Renegade (Styx song)
|Single by Styx|
|from the album Pieces of Eight|
|B-side||"Sing for the Day"|
|Released||March 1979 (US) |
|Styx singles chronology|
|Red vinyl pressing|
"Renegade" is a 1979 hit song recorded by the American rock band Styx on their Pieces of Eight album. 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 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.
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.
- Tommy Shaw - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
- Dennis DeYoung - keyboards, backing vocals
- James "JY" Young - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Chuck Panozzo - bass guitar
- John Panozzo - drums
"Renegade" reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1979.
In popular culture
The song is often used in some media such as:
- Freaks and Geeks to evoke a '70s aesthetic in the work.
- The song is featured in the twelfth episode of season two of the television show Supernatural when Sam and Dean escape capture by the FBI.
- The song is also featured in the 1995 movie Billy Madison.
- 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.
- In sports, the song is commonly played at Heinz Field as an anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 4th quarter, especially during close games.
- Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader uses the song for his run-in music from the bullpen.
- "Styx singles".
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1979-06-23. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- "1979 Top 200 Singles". RPM. Vol. 32 no. 13. Library and Archives Canada. December 22, 1979. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
- IMDB, "Freaks and Geeks" Pilot, (TV Episode 1999) - Soundtracks.
- IMDB, "Supernatural" Nightshifter (TV Episode 2007) - Soundtracks
- [Taltos. “Billy Madison (1995) Soundtrack - Complete List of Songs: WhatSong.” What, www.what-song.com/Movies/Soundtrack/50/Billy-Madison.]
- McMillen, Gabrielle (14 October 2019). "Chargers players were not happy when they heard Steelers anthem 'Renegade'". The Sporting News. Retrieved 15 October 2019.