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, Shaw asked Young if he could take the solo on "Renegade". Young 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 media:
- Ash vs. Evil Dead (Season 1 episode 6).
- Freaks and Geeks, to evoke a '70s aesthetic
- S2Ep12 of Supernatural, when Sam and Dean escape capture by the FBI
- 1995 movie Billy Madison
- Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, on Liberty Rock Radio
- S2Ep4 of The Umbrella Academy
- Pittsburgh Steelers, between the 3rd and 4th quarters, especially during close games (started by the General Manager of the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh Rick Wittkopp)
- Milwaukee Brewers, for closer Josh Hader's run-in music
- Pittsburgh Pirates, for closer David Bednar’s run-in music
- S4Ep13 of Ozark
- Narcos (Season 2 trailer)
- NHL on ESPN (2021-present)
- "Styx singles".
- "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. March 17, 1979. p. 15. Retrieved 2022-01-01.
- Dome, Malcolm (February 18, 2022). "The 10 best Styx songs". Classic Rock. Louder Music. Retrieved 2022-06-19.
- "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.]
- Stepnick, John. "The Pittsburgh Steelers' "Renegade": a Brief History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
- on YouTube