Formed in 1970 by drummer John Panozzo, his bassist brother Chuck, and singer Dennis DeYoung, Styx were one of the biggest art rock bands of the late 70s, capable of producing monster hits with their stadium rock, power ballads and concept albums.
They had their first hit, Lady, in 1975 and became one of the most successful bands of the late 70s and early 80s, with four albums going triple platinum.
More than any other art-rock band, Styx was able to cross over into the pop charts, scoring further hits with Babe, Come Sail Away, Too Much Time On My Hands and Don’t Let It End.
Never one for subtlety, their ballads featured sweeping, over-arranged guitars and keyboards while their rockers were long and detailed, with several different sections and gargantuan guitar solos.
To many critics’ horror, Styx were the most popular rock band amongst 13 to 18-year-old Americans in 1979.
When MTV rolled around in the early 80s, the hits stopped coming. 1983’s Kilroy Was Here was an ambitious – though silly – concept album about an Orwellian future controlled by a fascist dictator who has outlawed rock & roll, and the exiled rocker who is leading a rebellion.
Some of the album was quite listenable (the ballad Don’t Let It End was powerful, while Mr Roboto was an infectious pomp-rocker) but the LP was generally hampered by a lack of memorable melodies. The band broke up in 1984.
Six years later they reunited and released the album Edge of the Century, which featured Show Me The Way – a song which became popular as a Gulf War anthem in America.
Drummer John Panozzo was found dead in his Chicago home on 16 July 1996. According to the Cook County medical examiner, Panozzo died from a gastrointestinal haemorrhage and also suffered from cirrhosis of the liver due to his battle with alcoholism. He was 47.
Guitar, keyboards, vocals