Styx Biography

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Styx is a popular American rock band that rose to fame in the 70’s and the 80’s. The group was originally formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1961. They were known then as the Tradewinds. The line-up was composed of Brothers Chuck and John on guitar and drums, respectively and vocalist and keyboardist Dennis De Young.

They started playing in local bars while attending Chicago State University. They briefly changed their name to TW4 and then added guitarists and back-up vocalists James Young and John Curulewski into their fold. They eventually changed their name to Styx when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records.

With wooden Nickel Records, Styx was able to come up with four albums which were a mixture of straight rock and progressive rock with hints of art rock. It was their album The Serpent is Rising that became the basis from which the band would create their subsequent albums during the 80’s. With their constant performances on local clubs, the band was able to build up a fan base.

They were not able to break into the mainstream until an earlier power ballad "Lady" began to receive increased airplay in several Chicago radio stations and then nationwide. "Lady" surprisingly hit Top Ten on the US Charts in 1975, nearly two years after its accompanying album, Styx II, was released. The album itself achieved gold status soon after.

The band then signed with A&M Records after the belated success of their single. From there, the band was able to come up with several albums that sent them into popularity starting with their breakthrough album, The Grand Illusion in 1977, actually their second album from their new record label. The Grand Illusion went on to achieve triple platinum status which spawned a top ten hit "Come Sail Away".

This success was followed by other albums through to the 1980. Cornerstone became their first international hit and million-selling album which was released in 1980. Not long after, Styx was nominated for the Grammy’s for Best Rock Vocal Performance.

By this time, tensions among the band have been brewing due to creative differences. The band was able to enjoy further success in the early 80’s as they continued to come out with several hit singles and albums. There were several line-up changes that occurred within the band through the years. Additionally, still increasing tensions between the band members were brewing as they were not able to resolve the musical direction that the band should eventually take. It finally led to a breakup in 1984.

The breakup led to band members taking on solo careers, notable of which front man Dennis De Young was able to achieve considerable success. The band reunited in 1995 prior to the release of their Styx Greatest Hits album and the ensuing tour in 1996. Styx currently is still active albeit with a different line-up.


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