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Styx And The Ballad Of Their Lives

Styx had been placing singles on the US chart for seven years, but only twice had they entered the top ten before ‘Babe.’

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Styx Babe

One of the last big rock ballads of the 1970s was ruling the roost in America on 8 December 1979. ‘Babe,’ among the most romantic songs in the history of Chicago rock staples Styx, completed its climb to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the culmination of a long journey for the band named after the river that carried dead souls to Hades in Greek mythology.

Styx had been placing singles on the American chart for a good seven years, but only twice had they entered the US top ten before, firstly when ‘Lady’ hit No. 6 early in 1975 and then when ‘Come Sail Away’ reached No. 8 in the early part in 1978. After a series of big-selling albums, it was the band’s Cornerstone set that contained this heartfelt song written by vocalist and keyboard player Dennis DeYoung to his wife of 15 years, Suzanne.

“Being on the road for six years puts a strain on a relationship,” DeYoung explained in writer Fred Bronson’s Billboard Book Of Number One Hits. “I wanted to tell her how much I missed her when she was gone.” Suzanne, for her part, was sold straight away. “The first time I heard ‘Babe,’ I knew it was as good as ‘Lady,’ if not better,” she said.

DeYoung’s wife was less sure whether she wanted the world to know about her husband’s feelings. But the writer, who had first demo’d the track with fellow band members Chuck and John Panozzo, persuaded both Suzanne and the band that it was the right move to switch from their more familiar rock sound to this balladeering approach. The version they released was essentially the same as the demo, with the addition of a guitar solo by Tommy Shaw. In the last weeks of the 1970s, Dennis and Suzanne’s relationship fuelled a No. 1 smash.

‘Babe’ is on Styx’s Cornerstone album, which can be bought here.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. NESTOR NUNEZ LAWAS

    January 21, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    a ballad song of STYX was the amising days before of my life when i was 16 years old my babes!!! She’s gone away!!!this is my celebrity song when she was got to go in MANILA ON GOING TO ON VOYAGES THIS BALLAD SONG BABES!!!I AM STANDING IN FRONT OF THE BOAT WHEN SHES INSIDE MY BABES!!!UNTIL THE BOAT SHE’S LEAVED IN!!!AND SHE’S GO NO WHERE!!!UNTIL NOW I DID NOT FORGET HERE?AND ME AND SHE DID NOT MEET HERE AGAIN?EVEN I HAVE TO GO IN MANILA WHERE I AM LOOKING TO MY DEAREST BABES!!!IF WHERE EVER U ARE MY BABES!!!THIS IS NOT THE PART OF OUR LIFE BECAUSED AS OF NOW I HAVE ALREADY MY OWN FAMILY?AND MAYBE YOU MY BABES?U HAVE ALSO UR FAMILY LEAVING OUT THERE?IN UR WORLD OF LIFE!!!THANK YOU MY BABES!!!

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