Styx II is the second album by American band Styx, released in July 1973.
After releasing their debut album, which consisted mostly of cover songs, the band intended to write some strong original new material; Dennis DeYoung was particularly in favor of this. DeYoung had written a song by himself on an electric piano in the band's garage, and had originally intended for it to be on the first album. He later decided to play it on an acoustic piano. However, Bill Traut wanted to save it for the second album. The result was Lady, written about DeYoung's wife Suzanne.
"Lady" failed to be a hit when it was first released in 1973; however, after the band released their fourth album "Man of Miracles" in 1974, they went to WLS, the most powerful Chicago radio station at the time, and convinced the program director (Jim Smith) to replay this song. It wound up being played frequently on the air in Chicago. In May 1975, the song broke out nationally, eventually peaking at no. 6 on the Billboard charts.
Besides "Lady," the album contained some upbeat and prog rock songs, such as the rockers "You Need Love" and "I'm Gonna Make You Feel It," which were written by DeYoung and sung by James "JY" Young.
This is also the first album on which John Curulewski wrote and sang on two songs: the proggish, jazzy "A Day," which has an unusual sound for the band, and the boogie humor song "You Better Ask," whose outro features a snippet of Strangers in the Night on calliope organ and an evil laugh.
Side 2 opens with a DeYoung rendition of Little Fugue in G by Bach, played on pipe organ at a Chicago cathedral, and segues into the mellow prog rocker "Father O.S.A."
The rocker "Earl of Roseland" was written by DeYoung based on early memories from when he grew up in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, where he had formed the band with the Panozzo brothers.
After Styx moved to A&M Records and achieved national success in the US, Styx II went Gold shortly before the success of The Grand Illusion (1977) and became the only big-selling album from the Wooden Nickel era, because of "Lady." The album was reissued in 1980 by their prior label, Wooden Nickel. Under the title Lady, the reissue had new artwork (though it is not to be confused with a Styx compilation album that was later released with the same name). Until the release of Crash of the Crown in 2021 it was the only Styx album to not feature material written or co-written by Young (apart from their covers 2005 album, Big Bang Theory).
Styx (/stɪks/) is an American rock band from Chicago that formed in 1972 and is best known for melding hard rock guitar balanced with acoustic guitar, synthesizers mixed with acoustic piano, upbeat tracks with power ballads, and incorporating elements of international musical theatre. The band established itself with a progressive rock sound in the 1970s, and began to incorporate pop rock and soft rock elements in the 1980s.
Beginning with Styx in 1972, the band usually released an album every year throughout the 1970s. Styx II (1973) had the sleeper hit "Lady", a power ballad which reached No. 6 in the US, helping the album make the top 20. "Lady" was also a top 20 hit in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Equinox (1975) and Crystal Ball (1976) reached the US top 70 with the first featuring "Lorelei", a No. 6 hit in Canada, while the second marked the addition of Tommy Shaw to the band.
Styx's commercial breakthrough in North America came with The Grand Illusion (1977), which peaked at No. 6 in both the US and Canada and became the first of four straight multi-platinum albums in the US for Styx. It featured the single "Come Sail Away", a top 10 hit in both countries. The band's follow-up, Pieces of Eight (1978), was another No. 6 hit in the US, but peaked higher in Canada due to the top 10 hits "Renegade" and "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)". In 1979, Styx's Cornerstone went to No. 2 in both countries on the strength of the cross-border No. 1 hit ballad "Babe". The album became their breakthrough album in Australia and New Zealand, reaching the top 20, with "Babe" peaking at No. 3. "Babe" was a No. 6 hit in the UK, their first and only top 40 hit there, leading Cornerstone to be their first album to chart there (at No. 36).
In 1981, Styx's Paradise Theatre was a No. 1 album in the US and Canada, while also reaching the top 10 in Scandinavia and the UK (their biggest album there) and the top 30 in Australia and New Zealand. "The Best of Times" off the album reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 3 in the US, and the top 30 in several other countries, while "Too Much Time on My Hands" was also a top 10 hit in North America. Kilroy Was Here (1983) was Styx's last major hit album, reaching the top 3 in North America and the top 10 in Scandinavia, although it was less successful elsewhere. Its lead single, "Mr. Roboto", became Styx's third chart-topper in Canada, was a No. 3 hit in the US, and was their biggest hit in Germany (No. 8). After a seven-year break, Styx returned with Edge of the Century (1990), which reached No. 63 in the US with its single, "Show Me the Way", becoming a top 3 hit in North America in early 1991.
Overall, Styx had eight songs that hit the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as 16 top 40 singles. Seven of their eight top 10 singles were written and sung by founding member and lead singer Dennis DeYoung, who has not been part of the band since 1999. Styx sold over 20 million records for A&M between their signing in 1976 and 1984.
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