Renegade (Styx song)

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Single by Styx
from the album Pieces of Eight
B-side"Sing for the Day"
ReleasedJanuary 9, 1979 (1979-01-09)
Songwriter(s)Tommy Shaw
Styx singles chronology
"Sing for the Day"
Red vinyl pressing
Limited edition release
Limited edition release

"Renegade" is a 1979 hit song recorded by the American rock band Styx. It was on their Pieces of Eight album. It reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1979.

The song is a first-person narrative of an outlaw, captured for a bounty, who recognizes that he is about to be executed for his criminal activities. The execution will be by hanging, as the outlaw laments, "Hangman is coming down from the gallows and I don't have very long."

Some pressings of the single were made with translucent, red vinyl. Years after its release it remains a staple on classic rock radio playlists, and is usually the final song Styx plays at its concerts.

When performed live from 1978 to 1983, drummer John Panozzo increased the tempo of the drum pattern during the guitar solo sections. Also, the track would serve as the drum solo spot for Panozzo during that time frame.

Although songwriter Tommy Shaw and fellow Styx guitarist James Young usually played lead guitar on their own compositions, Young asked Shaw if he could take the solo on "Renegade". Shaw agreed, and Young later returned the favor by allowing Shaw to play lead on his "Half-Penny, Two-Penny" on the Paradise Theatre album.

When at home games, the Pittsburgh Steelers, an NFL team, play the song during fourth quarter to encourage the crowd. The song is often associated with the team and its fans.

In popular culture[edit]

The song is often used in some media (such as Supernatural[1] and Freaks and Geeks[2]) to evoke a '70s' aesthetic in the work. In sports, the song is played at Heinz Field as an anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 4th quarter, especially during close games.[3] Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader uses the song for his run-in music from the bullpen. The song is also featured in the 1995 movie Billy Madison.[4] The song also appears on Liberty Rock Radio in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned and the fourth episode of season 2 of The Umbrella Academy.


Chart history[edit]


  1. ^ IMDB, "Supernatural" Nightshifter (TV Episode 2007) - Soundtracks
  2. ^ IMDB, "Freaks and Geeks" Pilot (TV Episode 1999) - Soundtracks.
  3. ^ McMillen, Gabrielle (14 October 2019). "Chargers players were not happy when they heard Steelers anthem 'Renegade'". The Sporting News. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  4. ^ [Taltos. “Billy Madison (1995) Soundtrack - Complete List of Songs: WhatSong.” What,]
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1979-06-23. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  6. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  7. ^ "1979 Top 200 Singles". RPM. Vol. 32 no. 13. Library and Archives Canada. December 22, 1979. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  8. ^

External links[edit]