Sunday, March 03, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Styx

Song:Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Styx

Styx was one of the premiere arena rock bands of the 70s. They had a long string of hits including Blue Collar Man in 1978. They were from Chicago and started out in the early 60s as The Tradewinds. The founding members were twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo and neighbour Dennis DeYoung. By 1965 they added Tom Nardini and changed their name to TW4 when a group called The Trade Winds had a national hit. While attending Chicago State College in 1969, John Curulewski replaced Nardini and they added guitarist James Young. They decided to change their name to Styx when they signed with Wooden Nickel Records in 1972. Wooden Nickel was co-owned by former Dunwich Records owner Bill Traut with RCA distribution. Styx recorded four albums for Wooden Nickel but they didn't feel the label was big enough and left for A & M Records in 1975. Lady became their first top ten hit after Styx signed with A & M. Wooden Nickel closed soon after. Styx recorded the album Equinox in 1975. But then Curulewski left and was replaced by Tommy Shaw. Shaw would share songwriting and lead vocals that were previously only done by DeYoung. The 1977 album The Grand Illusion was their breakthrough album. It was certified 3XPlatinum and Come Sail Away was a top ten hit. The success continued with the 1978 album Pieces Of Eight. Blue Collar Man reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shaw says the riff for Blue Collar Man was the sound of a motorboat failing to start. Then they had their only number one hit with Babe in 1980. Though Styx had two more top ten hits in 1983 with Mr. Roboto and Don't Let It End, DeYoung and Shaw weren't getting along and Shaw left to go solo at the end of that tour. Styx split up. You can get their hits on this budget comp. Shaw and DeYoung both had solo success that faded by the late 80s. DeYoung reformed Styx in 1989 with Glen Burtnik replacing Shaw. They recorded one album and A & M dropped Styx. Styx reunited again in 1995 this time with Shaw. A version of the band still tours today. Here's the video for Blue Collar Man by Styx.

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