Desert Moon

Album: Desert Moon (1984)
Charted: 10

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Dennis DeYoung remembers the idyllic days of his youth, which were filled with warm summer nights and endless possibility. In the song, he reconnects with his first love and they recall those days, reflecting on what happened to their big dreams.
  • The location of this song is "Desert Moon" because Dennis DeYoung wrote the first version of the song for the 1984 movie Dune, which is based on the 1965 Frank Herbert book. Dune is set on a desert planet, which is how he arrived at the title. In a Songfacts interview with DeYoung, he told the story:

    "A friend of mine told me they were looking for somebody to write a song for the movie Dune, so I started reading the Frank Herbert books, which my wife loves but I hate that kind of stuff. I read it, and I said, 'OK. Moons, desert planet.' I started to write it, and before I got anywhere, they said they'd hired somebody else. So, I thought, 'Well, I've got moons and desert,' and I came up with a completely different story.

    'Desert Moon' becomes an imaginary place in your past to which you desperately want to return, where life seemed simple and innocent."
  • "Desert Moon" Dennis DeYoung's first single, and the title track to his debut solo album. Styx fell apart in 1984 when Tommy Shaw left the band following the Mr. Roboto tour. Their label, A&M, knew they weren't getting any Styx material anytime soon, so they gave DeYoung a solo deal and the resources to make his own album. DeYoung made two more solo albums before Styx got back together in 1990. "Desert Moon" is by far his biggest solo hit; he also charted with "Call Me" (#54), "Don't Wait For Heroes" (#83) and "This Is The Time" (#93).
  • The video was directed by Jack Cole, who also did Steve Perry's videos for "Oh Sherrie" and "Foolish Heart." It opens with some dialogue, as DeYoung returns to his hometown and meets up with his buddies.

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