Styx was not always the name of the Chicago-based quintet who is noted for the development of the term 'pomp-rock’ meaning pompous, overblown arrangements, with perfect-pitch harmonies and full productions. They began their days as the band Tradewinds, which evolved into T.W.4. Finally, in 1972, they settled on the name Styx (after the river in hell described in Greek mythology). The band's talents all hail from the Midwest: Dennis Deyoung on keyboards and vocals, John Panozzo on drums, James Young on guitar and vocals, Chuck Panozzo on bass, and John Curulewski on guitar.
During the early 1970s, Styx released a series of albums based mostly on strong melodies, starting off with their debut self-titled album. Though the band gained a strong local following, they were not noticed nationally. The joys of Styx didn't hit the public fully until their 1973 release Styx II, which featured the single 'Lady', hitting the Billboard Top 10 list in 1975.
With the success of the single, A&M records signed Styx the same year, and the much beloved Equinox was released. During the same period of change for the band, John Curulewsky left, to be replaced by Tommy Shaw. Shaw soon took over lead vocals and began to be a primary contributor to writing the band's original songs.
Commercial success grew over the next few years as Styx became more publicly known. In 1977 they released The Grand Illusion, which hit number six on the Billboard Charts. 'Sail Away' was a favorite single from the album. Soon after, Styx achieved every rockers dream and produced a Billboard Number 1 single, 'Babe'.
Later, 'The Best of Times' and 'Too Much Time on My Hands' reached top ten fame as well. Both were featured on the album Paradise Theatre, which became Styx's main clam to fame. After the release of Caught in the Act, a live album that was not greeted well by the critics, the members of Styx went their separate ways.
In 1990 Styx decided to give rock another chance. Tommy Shaw had joined the Damn Yankees during their break and was replaced by Glenn Burtnick for a short time. Shaw ended up returning to the band before the release of their next album. The rested, refreshed, and re-formed Styx soon released an album worthy of their past fame. Edge of the Century quickly made up for the blunder of their last album and gained back fans. With Shaw back on board, the band couldn't lose.
Nostalgic fans from the 70s shared Styx with their own kids in the early 90s and gained the band another strong following. Fans cheered in 1996 when Styx announced a national tour. Tickets sold quickly to new and old fans alike at venues across the country. The joy was replaced by sorrow when news of John Panozzo's tragic death hit the presses. The other members pulled together again and reformed with Todd Sucherman. By 1999 the band had another album produced. Brave New World hit store shelves. Styx was again torn apart by conflicts and DeYoung's desires to try and make it solo. They quickly reformed with Lawrence Gowan taking the place of DeYoung. In 2001 they released Cyclorama. Styx continued to tour to promote their new albums, and in 2003 the work paid off when they received 19th place in the competitive Top 30 Melrock list for the Best Music of the Year.