The saga of the first group ever to have four consecutive triple-platinum albums doesn't start in some high tech recording studio or onstage in some exotic city in front of 50,000 screaming fans. It starts in a tiny basement on the South Side of Chicago in the '60s, where two 12 year old brothers practiced their music in the afternoon. A neighbor heard them from the street and asked if he could play, too. And so Chuck and John Panozzo and Dennis DeYoung formed the nucleus of the band they'd be with for the next three decades.
1969: After forming a band which would be known as "TW4" a few years prior, neighbors Dennis DeYoung and brothers Chuck and John Panozzo enroll at Chicago State University. Although the band had already performed in and around the Chicago area, C.S.U. would become the group's base. The trio hook up with another student, John Curulewski, who takes over the helm on guitar.
1970: Guitarist James "JY" Young - who was performing with a rival band in Chicago, joins the quartet. The new line up begins taking a different direction with more musical experiments, with classical/rock fusions and electronic trickeries.
1971: The band's demo is heard by the Wooden Nickel label, and would subsequently, offer the band a recording contract the following year.
1972: The band is renamed STYX after the mythological river of the dead - a decision made by the band members. "STYX 1" is released. The single, "Best Thing," (written by DeYoung and "JY") reaches the Top 100 on the charts by the end of the year.
1973: "STYX II" is released, and although it doesn't chart immediately, the Dennis DeYoung penned ballad, "Lady," gets considerable airplay on Chicago radio. The band concentrates on their touring efforts in support of the single's success, and creates a vast following of fans. The band will release "The Serpent Is Rising" toward the end of the year.
1974: "The Serpent Is Rising" cracks the Top 200 Albums Chart in February, followed up by "Man of Miracles", which reaches an even higher position in November. "Lady" would be re-released as a single with national promotion, and he song would be propelled to #6 on the U.S. charts.
1975: "STYX II" rockets up the charts as a result of the success of "Lady." It would reach #20 and sell over 500,000 units. In September, after searching for a larger and more supportive label, STYX would sign with powerhouse A&M Records. Two months later, "Equinox" - featuring the single "Lorelei" would be the first A&M release, immediately reaching gold status (and eventually going platinum). At the end of the year, guitarist John Curulewski would leave the band. The band's road manager recommends 23 year old Tommy Shaw - then guitarist for Chicago based band, "MS Funk" as a replacement. A week after auditioning, Tommy Shaw would join the band.
1976: Later in the year, the album "Crystal Ball" would be released, marking the first collaboration with new guitarist Tommy Shaw. The album, which had four cuts written by Shaw, would mark the third consecutive album to go gold. A single from the album, Mademoiselle," would reach considerable chart success.
1977: On July 7th (7/7/77) the band releases "The Grand Illusion".
1978: In January, A&M Records releases the single, "Come Sail Away," which would enter the Top 10. The parent album, "The Grand Illusion," hits #6 as a result of the single's success, and eventually becomes the first album from STYX to go platinum. The singles, "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man), and "Miss America" contribute to the success of the album. Later in the year, the band would follow up with another platinum selling album (reaching # 6) titled, "Pieces of Eight", featuring hit singles "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)," "Renegade," and "Sing For The Day."
1979: A national Gallup poll would reveal that STYX is the most popular rock band with teenagers (13-19 year olds). By December, the band's newest album release, "Cornerstone" would hit #2 on the U.S. charts, earning the band its third consecutive platinum album. The singles,"Babe" (reaching #1 on the charts and becoming the single of their career), "Why Me," and "Borrowed Time" generate mass sales.
1981: Beginning early in the year, STYX would embark on an ambitious 110 date, six month North American tour. In April, the album "Paradise Theatre" would be released, soon reaching platinum success and remaining at #1 on the U.S. charts for three weeks. Two hit singles - "The Best Of Times" and "Too Much Time On My Hands" reach #3 and #9, respectively on the U.S. charts. The band would become the first in the history of rock n' roll to have four consecutive triple platinum albums.
1983: STYX releases concept album, "Kilroy Was Here" and would tour in support of it for most of the year. A stage act is built around the album, in which costumed band members have roles and dialogue in addition to performing songs. It would become one of the most ambitious rock n' roll tours ever. The single "Mr. Roboto," reaches #3, and becomes the second million selling single in the band's history ("Babe" being the first). Another single "Don't Let It End," also goes Top 10.
1984: The band releases a double live album titled "Caught In The Act". Although the album is well received by the record buying public, both Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw decide to pursue solo projects (also on A&M Records). Subsequently, the band is put on hold. Dennis DeYoung's "Desert Moon" and Tommy Shaw's "Girls With Guns" both enter Top 50.
1985: In December, Tommy Shaw releases "What If", which enters the Top 100, and spawns the single, "Ever Since The World Began."
1986: Dennis DeYoung releases second solo album "Back To The World" and would contribute a single (not from the album), "This Is The Time" to the movie, "The Karate Kid Part II." James Young released his first solo effort, "City Slicker," a collaboration with Jan Hammer.
1988: Dennis DeYoung releases another solo album title, "Boomchild" (on MCA Records).
1990: Tommy Shaw forms new band, "Damn Yankees" with former Night Ranger vocalist/bassist Jack Blades, guitar virtuoso Ted Nugent, and drummer Michael Cartellone. The self titled debut album will produce two hit singles, "High Enough," and "Coming Of Age," and will eventually sell over 2 million copies for Warner Brothers Records. The band tours extensively with Bad Company, and the album reaches #26. Toward the end of the year, STYX will reunite without Shaw (replaced by Glen Burtnik), and will release the album "Edge Of The Century," which begins to garner acclaim.
1991: A single from "Edge Of The Century" titled "Show Me The Way," begins chart ascension into Top 10 during the Gulf War. With the success of the single, STYX joins an elite group of acts who have had Top 10 hits under each of the last four United States presidents (and Top 10 hits in three different decades).
1992: Damn Yankees release their second effort, "Don't Tread" on Warner Brothers Records. The album, which featured the singles "Don't Tread" and "Where You Goin' Now" would eventually reach platinum status. The video for the track would be aired throughout the 1992 Olympics.
1994: In addition to playing the role of Pontius Pilate in the national company of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (to rave reviews) Dennis DeYoung cuts an album of show tunes for Atlantic Records titled "10 On Broadway."
1995: STYX release "Greatest Hits Volume 1" featuring a re-recorded version of "Lady" with Tommy Shaw. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades release album "Hallucination" as Shaw*Blades (Warner Bros Records). The album would be co-produced by Don Gehman of REM/John Mellencamp fame. James Young forms "The James Young Group," with fellow Chicago musicians and tours in support of their album, "Raised By Wolves." (Absolute/Whitehouse)
1996: In May, the original line up returns with "The Return To The Paradise Theatre" tour, which would be seen in over 50 cities. "Greatest Hits Volume II" will be released in the summer featuring a few new songs. For the first time in thirteen years, Dennis DeYoung, James Young, Tommy Shaw, and Chuck Panozzo will be "Rockin' The Paradise."
1997: In April, CMC International Records, a division of BMG Entertainment, will release a double album of new studio tracks plus live recordings of Greatest Hits from the '96 tour, appropriately titled "Return To The Paradise Theatre." Due to popular demand, STYX will embark on a 50 city North American tour in support of the release.