Snowblind (Styx song)

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Song by Styx
from the album Paradise Theatre
A-side "Rockin' the Paradise"
Released 1981
Format 7"
Recorded 1980
Genre Rock, hard rock
Length 4:58 (album version)
3:52 (single edit)
Label A&M
Songwriter(s) James "J.Y." Young
Dennis DeYoung

"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.

Snowblind was written by Dennis DeYoung and James Young with uncredited lyrics by Tommy Shaw; Young and Shaw share lead vocal duties. The single reached #22 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.


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 "Satan moves through our voices".[1] 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".



  1. ^ Holden, Stephen (1983-03-27). "Serious issues underlie a new album from Styx". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved 2016-05-21.

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