Music Video Of the Week


"Renegade," Styx
Now that Julian Assange has finally been brought into custody by British authorities, I thought one of Styx's best-known songs was appropriate this week for my Music Video Of the Week. 
Unless most arena bands of the late seventies and early eighties, Styx had more than one lead singer.  Although most people remember keyboardist Dennis DeYoung as the primary lead vocalist, guitarists James Young and Tommy Shaw also sang lead on different songs, and Shaw sings the lead vocal on "Renegade," which he wrote.  The song is lyrically straightforward, about an outlaw caught by the law and awaiting his punishment - in this case, death.  (I do not predict the same sentence for Julian Assange.)  Musically, "Renegade" is as over the top as rock and roll got in the late seventies, with flamboyant guitar solos and heavy drums.  Young played the solo on record - uncommon, since Shaw and Young usually played their own solos on their own songs - and drummer John Panozzo liked to increase the tempo of his drum pattern during the guitar solos, which his brother Chuck, the bassist, was always ready to play in sync to.  You can't go wrong with a fraternal rhythm section.
"Renegade" was released on Styx's 1978 LP Pieces of Eight and reached number sixteen on the Billboard singles chart as a single.  This clip is from a concert on the band's 1983 tour to promote what would be their last album for seven years, Kilroy Was Here (a concept album that fans and critics alike did not comprehend).  Unless you're Julian Assange, enjoy.  And if you are Julian Assange, how did you get access to the Internet?