~ ARTICLES ~
Sunrise First Stop For Resurrected Styx
May 10, 1991|By JOHN LANNERT, Special to the Sun-Sentinel
In 1972, TW4, a Chicago rock band that had been playing together for eight years, changed its name to Styx, taken from Greek mythology`s river of the dead.
By the time Styx split up in 1983, it had put out four platinum discs which yielded 14 Top 40 smashes including Lady, Come Sail Away, Mr. Roboto, Babe, and The Best of Times.
Now after eight years, the river has begun to flow again.
Last fall, Styx released a lean, mainstream rock effort called Edge of the Century -- the band`s first studio disc since 1983, when it put out the synth- heavy concept disc, Kilroy Was Here. Initially, Edge of the Century and its lead-off single, Love Is the Ritual, made only mild chart noise. But after the second single, Show Me the Way, became a Top 5 smash, album sales started increasing.
Now, as the likable mid-tempo track Love at First Sight scurries up Billboard`s singles survey, Edge of the Century is nearing 500,000 in sales.
Keyboardist/vocalist Dennis DeYoung, whose distinguished tenor has traditionally conveyed the heart and soul of Styx`s sound, could not be more thrilled with the band`s reemergence.
``I`m pleased as punch, as Hubert Humphrey would have said if he were here,`` he says. ``I mean, we didn`t exactly hit the ground running. Around Christmastime, we were going, `Aaarrgh.`
``The funny thing is, is that on the first single, we wanted to show the rock side of the band and come out in that direction. I think it was probably the worst possible moment to try to give (radio) any hard-edged rock and roll.``
DeYoung now says that the attitude of radio programmers is changing toward ``playing songs again rather than what I would just call genre music -- some sort of preconceived notion of what people like, which is always a mistake, I think.``
Styx, scheduled to kick off its first tour in eight years at Sunrise Musical Theatre on Thursday, broke up when guitarist Tommy Shaw left the band during the group`s critically slammed Kilroy Tour. Shaw, who also wrote and sang for Styx, decided to split because of musical conflicts with DeYoung.
``We went out and tried to do something different,`` DeYoung says, recalling the Kilroy Tour, ``and we put on this theatrical production. It was something I thought needed to be said about the coming mood of censorship in this country. I don`t regret it; the only thing I do regret is that the band folded after that record, because I think we could have certainly gone on very easily.``
In 1984, both DeYoung and Shaw launched what looked to be stellar solo careers. DeYoung`s Desert Moon generated the Top 10 title track, while Shaw`s Girls With Guns also yielded the Top 40 title cut.
But after their quick starts, neither DeYoung or Shaw could muster any follow-up hits. In 1988, Shaw phoned DeYoung about re-grouping Styx, but DeYoung declined, saying he was working on a solo disc.
One year later, however, DeYoung held a band reunion -- sans Shaw -- and re- formed Styx with the other original members: James ``JY`` Young (guitar) and twin brothers Chuck (bass) and John (drums) Panozzo. Soon thereafter, veteran guitarist/singer/songwriter Glen Burtnik was plucked from Jan Hammer`s band to round out the group.
With one disc left on their deal with A&M Records, Styx set out to work on a new record which, according to DeYoung, proved to be a most potent challenge.
|Line Up||Dennis DeYoung, James "JY" Young, Glen Burtnik, Chuck Panozzo, John Panozzo|
|Type||Interview - Dennis DeYoung|
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