Snowblind (Styx song)

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Song by Styx from the album Paradise Theatre
Released 1981
Format 7"
A-side "Rockin' the Paradise"
Recorded 1980
Genre Rock, hard rock
Label A&M
Writer James "J.Y." Young
Dennis DeYoung

"Snowblind" is a song by Styx that appears on the Paradise Theater album released in 1981. The song is about the helplessness of cocaine addiction, alternating between slow, brooding verses and a faster, harder-edged chorus, representing the addict's cycle of highs and lows.

Snowblind was written by Dennis DeYoung and James Young with uncredited lyrics by Tommy Shaw; Young and Shaw share lead vocal duties. The single reached #22 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

The claimed backmasked section of Styx' Snowblind.

The same section, reversed.

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Claims were made by anti-rock-music activists during the early 1980s that the song's lyrics were "Satanistic" and contained backwards messages. The line "I try so hard to make it so" when played in reverse was said to be "Satan move through our voice". Aural inspection suggests that any resemblance the line's reversed phonemes had to this phrase was slight, and likely coincidental. The protestors used Snowblind as one of several examples of rock songs that they claimed contained hidden Satanic phrases, and they lobbied for laws to require warning labels on records containing such messages.

Styx repeatedly and angrily dismissed these claims as baseless. Dennis DeYoung told US radio show In the Studio host Redbeard that "Anyone who plays their records backwards is the Anti-Christ. We have enough trouble making these records sound right forward. People have nothing better to do. It's the name Styx (which means the river in the underground). Can you imagine attacking the guys who made 'Babe', I mean please" on the In the studio episode spotlighting Paradise Theatre. They created the concept album Kilroy Was Here as a response to the California ruling and which included genuine backwards messages mocking their critics. "Snowblind" was the B-side of the album's first single, "Mr. Roboto".


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