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Was Dennis DeYoung good or bad for Styx (one of the music forum's most despised bands)?


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Initial post: Jul 20, 2011 10:14:36 AM PDT
J. Coco says:
Dennis De Young was one of the founding members of the very successful Styx (one of the music forum's most despised bands), and as one of their primary songwriters and singers, as well as one of their musicians, Dennis was largely responsible for their commercial success. Dennis differed from the rest of the group in the direction that he wanted them to pursue musically and had a theatrical vision that wasn't shared by the other group members, which supposedly led to multiple instances of Dennis leaving the group involuntarily or the group breaking up.

Among any fans of Styx music reading this (if there are any who will admit to it), do you think that Dennis was good for the group? Was he your favorite member of Styx? Would they have ever taken off without his/their first hit "Lady", which he/they followed with "Lorelei" and "Suite Madame Blue"?

Realizing that most participating posters in this forum can't stand Styx, was it largely or completely because of Dennis? Are there any non-Dennis Styx songs that you actually like?

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 1:01:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2011 1:02:36 PM PDT
vivazappa says:
Not a Styx fan but I did see um' thrice...I thought his flamboyant moves were the best part...especially on the Crystal Ball tour...Tommy was annoying...JY was "jus' alright for me"
(My college girlfriend is responsible for me going the first two times...my sister on the third.)

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 1:18:44 PM PDT
andy: d.d. says:
All I know is that Kilroy Was Here is one of the worst albums ever. If Dennis De Young had any part of that (he did you know) then the answer is yes.

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 1:25:43 PM PDT
Hoagie Mike says:
Dennis rocks. Great songwriter and singer.

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 1:39:55 PM PDT
Metalizer says:
Despite them being a despised band they did have a few good Rocking songs here and there. They reminded me of REO Speedwagon, couldn't decide on good rock songs or whimpy teen balads.

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 1:44:51 PM PDT
Dennis was good for the band, no doubt. I just think he went a little too far, and I prefer Tommy's rockin' stuff.

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 3:54:36 PM PDT
Chazzzbo says:
It's the old double edged sword...Dennis brought the band fame and notoriety that they had been striving for many years to achieve. The cost? Cred with rock fans...meaning people NOT into syrupy ballads and cheesy dramatics. Was he good for their respective bank accounts? Most certainly...

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 4:03:33 PM PDT
zlh67 says:
I think Dennis DeYoung was great and have have no interest in Styx without him.

And yeah, I'll say it: I liked "Kilroy Was Here"! 'Mr Roboto' is good fun, but an easy target because it wasn't very "rock", but... I like it. "Cold War," "Heavy Metal Poisoning," "High Time" and the ballad "Don't Let It End" were all good to me too, so overall, I like about as much of that album as I did their previous stuff.

I saw the Kilroy tour live at the Texxas Jam in Houston at one of the infamous shows mentioned in their "Behind The Music" where fans started booing during the extended intro film, but the show was good. It just came after full-throttle rockin' sets by Triumph, Ted Nugent and then Sammy Hagar, so many of the fans were wasted and also, probably not there to see Styx in the first place. Let's face it, which of these is not like the other: Nuge, Triumph, Hagar, Styx. Yeah....

So... they didn't go over well, but I dug the show. Well, half of it. Unfortunately, I was too young to drive and was with my older brother and his friend and they insisted on leaving about halfway through.

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 4:35:05 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
Styx might as well be Damn Yankees considering Dennis is gone and neither Panozzo Brother is still in the band (Chuck being ill and John suffering from a case of chronic death).

Tommy's voice gets on my nerves. He does that same thing with his "er" words Susannah Hoffs does as does Kevin Cronin. He comes off such a smug little b!tch in interviews.

Arrogant? Theatrical? No. Everything a front man NEEDS to be. That was/is Dennis DeYoung. Close down The Paradise without him.

"The headlines read 'These are the worst of times.' And I do believe it's true."

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 5:26:32 PM PDT
As a founding member of the band, I'd say he is essential to the band. Would there have been a Styx without him? That said, his theatricality isn't my cup of tea.

Posted on Jul 21, 2011 6:41:53 PM PDT
Styx is one of a special group of bands that have sold millions of records and concert tickets, and everyone claims to hate them. I went to look for a ballpark total album sales figure, but couldn't get an exact number. I did see something that said Dennis' name has been removed from the entire official group website. I looked, and it appears to be true. They won't even acknowledgehis existence. That's just wrong, they owe the man big time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2011 6:51:04 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
If I was Dennis, I'd be thankful he's NOT associated with the joke that band has become. It's not Styx. It's James and Tommy's "Fellas, get a room and get it over with!" Revue. Second only to Journey as the saddest example of "Why are they still touring?" Unlike Skynyrd, they can't blame it on disaster. They just ARE disasters. Full stop.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2011 7:52:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2011 7:58:43 PM PDT
bass boy says:
I think Dennis was good for Styx, at least up to "Kilroy Was Here." Sure, the Kilroy mask sorta looked cool and all back then to me as a middle-school kid, but the LP as a whole isn't the best example of Styx's work. Dennis gave Styx "Come Sail Away," and he was responsible for the "Paradise Theater" concept, among other things, so regardless of one's opinion about Dennis and/or Styx, Dennis did give Styx another side, another voice. I think Dennis, when he was at his rocking best in the early years, helped give Styx an identity and helped make them more than just another hard rock guitar band. Nothing against JY and Tommy (and John C.), but Dennis gave Styx another dimension. "Lorelei," "Pieces of Eight," "Suite Madam Blue" all are decent songs. And Dennis' grinding B3 Hammond organ on the intro of "Blue Collar Man" helped make that track even more distinct, IMO. :)
I'm actually a fan of both Dennis and the JY/Tommy Shaw camp, and I like Lawrence Gowan, as well. I like a lot of non-Dennis songs, too. So yeah, I'm a Styx fan. Guilty pleasure. I'm one of the oddballs who likes Styx AND artists/bands like Bob Dylan, Radiohead, The Clash and Wilco. :)

And regarding someone's comment earlier about bassist Chuck Ponozzo, well, actually, Chuck is on the current tour. If his health permits, he comes out and plays a couple songs with the band, while former Babys bassist Ricky Phillips (who has been in the band for about seven years now) playing bass the rest of the show. On the last few tours, Chuck has come out and done a song or two, here and there, in select cities. On this current tour with Yes here in the U.S., Chuck, according to Lawrence Gowan, is supposed to play a song or two at most shows now, if his health permits. Chuck does travel with the band some. Lawrence said Chuck tries to do a couple songs at every show now. I'm hoping Chuck comes out and thumps some bass on "Grand Illusion" or whatever song he wants on Saturday whern Styx plays OKC with Yes. I'll be there cheering Chuck, Ricky and Chris Squire on. Long live bassists! :)

Posted on Jul 21, 2011 9:25:16 PM PDT
I read that Dennis and the Panozzo Bros. first got together in 1961! I didn't know that.

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 12:56:22 AM PDT
Hinch says:
I like Styx with and without DeYoung.

I like Tommy Shaw too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011 8:29:38 AM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
That was me who commented on Chuck. I haven't kept up with the band since Dennis left. Last I'd heard was Chuck retired.

Hmm, I mentioned "new lead singer, still lame band" Journey and got an unhelpful after marking everybody else's helpful. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 9:22:47 AM PDT
Mod Rocker says:
Looking at all the musicals based on Rock these days, Dennis looks like a visionary... cheesy, perhaps... hey, wait.... Nostradamus used a ... wait for it....

CRYSTAaaaal.... BAW-hallllll.....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011 12:02:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2011 12:08:17 PM PDT
bass boy says:
Chuck retired after the 1996/97ish reunion ("Return to Paradise"), and Styx brought in one-time Styx guitarist Glen Burtnik (he played and sang on "Edge of the Century") to play bass. Glen stayed with them on bass up until 2003ish, and left Styx amicably and was replaced by former Babys/Bad English bassist Ricky Phillips. The last two or three tours, Chuck has traveled some with the band, playing a song or two at shows when his health permitted. Gowan said at the start of this new Yes-Styx tour that Chuck was going to try to do a couple songs at all or most of the shows, with Ricky obviously playing bass for the rest of the songs. (Ricky throws on a guitar when Chuck comes out with a bass.)
Kudos to Tommy, JY and the rest of the Styx band and crew for including Chuck in band photos for publicity, for the tour shirts and for posters to this day, even though Chuck is a part-time member. That is classy, even though Dennis' image has been pretty much erased from Styx's website.

I guess I don't really side with JY/Tommy or with Dennis. Kind of like Waters-Gilmour, I think JY/Tommy and Dennis all are talented, but they just like to do things their way. I don't think one artist is more evil than the other, really. Lol! :)

Another guilty pleasure of mine is Journey with Arnel, but no, it wasn't me who marked your Journey comment unhelpful. It was someone else.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011 12:50:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2011 12:59:40 PM PDT
zlh67,
I remember hearing about that. As I recal, there were even severe traffic jams and accidents resulting from so many people fleeing from that concert all at once! But what would you expect? Those people were a bunch of roused up rowdy rock 'n roll fans, .. not theatergoers or science fiction fans!

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 1:56:00 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 2, 2013 5:57:14 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011 4:04:20 PM PDT
zlh67 says:
Exactly, Ian. After full-on assualts by Nugent, Triumph and Hagar, people were not only ready to ROCK some more, but many were lit after partying all day, so patience was dwindling... Then on comes a 10-15 minute intro film (which I've since seen on the Styx dvd, and it even seems long SITTING IN MY LIVING ROOM!). So people were booing and throwing stuff before they even started playing. Then, instead of a rockin' opener like "Rockin In Paradise" or "Blue Collar Man", it's Dennis and a backing track singing about robots... And all of this in the Houston Enormo-dome; just not a good fit!!

But people who saw the same show with JUST Styx in a small theatre just a week before (in New Orleans, where their live dvd was filmed) LOVED it. And I liked what I saw there in Houston too but am not surprised that much of the rest of the crowd didn't... As said, I had to leave early, which is why I was so glad a live dvd came out years later (to see what i'd missed!).

Styx: Caught In The Act Live (1984)

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 5:34:25 PM PDT
de young was excellent for the band. I hated the later era of him at first but later it grew on me. people who just hate this band are clueless, it's good prog rock, then good hard rock then well poprock. so if you like those genres then you should find at least a few songs you like. and I think equinox is a masterpiece.

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 5:51:40 PM PDT
Steve G says:
I started listening to Styx back when Lady came out.
I still think of Tommy as the "new guy" in Styx (but thought Gowan was good the four or five times I've seen the new lineup).
In my mind Equinox/Crystal Ball/Grand Illusion was Styx at its peak quality.
DeYoung, Shaw and JY were all contributing then.
Dennis was responsible for most of their best material before that peak.
On the later albums, I still enjoy many of Tommys songs and a few more from JY.
Several of Dennis's songs from that later era earned them boatloads of money, but they were sappy ballads then and haven't improved with age.
Mr Roboto is the sound of one man with a big head driving a great band straight into the ground.
The accounts that Dennis saw the Spinal Tap movie as a personal attack on him and his marriage says a lot about what he must have been like at the time.
The Grand Delusion: The Unauthorized True Story of Styx

Dennis both made and destroyed the band.
The band could not have happened without him, but would have been best served by ditching him around 78.
Tommy and JY have done well to resurrect a touring band that sounds and feels much like Styx in the peak years.

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 6:38:34 PM PDT
MACLEAR says:
Mr. De Young was gifted with one of the most "precious" voices ever to moon and spoon in any band (rock or jazz). He "mouthed" rather than sang the lyrics always sounding as though he took one too many elocution lessons. If Styx had been an instrumental group or had had a singer who could sing without sounding fey they may have had something - then again, maybe not.

Posted on Sep 6, 2011 1:44:07 AM PDT
Tarkus says:
Styx was at one point a great rock band, but then they fell victim to a malaise that plagued several good bands of that era -- they let the singer become the focus and became the singer's backup band. This happened to Chicago (Peter Cetera...), Journey (Steve effing Perry ruined a pretty good jazz-rock outfit...) and REO Speedwagon (Kevin Cronin). Fortunately, Queen was able to avoid this fate...
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  42
Total posts:  61
Initial post:  Jul 20, 2011
Latest post:  Oct 10, 2013

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