Snowblind (Styx song)
|Song by Styx|
|from the album Paradise Theatre|
|A-side||"Rockin' the Paradise"|
|Genre||Rock, hard rock|
|Length||4:58 (album version)
3:52 (single edit)
|Songwriter(s)||James "J.Y." Young
"Snowblind" is a song by Styx that appears on the Paradise Theatre album released in 1981. The song is about the helplessness of cocaine addiction, alternating between slow, brooding verses and a faster, harder-edged chorus, representing the addict's cycle of highs and lows.
Claims were made by anti-rock-music activists during the early 1980s that the song's lyrics were Satanistic and contained hidden backwards messages. The line "I try so hard to make it so" when played in reverse was alleged to be "Oh Satan, move in our voices". Aural inspection however suggests that any resemblance the line's reversed phonemes had to this phrase was slight, and likely coincidental. The protestors used Snowblind as one of several examples of rock songs that they claimed contained hidden Satanic phrases, and they lobbied the Arkansas State Senate for laws to require warning labels on records containing such messages.
Styx repeatedly and angrily dismissed these claims as baseless. Dennis DeYoung told Dallas radio show In the Studio host Redbeard that "Anyone who plays their records backwards is the Antichrist. We have enough trouble making these records sound right forward. People have nothing better to do. It's the name Styx (which means the river in the underground). Can you imagine attacking the guys who made Babe, I mean please" on the In the studio episode spotlighting Paradise Theatre.
Despite the band's protests, fundamentalist Christian groups were able to influence the Arkansas State Senate to pass a bill requiring that all records containing backward masking be labeled as such by the manufacturer. Cited in the legislation were albums by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, and Styx.
Partly as a response to the Arkansas ruling, the band created the concept album Kilroy Was Here, which included genuine backwards messages mocking their critics. "Snowblind" was the B-side of the album's first single, "Mr. Roboto".
- Dennis DeYoung-keyboards, vocals
- James Young-lead guitar, co-lead vocals
- Tommy Shaw-rhythm guitar, co-lead vocals
- Chuck Panozzo-bass guitar
- John Panozzo-drums