Show Me the Way (Styx song)
|"Show Me the Way"|
|Single by Styx|
|from the album Edge of the Century|
|B-side||"Back to Chicago"|
|Released||December 5, 1990|
|Styx singles chronology|
Lead vocalist/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung, a devout Roman Catholic, originally wrote the song for his son Matthew as a pseudo-hymn about the struggle to keep the faith in a "world so filled with hatred". Released in December 1990, the song was slowly scaling the charts. In January 1991, just prior to the United States' entry into the Gulf War, Music Director Chris Taylor from WAVA-FM in Washington, D.C. and Knoxville DJ Ray Edwards from WOKI-FM each did their own customized "Desert Shield Mix" incorporating television and call-in comments from officials, soldiers and callers as well as C-SPAN's coverage of the House and Senate debates.
Although released in the early 1990s, the song is very reminiscent of the classic Styx power ballad. Written in 6/8 time, the song begins quietly with the lone DeYoung on vocals and transitions into a big sounding vocal triad chorus. The bridge uses a solo DeYoung vocal praying and pleading that "if I see a light, should I believe? Tell me, how will I know?" followed by, on the album version, an acoustic guitar leading into an electric guitar solo. (On the single version, the acoustic guitar solo is eliminated.
The single rose up the Billboard Hot 100 all the way to #3 and remained in the top 40 for 23 weeks. The song also hit #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart, remaining in the top 40 of that chart for 31 weeks. It also peaked at #4 on the Canadian pop charts. While that association undoubtedly buoyed the song's success and contributed to its lingering appeal, the single had not yet peaked when the war officially ended on February 28, 1991.
The song was Styx's fourth and final top 5 single to date (and 8th top 10 single), and comes in at #68 on the Billboard rankings of the top Hot 100 singles of 1991. The song also placed Styx among a handful of artists to have top 10 singles in three different decades, the 1970s ("Lady," "Come Sail Away"), the 1980s ("Babe," "The Best of Times," "Too Much Time on My Hands," "Mr. Roboto," "Don't Let It End"), and the 1990s ("Show Me The Way").
Of note, lead guitarist Tommy Shaw did not play on the studio version of this record as he was not in the band at this point. Interestingly, Shaw was not a member of the band on either its first hit single "Lady" or its last top 10 single.
The song continues to be a mainstay in Dennis DeYoung setlists.
|End of year chart (1991)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||68|
|Billboard weekly chart peak(1991)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||3|
|U.S. Billboard Hot AC||3|
- Smith, Rob (11 April 2011). "Death by Power Ballad: Styx, "Show Me the Way"". Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Billboard Hot 100, Week of March 16, 1991
- Billboard Hot 100, Week of March 2, 1991
- The Gulf War: Chronology, Frontline, PBS.org
- Hot 100 Singles of 1991, Billboard
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". LongBoredSurfer.com. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- "Billboard Top AC songs - 1991". LongBoredSurfer.com. Retrieved 2009-09-15.