Friday, January 16, 1981

Styx charted with “The Best of Times”

First posted 1/5/2020.

The Best of Times


Writer(s):Dennis DeYoung (see lyrics here)

First Charted: January 16, 1981

Peak: 3 US, 5 CB, 6 HR, 13 RR, 26 AC, 16 AR, 42 UK, 11 CN, 23 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.4 video, -- streaming



“The Best of Times” is a fitting description of Styx’s success in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. They were one of, if not the most, popular bands in America. In 1979, they reached their greatest peaks yet with the #2 album Cornerstone and its #1 single, “Babe.” Following that would be no easy task, but Styx responded with Paradise Theatre, their only number #1 album and their fourth in a row to go top ten and achieve multi-platinum status.

Lead single “The Best of Times” gave Styx their fourth top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It also gave them their second chart-topper in Canada. Overall, Styx had eight top-ten hits in their career, seven of which were written by Dennis DeYoung, keyboardist and one of the band’s founders.

The song served as the centerpiece for Paradise Theatre, a concept album which used a fictional account of the opening and closing of Chicago’s Paradise Theatre as a metaphor for changing times in America. Dennis DeYoung envisioned the idea and embraces it most with “The Best of Times,” whose basic melody and theme is also used in the album’s opening and closing numbers, “A.D. 1928” and “A.D. 1958.”

DeYoung said he paraphrased Charles Dickens’ famous line “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” He said his intent in the song was “when the world goes mad, how do you cope? And in this instance, it’s the love between two people, that they make their own paradise with their companionship, their love for each other, and their own home.” SU

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