform in the 90s with slightly different personnel but by then the magic was gone.

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