Paradise Theatre (album)

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Paradise Theatre
Styx - Paradise Theater.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 19, 1981
Recorded1980 at Pumpkin Studios, Oak Lawn, Illinois
Styx chronology
Paradise Theatre
Kilroy Was Here
Singles from Paradise Theatre
  1. "The Best of Times"
    Released: January 1981
  2. "Too Much Time on My Hands"
    Released: March 1981
  3. "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned"
    Released: June 1981 [4]
  4. "Rockin' the Paradise"
    Released: August 1981 (Europe) [5]
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
The Daily VaultA (2003)[2]
C (2006)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars [6]

Paradise Theatre is the tenth album by the rock band Styx, released in January 1981. It was the band's most commercially successful album, peaking at #1 for 3 weeks on the Billboard 200 in April and May 1981 (non-consecutively). It was also the band's fourth consecutive album to be certified triple-platinum by the RIAA.

Four singles from the album charted on various charts, with two songs reaching the top 10 pop singles chart. 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.


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.[7][8])

Vinyl edition[edit]

Initial 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 the 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.

Track listing[edit]

All lead vocals by Dennis DeYoung, except where noted.

All tracks are written by DeYoung, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."A.D. 1928"  1:08
2."Rockin' the Paradise"DeYoung, Young, Shaw 3:35
3."Too Much Time on My Hands"ShawShaw4:31
4."Nothing Ever Goes as Planned"  4:48
5."The Best of Times"  4:19
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6."Lonely People"  5:28
7."She Cares"ShawShaw4:17
8."Snowblind"Young, DeYoungYoung, Shaw5:00
9."Half-Penny, Two-Penny"Young, Ray BrandleYoung5:58
10."A.D. 1958"  1:06
11."State Street Sadie" (instrumental)0:28



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



Chart (1981) Position
Argentina (Ránking Argentino)[9] 2
Australia (Kent Music Report)[10] 27
USA (Billboard 200) 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. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. Styx: Paradise Theater at AllMusic. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Egbert, Duke (December 2, 2003). "Daily Vault Album Reviews: Paradise Theatre". Daily Vault. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Hanson, Paul (June 27, 2006). "Daily Vault Album Reviews: Paradise Theatre". Daily Vault. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  4. ^ "Styx singles".
  5. ^ "Styx singles".
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 789. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. rolling stone styx album guide.
  7. ^ In the Studio with Redbeard Facebook page > Styx scored the # 1 album in America this week in 1981. 5 April 2021)
  8. ^ Redbeard's Blog > STYX- PARADISE THEATRE 40TH- TOMMY SHAW, JAMES YOUNG (retrieved: 6 April 2021)
  9. ^ "Ránking de Argentina". Revista Pelo. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 April 1981.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 299. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

External links[edit]