Who remembers the Chicago-based rock 'n' roll group Styx? Their hits were "Lady", "Come Sail Away", "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)", "Babe", "The Best of Times", "Too Much Time On My Hands", "Mr. Roboto" and "Show Me the Way".
The group initially formed in 1961 as the Tradewinds and consisted of members Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards), and fraternal twin brothers Chuck (guitar) and John Panozzo (1947-1996; drums, percussion). For a short time they renamed themselves the Tradewinds Four (with Chuck Panozzo switching to bass) when they added guitarist/vocalist James "J.Y."Young, and then reverted back to The Tradewinds when they added a second guitarist/vocalist, John Curulewski (1950-1988). Curulewski, who died in 1988 of a brain aneurysm, had abruptly left the group at the end of 1975 and Tommy Shaw (initially of MS Funk) was drafted soon after to replace him.
The group's success was spawned during their tenure with A&M Records, which released the albums Equinox (1975), Crystal Ball (1976, the first album with Tommy Shaw as a member), The Grand Illusion (1977), Pieces of Eight (1978), Cornerstone (1979, which contained the #1 pop hit "Babe"), Paradise Theater (1981), Kilroy Was Here (1983) and Edge of the Century (1990). The 1977-1981 albums were all certified Triple Platinum (3 million units sold).
After the group broke up initially in 1984, DeYoung, Young and Shaw would all take up solo careers, with moderate success. The group reconvened in 1990, but without Shaw, who had formed Damn Yankees with Ted Nugent, Jack Blades (Night Ranger) and Mike Cartellone. To fill Shaw's void, the group recruited A&M Records solo artist Glen Burtnik. This lineup lasted only one album, Edge of the Century.
Then, in 1995, the group reconvened again, with Shaw back in the fold this time, and released a new greatest-hits CD for A&M (with a re-recorded version of their 1973 hit "Lady"), but drummer John Panozzo was unable to make the sessions due to his drug problems, which he would die of one year afterward. The new drummer was Todd Sucherman. They released another greatest-hits CD for A&M in 1996, as well as upstaging a new live tour, "Return to Paradise" (released on CD in 1997 and featured "Dear John", Tommy Shaw's tribute to John Panozzo).
The near-classic lineup's 1999 release of Brave New World signaled the end of DeYoung as a member of Styx (he couldn't tour at the time due to a brief viral infection that made him sensitive to light). Although, once DeYoung recovered and found out about his replacement, Lawrence Gowan, he filed a lawsuit against the remainder of the group over the group's name. At this time Chuck Panozzo left Styx as well after announcing he was gay and battling HIV, and Glen Burtnik returned to fill in his shoes as bassist (although Panozzo would also return, when his health commitments would allow). A factor to the breakup (and their initial 1984 breakup) was DeYoung's passion for Broadway-styled songs, which were not well-liked by Young and Shaw, who preferred the band perform in a hard-rocking vein.
Burtnik would leave Styx again, for personal reasons, after performing on Cyclorama in 2003 (his replacement was Ricky Phillips, ex-Babys, ex-Bad English). In 2005, DeYoung's solo career still thrived, as he played live with a symphony orchestra.