Friday, August 18, 2017

Songoftheday 8/18/17 - Every night I say a prayer in the hopes that there's a heaven, but every day I'm more confused as the saints turn into sinners...

"Show Me The Way" - Styx
from the album Edge Of The Century (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the arena rock band Styx, who after slipping in one more top-40 pop hit in the summer of 1984 with the execrable "Music Time", from a contract-fulfilling live album, the band split up. Both lead singers Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw recorded a few solo albums, each scoring a top-40 pop hit with DeYoung's "Desert Moon" and Shaw's "Girls With Guns". In 1990, DeYoung reunited with Styx members James Young and brothers Chuck and John Pannozzo. Shaw was at that time in the "supergroup" Damn Yankees with Ted Nugent and Night Ranger's Jack Blades, and was riding high with the success of the top-10 pop hit "High Enough". In his place, the band brought in New Jersey local favorite Glen Burtnik, who was well known on the Jersey Shore venues that had previously started Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny. Their first album together was Edge Of The Century in 1990, and the lead track, "Love Is The Ritual", featured Burtnik on vocals (it was a leftover from his solo career). It sounded nothing like Styx's previous work, and more of a mix of hair-metal or Bon Jovi and white boy dance-pop of Robbie Nevil, and while it climbed to #9 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, it stalled way down at #80 on the pop Hot 100. But the second single, "Show Me The Way", was written, produced, and sung by DeYoung, and his familiar almost-Broadway theatrical power-ballad style took them back to pop radio, where the first Iraq War had given a market for sentimental and inspirational songs like this to catch on with military families and friends, as it sounded like a rewrite of Bette Midler's "From A Distance"...


"Show Me The Way" became Styx's eighth (and so far last) top ten pop hit in March of 1991. The song also spent two weeks at #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, spending over seven months on the list. Internationally, the single made it to #4 in Canada, and was a minor hit in Australia at #68.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the band appearing on the Tonight Show promoting the single...


At the time, a "mix" that inserted sound clips from the news about "Desert Storm" war was heard on the radio, but not released commercially...


...and finally, here's Styx in concert in 1996, after Shaw rejoined the group and John Pannazzo tragically died from alcoholism, dedicating the song to John...


Up tomorrow: A Policeman mourns his father with a nostalgic trip.

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