Flashback: Styx Hits Number One With ‘Babe’

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It was 43 years ago today (December 8th, 1979) that Styx scored its sole chart-topper today, with the Dennis DeYoung-written and sung, “Babe.” The tune, which knocked Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer‘s monster duet “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” out from Number One, enjoyed a two-week run at the top spot.

“Babe” was the lead single from the band’s Cornerstone collection, which peaked at Number Two and spent 17 weeks in the Top 10.

Guitarist J.Y. Young is not alone in pining for the days in the ’70s and ’80s when a label like A&M Records was around to actually support the artists on its roster: “They showed such great sensitivity to so many great rock artists — Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker, Styx, the Police, Supertramp — y’know, that we loved recording for A&M Records. We took less money to be there. We just felt there was human beings operating there. . . Their offices were on Charlie Chaplin’s old film lot, it wasn’t in some giant, black, steel and glass, corporate Warner Brothers, CBS, what have you. . . It just was. . . This was a place where art was created and where art was celebrated. And to be part of it was just phenomenal for us after being with a subsidiary of RCA Records — and they gave us a chance — I’m always grateful for that, but A&M was a unique and special place.”

Dennis DeYoung admitted that writing his legendary Styx tunes was done primarily to inspire himself: “The human experience is not that different. And particularly now, at this point of my life, we all long for that moment in our individual lives where things seemed simpler, innocent and we didn’t have the responsibilities and the burden of actually growing up and being an adult. And I was saying that to an audience when I was probably in my early-30’s, and generally speaking, the audience was probably between the ages of 15 and 20. Remember; I was writing those songs for myself so many times to remind myself what I should be thinking. How I should be feeling. I was trying to buoy my own spirits.”

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