Dennis DeYoung maintains that above all else — Styx was just a bonafide all-American rock band. During a recent chart with Ultimate  Classic Rock and explained that Styx dipping its toes into so many styles may have caused fans some confusion. DeYoung feels that the sound of Styx was designed to be without a genre, saying, “I just think it’s clearly an expression of the people writing songs not being confined or constrained by an ideology. Can it confuse an audience? For eight albums, we did that thing — I always call it a ‘fake prog band.’ We were an American rock band who used classical influences, but Styx was always at heart an American rock band. Most of the prog bands didn’t have a Marshall stack. That’s not what they were doing. But that’s who we were.”

DeYoung went on to say, “When you make a transition with a fan base, it can be fraught with peril. But we had four (multiplatinum) albums in a row going from The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight to Cornerstone and Paradise Theatre. If you play ‘Renegade,’ ‘Babe,’ and ‘Mr. Roboto’ for somebody, I don’t think they’d think it was the same band.” He explained, “When you get that ol’ knee-jerk response from people, ‘Oh, I don’t like Styx,’ I think, ‘Well, you don’t like a lot of different stuff then.’ Because it’s so broad. That’s just a case of bad PR. Because the music was fundamentally what it is. If you like it, I’m happy. If you don’t, the friendly skies are just filled with other airlines you can get on.”

FAST FACTS

  • Styx holds the distinction having four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA, 16 Top 40 singles — including eight Top 10 hits — including the 1979 chart-topper, “Babe.”
  • They have been eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — and passed over — since 1997.

DID YOU KNOW???

  • Dennis DeYoung will always be best remembered for writing and singing such ’70s and ’80s Styx classics “Come Sail Away,” “Lady,” “The Grand Illusion,” “Don’t Let It End,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Babe,” “Rockin’ The Paradise,” “Best Of Times” — along with his solo hit and early-MTV favorite, “Desert Moon.”

SIDE NOTES

  • Out now is 26 East, Vol. 1 is Dennis DeYoung‘s seventh studio set and takes its title from his childhood home in the Roseland, the South side of Chicago. It marks DeYoung’s first studio album since 2007’s One Hundred Years From Now.
  • The album features a team-up with Julian Lennon called “To The Good Old Days.”

CHECK IT OUT: Styx on January 28th, 1978 performing “Come Sail Away” live at Winterland: