Paradise Theatre (album)

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Paradise Theatre
Styx - Paradise Theater.jpg
Studio album by Styx
Released January 19, 1981
Recorded 1980 at Pumpkin Studios, Oak Lawn, Illinois
Genre Rock, progressive rock, pop rock
Length 40:37
Label A&M
Producer Styx
Styx chronology
Paradise Theatre
Kilroy Was Here
(1983)Kilroy Was Here1983
Singles from Paradise Theatre
  1. "The Best of Times"
    Released: 1981
  2. "Too Much Time on My Hands"
    Released: 1981
  3. "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned"
    Released: 1981
  4. "Rockin' the Paradise"
    Released: 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars [1]
The Daily VaultA (2003) [2]
C (2006) [3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars [4]

Paradise Theatre is the tenth album by the rock band Styx, released in January 1981 (see 1981 in music). It was the most successful album by Styx, peaking at #1 for 3 weeks on the Billboard Album Chart in April and May 1981 (non-consecutively).

A concept album, the album is a fictional account of Chicago's Paradise Theatre from its opening to closing (and eventual abandonment), used as a metaphor for America's changing times from the late 1970s into the 1980s. (Dennis DeYoung, who envisioned and developed the entire concept, confirmed this in an episode of In the Studio with Redbeard about the making of the album.)

Four singles from the album charted, three in the top 10. The lead single "The Best of Times", written by Dennis DeYoung, went to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Too Much Time on My Hands", written by Tommy Shaw, went to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, Shaw's only top 10 hit for Styx. "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned", written by DeYoung, went to #54 on the US Pop Chart. "Rockin' the Paradise" — written by DeYoung, Shaw and James Young — went to #8 on the Top Rock Track Chart.

Paradise Theatre became Styx's only US #1 album. It was the band's fourth consecutive triple-platinum album.

Vinyl edition[edit]

Vinyl copies of the album have a design featuring the name of the band laser etched directly onto the vinyl on side 2 (some copies had a wax design of the cover art). The vinyl record sleeve was a gate-fold and was painted by artist Chris Hopkins. On the back cover, label and spine, the title of the record is spelled "Paradise Theater", while on the front cover, the title is spelled "Paradise Theatre".

Vinyl releases and initial CD pressings of the album had the musical segue between "Half-Penny, Two-Penny" and "A.D. 1958" indexed as the intro to "A.D. 1958". Subsequent pressings of the CD had the segue indexed as the fade to "Half-Penny, Two-Penny" instead.

Cultural References[edit]

The song "The Best of Times" has been featured in multiple films. The song is in the 1999 film Big Daddy, in which Adam Sandler's character, like Sandler himself, is a Styx fan. It also appears in the 2005 film The Perfect Man

Track listing[edit]

Side 1:

  1. "A.D. 1928" (Dennis DeYoung) –1:08
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
  2. "Rockin' the Paradise" (DeYoung, James Young, Tommy Shaw) – 3:35
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
    • Lead guitar: Shaw
  3. "Too Much Time on My Hands" (Shaw) – 4:31
    • Lead vocals and lead guitar: Shaw
  4. "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned" (DeYoung) – 4:48
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
    • Intro guitar solo: Young
    • Middle guitar solo: Shaw
    • Alto saxophone solo: Steve Eisen
  5. "The Best of Times" (DeYoung) – 4:19
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
    • Lead guitar: Shaw

Side 2:

  1. "Lonely People" (DeYoung) – 5:28
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
    • First guitar solo: Shaw
    • Second guitar solo: Young
    • Saxophone solo: Steve Eisen
  2. "She Cares" (Shaw) – 4:17
    • Lead vocals and lead guitar: Shaw
    • Tenor saxophone solo: Steve Eisen
  3. "Snowblind" (Young, DeYoung) – 5:00
    • Lead vocals: Shaw, Young
    • Lead guitar: Young
  4. "Half-Penny, Two-Penny" (Young, Ray Brandle) – 4:33
    • Lead vocals: Young
    • Lead guitar: Shaw
  5. "A.D. 1958" (DeYoung) – 2:27
    • Lead vocals: DeYoung
    • Lead guitar: Young
    • Saxophone solo: Steve Eisen
  6. "State Street Sadie" (DeYoung) – 0:28
    • Piano: DeYoung



Additional personnel[edit]

  • Steve Eisen – saxophone
  • Dan Barber – horn
  • Mike Halpin – horn
  • John Haynor – horn
  • Mark Ohlson – horn
  • Billy Simpson – horn


  • Producer: Styx (Dennis DeYoung)
  • Engineers: Rob Kingsland, Gary Loizzo
  • Arranger: Styx
  • Mastering: Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC


Album - Billboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1981 Pop Albums 1

Singles - Billboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1981 "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned" Pop Singles 54
"Rockin' the Paradise" Mainstream Rock 8
"Snowblind" 22
"Too Much Time on My Hands" 2
Pop Singles 9
"The Best of Times" Mainstream Rock 16
Pop Singles 3

The album has sold 4 million copies to date.


  1. ^ AllMusic album review by Eduardo Rivadavia: Styx - Paradise Theatre (1981)
  2. ^ The Daily Vault album review #1 by Duke Egbert (2.12.2003): Styx - Paradise Theatre (1981)
  3. ^ The Daily Vault album review #2 by Paul Hanson (27.6.2006): Styx - Paradise Theatre (1981)
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 789. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.

External links[edit]