Tuesday, February 22, 1983

Styx released Kilroy Was Here

Kilroy Was Here


Released: February 22, 1983

Charted: March 19, 1983

Peak: 3 US, 67 UK, -- CN, 45 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Genre: classic arena rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Mr. Roboto [5:28] (2/12/83, 3 US, 11 CB, 3 RR, 3 AR, 12 CN, 40 AU)
  2. Cold War (Shaw) [4:27]
  3. Don’t Let It End [4:56] (4/30/83, 6 US, 14 CB, 3 RR, 56 UK, 13 AC, 15 CN)
  4. High Time [4:33] (8/13/83, 48 US, 60 CB)
  5. Heavy Metal Poisoning (Young) [4:57]
  6. Just Get Through This Night (Shaw) [6:06]
  7. Double Life (Young) [3:46]
  8. Haven’t We Been Here Before (Shaw) [4:06]
  9. Don’t Let It End (Reprise) [2:22]

Tracks written by Dennis DeYoung unless otherwise noted.

Total Running Time: 40:41

The Players:

  • Dennis DeYoung (vocals, keyboards)
  • Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar)
  • James “JY” Young (vocals, guitar)
  • Chuck Panozzo (bass)
  • John Panozzo (drums/percussion)


3.328 out of 5.00 (average of 18 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

In the television world, the phrase “jump the shark” pinpoints when a TV show goes bad. For Styx fans, the band jumped the shark with Kilroy Was Here, an album which “epitomizes both the grandeur and folly of Styx’s music through the years.” UCR

Styx had always had its detractors, but the throngs of arena rock fans clearly outnumbered them, having sent the band’s four previous albums into the top 10 and to multi-platinum status. 1981’s Paradise Theater provided the band their only #1 album backed by a loose concept of the pursuit (and loss) of paradise.

Dennis DeYoung’s inkling for theatrics got the best of him here; his hokey “concept about man being replaced by robots” AMG and rock and roll being banished made even Styx’s hardcore fans wince. The band “couldn’t even keep the album’s main idea interesting, solidifying the fact that Styx’s forte was singles, not conceptual pieces.” AMG Kilroy showcased “a band splintering at the seams.” UCR Longtime guitarist Tommy Shaw left after this album and the band ended up going on a seven-year hiatus.

“The synthesized novelty of” AMG lead single Mr. Roboto definitely didn’t help. With its “mechanically spoken chorus and slight disco beat,” AMG it was destined to gain plenty of airplay in the pop world, but it alienated Styx’s more rock-oriented fans. The song had a minor resurgence in the late ‘90s when it was revived for a car commercial.

The second single, “Don’t Let It End, almost captures the same endearing qualities as their number one hit, ‘Babe,’ did four years earlier.” AMG Both songs, however, also bore the stigma of being “power ballads,” which alienated some of the band’s more rock-orienated fans.

From a pop standpoint, “Kilroy Was Here…harbored two of the band’s best singles.” AMG Past Styx albums, however, established themselves not just on the strength of Dennis DeYoung’s singles, but sturdy rockers from Shaw and James Young. While they both provide “some decent guitar work” AMG neither contributed any songs that would become staples. Here they churn out “pretentious, weakly composed, and rhythmically anemic, songs like Cold War, Heavy Metal Poisoning, and Double Life.” AMG

“The saxophone playing from Steve Eison gathers some redemption, cropping up here and there.” AMG

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First posted 2/2/2007; updated 6/5/2021.

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