Styx, the mythical river at the gates of Hades, was an excellent name choice. In fact, it was one of the most creative things about the group, even if it led religious zealots to claim Styx was in league with Satan. If that were true, you'd think a Satanic Rock band would have a lot harder edge to it. Styx delivered ballads ("Babe") and pretentious rock ("Too Much Time On My Hands"). In between they could produce some solid semi-corporate/Art Rock with "Come Sail Away" and "Renegade." "Mr. Roboto" is still pretty (unintentionally) funny.
Styx began in Chicago. Originally calling themselves the Tradewinds in the mid-60s, it wasn't until the early '70s that they began recording. Dennis DeYoung fronted a group with the Panozzo brothers, Chuck (bass) and John (drums). Along the way guitarists James Young and Tommy Shaw signed on. When a group with a similar name had a national hit, the Tradewinds became TW4 to avoid any confusion. Signing with a local indie label, Wooden Nickel, they were dubbed Styx.
After a couple albums, Styx moved to A&M. Producing six albums between '76 and '81 the group was a relentless touring machine. "Kilroy Was Here," a concept album (don't ask), released in '85 contained the "epic" "Mr. Roboto." After a couple negligible efforts, including a live album, DeYoung went solo. Shaw also recorded solo before a brief stint with Ted Nugent's Damn Yankees. Styx re-united for successful summer tours in the '90s.
Styx Coda: Who knows what version of Styx was roaming around in '06 but they performed their hits and a couple new songs with Cleveland's Contemporary Youth Orchestra. "One With Everything," a CD featuring the group and more than 170 teenage musicians and singers, was released later in the year.
"Styx Greatest Hits" provides the worthwhile songs without having to endure the concept of the concept albums. Individual Styx CDs (recorded for A&M) have their moments but not a lot of them.