Our Complete List Of Styx Band Members looks at a rock band originating from Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1972, the band initially comprised brothers Chuck and John Panozzo, along with Dennis DeYoung. They gained their first taste of national fame with their self-titled debut album, which was soon followed by “Styx II,” featuring the hit “Lady,” pushing them into the spotlight.
In 1975, the band saw a significant shift in their lineup with the arrival of Tommy Shaw. His inclusion brought a new dynamism to the group’s sound and stage performance, contributing to their escalating commercial success. Albums such as “The Grand Illusion” (1977) and “Pieces of Eight” (1978) cemented Styx’s place as one of the leading bands of the era, each selling millions of copies and spawning hits like “Come Sail Away” and “Renegade.”
Styx continued to enjoy considerable fame into the early 1980s with albums like “Cornerstone” (1979) and “Paradise Theatre” (1981), which showcased their ability to blend rock with more theatrical and conceptual elements. However, tensions within the band, primarily between Shaw and DeYoung, started to surface. Styx released “Kilroy Was Here” in 1983, a concept album that featured the hit “Mr. Roboto,” but also led to a division in the band’s musical direction.
After a period of disbandment, the group reunited in the early ’90s, albeit without Shaw, who was busy with his other project, Damn Yankees. Glen Burtnik filled his shoes during this period. The reunion was not long-lived, as the band members soon went their separate ways to focus on solo projects and other collaborations.
Another significant change came in 1999 when Lawrence Gowan replaced Dennis DeYoung. With Gowan on keyboards and vocals, and Todd Sucherman replacing the late John Panozzo on drums, the new lineup released “Cyclorama” in 2003. This album signaled a departure from their earlier sound but was received favorably by a new generation of Styx fans. In 2017, they released “The Mission,” their first concept album in decades, which was well-received by both critics and fans alike.
Through lineup changes and shifts in musical styles, Styx has managed to remain relevant for over four decades. Their impact on rock and roll is indisputable, characterized by a unique blend of rock, pop, and theatrical elements. With a rich discography and a reputation for electrifying live performances, Styx’s legacy is one of enduring artistry and commercial success.
John “J.C.” Curulewski
John “J.C.” Curulewski was one of the original members of Styx, having joined the band in 1970. He contributed to the band’s first four albums, which includes their 1972 self-titled debut, “Styx II,” “The Serpent Is Rising,” and “Man of Miracles.” Curulewski played guitar and provided vocals, and his contributions helped shape the early sound of Styx. He left the band in 1975 just before they gained significant commercial success. Outside of Styx, Curulewski remained relatively low-profile in the music industry, although he did release a solo album in 1979 called “Airborne.”
Dennis DeYoung was a founding member of Styx and was with the band from its inception in 1972 until 1999, although he did return for a brief period between 1995-1999. DeYoung contributed keyboards and vocals and was also one of the band’s primary songwriters. His song “Lady,” from the “Styx II” album, became the band’s first hit, and he was a crucial part of their most successful albums like “The Grand Illusion,” “Pieces of Eight,” and “Paradise Theatre.” After his departure from Styx, DeYoung embarked on a successful solo career and even ventured into musical theatre.
John Panozzo was the original drummer for Styx, having joined the band along with his twin brother, Chuck, in 1972. He remained with the band until his health forced him to step away in the mid-’90s. Panozzo’s drumming can be heard on all of the band’s classic albums, including hits like “Renegade” and “Come Sail Away.” Unfortunately, Panozzo passed away in 1996, but his musical legacy lives on through the numerous albums and hits he contributed to. Outside of Styx, Panozzo didn’t have much of a career as he was primarily focused on the band until his health declined.
James “J.Y.” Young
James “J.Y.” Young is a guitarist and vocalist who has been with Styx since its early years. Joining in 1970, Young played a pivotal role in shaping the band’s rock-oriented sound. He has been a consistent member of the band, contributing to nearly all of their albums, including classics like “Crystal Ball,” “Equinox,” and “Kilroy Was Here.” His guitar work and songwriting have been key elements in the band’s long-lasting success. Outside of Styx, Young has also released some solo work but has remained mostly committed to the band.
Chuck Panozzo is the original bassist for Styx and joined the band alongside his twin brother, John Panozzo, in 1972. He played on all of the band’s iconic albums, including “The Grand Illusion,” “Pieces of Eight,” and “Paradise Theatre.” Chuck has been in and out of the band due to health issues but still occasionally performs with them. Unlike his brother John, Chuck has not ventured much into other musical projects and has mainly focused on his work with Styx.
Tommy Shaw joined Styx in 1975, replacing original guitarist John Curulewski. His entry into the band marked a significant turning point in their sound and commercial success. Shaw contributed to hits like “Renegade” and “Blue Collar Man,” and his presence was vital on albums such as “Crystal Ball” and “Cornerstone.” Apart from Styx, Shaw has had a successful solo career and has also been a part of other groups like Damn Yankees.
Todd Sucherman became Styx’s drummer in 1996, following the departure and subsequent death of original drummer John Panozzo. Sucherman has since been a key part of the band’s sound, contributing to albums like “Cyclorama” and “The Mission.” Outside of Styx, he has had an extensive session career and is highly regarded in the drumming community.
Lawrence Gowan replaced Dennis DeYoung as the band’s keyboardist and vocalist in 1999. The Canadian musician had a successful solo career in his home country before joining Styx. Gowan has been featured on recent Styx albums like “Cyclorama” and “The Mission” and has helped keep the band’s legacy alive through extensive touring.
Ricky Phillips joined Styx in 2003 as a bassist, sharing duties with original bassist Chuck Panozzo. Before Styx, Phillips had played with other notable bands such as The Babys and Bad English. He has been featured on the band’s latest studio efforts and continues to tour with them.
Glen Burtnik was with Styx from 1990 to 1992 and again from 1995 to 2003. He initially replaced Tommy Shaw on guitar and vocals, and later returned to replace Chuck Panozzo on bass. Burtnik contributed to albums like “Edge of the Century” and has had a varied solo career outside of the band.
Will Evankovich joined Styx as a guitarist and backing vocalist in 2018. Though relatively new to the band, he had a long-standing working relationship with Tommy Shaw and even co-produced Styx’s “The Mission” album. Evankovich also has a history of work with other acts and is a member of the rock band The Guess Who.
Complete List Of Styx Band Members article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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