-->"''I thought that they were angels but to my surprise\\
We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies''"
-->--'''Styx''', "''Come Sail Away''"


Although they began as an artsy prog rock band, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late [[TheSeventies 1970s]] and early [[TheEighties 1980s]], due to a fondness for bombastic rockers and soaring power ballads. The seeds for the band were planted in another Chicago band during the late [[TheSixties 1960s]], the Tradewinds, which featured brothers Chuck and John Panozzo (who played bass and drums, respectively), as well as acquaintance Dennis [=DeYoung=] (vocals, keyboards). By the dawn of the 1970s, the group had changed its name to [=TW4=], and welcomed aboard a pair of guitarists/vocalists, James "JY" Young and John Curulewski -- securing a recording contract in 1972 with Wooden Nickel Records (a subsidiary of RCA). Soon after, the group opted to change its name once more, this time to Styx, named after a river from ClassicalMythology that ran through "the land of the dead" in the underworld.

The band had a string of top 40 hits throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, including such mainstays as "Come Sail Away", "Renegade" and "Snowblind". Internally, the group was wracked with tension. [=DeYoung=], who had begun to take onto himself the role of "band leader", attempted to steer Styx into a dramatic, almost operatic direction. This brought him into direct conflict with most of the rest of the band, who were more interested in a harder, rocking sound than the soaring balladic style [=DeYoung=] envisioned. The tensions came to a head in the form of the tour for ''Music/KilroyWasHere'', an early-80s concept album cast around a TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture scenario in which MoralGuardians had succeeded in outlawing RockAndRoll. [=DeYoung=] managed to turn the concert into a ''musical'' telling the story of the album; this pleased neither his bandmates (who felt profoundly uncomfortable trying to ''act'' in between songs) nor the fans (who felt they were being cheated). The tour failed miserably, and in its wake the band broke up. In 1990 the band reunited -minus [=DeYoung=]- and went to hire Glen Burtnik as his replacement. They recorded the album ''Edge of Time''.

In the middle 1990s the hard feelings had faded enough for Styx to reunite to tour and record again, but [=DeYoung=]'s control freakery began to raise its head once more not long after. Unwilling to put up with it, the rest of Styx expelled him from the band. They recorded another album with Burtnik before he left the band to be close to his family. They now tour as Styx with a new lead vocalist/keyboardist---Lawrence Gowan, formerly a major Canadian solo act in his own right back in the 80s---while [=DeYoung=] tours with an orchestra performing Styx songs and new material more in keeping with his personal artistic vision.
Styx songs of note:
* [[http://www.mtvmusic.com/styx/videos/89947/the_best_of_times.jhtml The Best of Times]]
* [[http://www.mtvmusic.com/styx/videos/30881/mr_roboto.jhtml Mr. Roboto]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BARLfUmyBJA Come Sail Away]]
* [[http://www.goear.com/listen/e3cd975/Renegade-Styx Renegade]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBi61pgDUP8 Babe]]
!!! "Too much tropes on my hands":

* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: "Lorelei, let's live together" (from "Lorelei")
* BadassGrandpa: Styx is one of the few bands that are as tight in concert as on albums, and most of the members are around 60.
* BadFuture: The alternate future of ''Kilroy Was Here'', in which rock 'n roll music is outlawed, BigBrotherIsWatching You and Japanese corporations control everything
* TheBandMinusTheFace: After Dennis [=DeYoung=]'s departure(s).
* BrokenPedestal: "Fallen Angel".
* CelebrityIsOverrated: One of the themes of ''The Grand Illusion''.
* ConceptAlbum: ''Pieces of Eight'', ''The Grand Illusion'', ''Paradise Theater'' and ''Music/KilroyWasHere''.
* ControlFreak: Dennis [=DeYoung=]. A nice enough one, but a control freak nonetheless. (It's outright confirmed in VH1's Behind the Music: Remastered special on Styx.)
** [[WordOfGod Both [=DeYoung=] and members of Styx admit]] that the VH-1 special was edited so that the drama within the band was greatly exaggerated.
* CreatorBacklash: The band hated how ''The Serpent is Rising'' turned out. Nothing from the album has been played live in nearly thirty years.
* CrossDressingVoices: Not necessarily played straight, but, damn, does JY sound like a woman when he's doing backing vocals! This is most evident in "Too Much Time on My Hands."
* CulturePolice: ''Kilroy Was Here'' and its Majority for Musical Morality.
* {{Determinator}}: "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" is about an desperate unemployed man who is willing to work as long and as hard as he can to hold a steady job.
* DrugsAreBad:
** "Snowblind" is about the ups and downs of cocaine addiction.
** "Heavy Metal Poisoning", in which the singer (as [[MoralGuardians Dr. Righteous]]) accuses the heavy metal-loving teens in his audience of being mindless drugheads: "Get the lead out, go for broke/Up your pills and drink and smoke/Shoot those chemicals in your veins/Anything to ease the pain".
* EenieMeenieMinyMoai: The Creator/{{Hipgnosis}} cover of ''Pieces of Eight''.
* FilkSong: "Come Sail Away" turns out to be about benign space aliens who have come to take the singer to "the skies."
* {{Forgiveness}}: "She Cares".
* FunWithAcronyms: The elder rocker of and namesake of the ''Kilroy Was Here'' album: '''R'''obert '''O'''rin '''C'''harles '''K'''ilroy.
* GratuitousJapanese: Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto...
** Especially in the mini-film of Kilroy breaking out from prison, from the poor Roboto he hits with a GroinAttack.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: Two or three out there; the band does legitimately have many hits for them.
* HeavyMithril: A few songs fit -- "The Grove of Eglantine," "Jonas Psalter," "The Serpent Is Rising," "Man of Miracles," "Born for Adventure," "Come Sail Away," "Castle Walls," "Lords of the Ring," and, of course, their ConceptAlbum ''Kilroy Was Here''.
* IncrediblyLongNote: [=DeYoung=] sometimes does this in live performances of "Suite Madame Blue", and all the time in "Rockin' the Paradise". Also done by Tommy Shaw during a cover of "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" on the Styxworld: Live 2001 album.
* LargeHam: JY sinks his teeth into the role of Dr. Righteous with aplomb. Just check out the video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWe1T5OdfrQ Heavy Metal Poisoning.]]
** Then again, JY is always this whenever he [[StepUpToTheMicrophone Steps Up To The Microphone]]. This is best shown in the aforementioned "Heavy Metal Poisoning", but other good examples include "Miss America" and "Great White Hope".
* LonelyAtTheTop: "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned"; "Babe"; "Too Much Time on My Hands" has elements too.
* LongDistanceRelationship: "Babe" and "Nothing Ever Goes As Planned" both talk about the loneliness of the road, staying faithful to someone who's waiting for you back at home.
* LyricalColdOpen: "Renegade".
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: They got up to 5, but [=DeYoung=] could also take them as low as 2 with songs like "Babe".
* NotChristianRock: "Show Me The Way".
* ThePeteBest: John Curulewski for Tommy Shaw.
* PowerBallad: "Come Sail Away", "Babe", "Lady" and many more.
* ThePowerOfRock
* PrecisionFStrike: Dennis [=DeYoung=]'s intro to "The Grand Illusion" on the ''Return to Paradise'' tour and CD.
--> '''Dennis:''' You wanna know why your life ain't like what you see on TV and magazines and stuff like that? Because that's all ''bullshit!''
* RockOpera: ''Kilroy Was Here''.
* SanitySlippageSong: "Just Fell In"
* SillyLoveSongs: "Babe," "Lady," "Don't Let It End," etc.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: As [=DeYoung=] became more operatic and epic in his songwriting, this sort of thing became much more commonplace, but the sort of psychedelic synthesizer sounds heard in, for example, "Come Sail Away" were far less typical among Styx's early pure-rock work. And then there's "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)", the EpicInstrumentalOpener for which is a unique riff that resembles a sailor's hornpipe played on a synthesized calliope and sounds quite different from anything else in the band's repertoire.
** Their novelty song "The Plexiglas Toilet" on ''The Serpent Is Rising'' definitely qualifies for this trope. It's a HiddenTrack which plays after "As Bad as This."
* SongStyleShift: "Suite Madame Blue," "Come Sail Away" and "Queen of Spades" are the most recognized examples. They start out as a soft ballads before dramatically transitioning into a full blown hard rock tunes partway through.
* [[StandardSnippet Stock Classical Snippet]]: In Dennis [=DeYoung=]'s orchestra tour, "Lady" has a few bars of Ravel's "Bolero" just before the end. When the concert was broadcast on WTTW Chicago, he explained that he had always meant to include "Bolero" in the song.
* StraightGay: Chuck came out in 2001 along with the news that he was HIV-positive.
* SubliminalSeduction: "Snowblind" allegedly contained backwards Satanic messages. Playing off the controversy, several songs on the ''Kilroy Was Here'' album deliberately contained backwards messages made up of latin phrases read off of US currency, among other benign sources. Which made sense, considering the theme of the album involved a dictator who took over the world by banning rock and roll and brainwashing people.
* TakeThat:
** Tommy Shaw has said that "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" is directed at Dennis [=DeYoung=], who at the time was very insecure about the band's success.
** "Miss America" is one directed as the Miss America Beauty Pagent.
** ''Cyclorama,'' the first post-[=DeYoung=] Styx album, has songs titled "Bourgeois Pig" and "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye".
* TextlessAlbumCover: ''Pieces of Eight''.
* TrainStationGoodbye: One is implied in the first verse of "Babe": "My train is going/I see it in your eyes/The love, the need, your tears..."
* TriumphantReprise: "Don't Let It End (Reprise)" bills itself as this, and has the energy, although [[BaseBreaker it's from]] ''Kilroy Was Here''. Oddly, while it's titled as a reprise of "Don't Let It End", and uses that as the refrain, the intro is more "Mr Roboto".
* TwistEnding: The end of Come Sail Away: [[spoiler: "I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, they climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies"]]
* VetinariJobSecurity: When Dennis [=DeYoung=] was first fired, he was brought back because nobody could find someone to replace him. [[SubvertedTrope The second time, they did find someone.]]
* VillainSong: "Heavy Metal Poisoning", from ''Kilroy Was Here''.
* VocalTagTeam: Dennis [=DeYoung=] and Tommy Shaw.