Renegade
by Styx

Album: Pieces Of Eight (1978)
Charted: 16
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This classic rock staple tells the story of a man who has committed associated theft and is heading to the gallows to die. Enclosed in the lyrics are a letter to his mother. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bob - Rio Vista, CA
  • This song was written by Tommy Shaw, who also sang lead vocals, while James Young supplied the guitar solo. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Daniel - Kalamazoo, MI
  • "It's one of those songs that kind of wrote itself," Tommy Shaw explained in an ESPN interview. "I was in my house in Michigan, 1978, at the piano. I came up with this slow, dirge-y thing, very dark. I just started singing, and those are the first words that came out ('Oh, mama I'm in fear for my life...'). I've never been in trouble with the law - I don't know where it came from."
  • This song was used in the Adam Sandler movies Big Daddy and Billy Madison. . >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeff - Nashville, NM
  • This is a huge song for the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, which typically plays it in the second half when the team is on defense, accompanied by a jumbotron video designed to pump up the crowd. As the song builds, the fans and players get hyped up, going into a frenzy when the scream comes in and the track picks up. Fueled by Styx-powered adrenaline, the defense often makes stand, setting the stage for a strong finish.

    A team marketing assistant named Mike Marchinsky suggested the song after listening to the Styx Greatest Hits album on his way to work. This was in 2001, when the Steelers moved to a new stadium: Heinz Field. That season, with the team down 24-7 in a playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, the song ignited the Steelers, who came back to win. After that game, it became a regular feature and a tactical tool - the coaches will sometimes call for it in key situations. It proved especially effective during the 2008 season that culminated with the Steelers Super Bowl XLIII win.
  • Chris Daughtry performed this song live on the TV show American Idol. The topic was songs from the year you were born.
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Comments: 29

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 11th 1979, "Renegade" by Styx entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #73; and on June 3rd, 1979 it peaked at #16 {for 1 week} and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    Was the eighth track off their eighth studio album, 'Pieces of Eight', and the album reached #6 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Two other tracks off the album also made the Top 100 chart; "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" {peaked at #21} and "Sing for the Day" {reached #41}...
    Between 1972 and 1981 the Chicago quintet had twenty-three Top 100 records; eight made the Top 10 with one reaching #1; "Babe" for two weeks on December 2nd, 1979.
  • Jodie from Xxxxx, MdGreat Song.
  • Bob from Farmington Hills, MiNear the end of the song Dennis DeYoung quotes the organ riff from Edgar Winter's classic instrumental "Frankenstein". This kind of "nod" is common among musicians and considered a compliment.
  • Cheryle from Columbus, OhWhen Tommy originally wrote this, it was more of a dirge, with minor keys and heavy 3-part harmony. JY initially hated the song. However, as they re-worked it, Dennis suggested Tommy sing the intro a capella (losing the 3-part harmony) and JY grew to like the song so much as a huge rocker that he asked Tommy if he could do the guitar solo. "Renegade" is now the final encore of their live shows, and the Steelers have adopted the song for their home games, and I have heard of it being played at Penguins games, as well.
  • Robin from Rockville, MdChase, my man - The term is "a cappella," not "au cappella." And what do you mean you "didn't like it"? Styx was one of the very few bands who COULD pull off an a cappella section, with their smooth, close harmonies. I sure am glad you got over that!! :-)
  • Chase from Miami, Flawesome song. when i first heard it, I didn't like the au cappella intro. Then the Eagles-worthy harmonizing came in. so did every thing else. It's now one of my favorite songs ever.
  • Billy from Columbus, OhThis song is played at every Steelers game. It dates back to 2001 the steelers came back from a 21 point deficit after the song was played. It is played in the 3rd quarter and makes the crowd go insane.
  • Linda from Chicago, IlLoved TW4 on various Sunday nights at Mendel HS dances. Anyone know where you can see a video of Styx aka TW4 doing "Earl of Roseland"....

    Renegade could be an autobiographical song about the kids showing up at the peoples store (Gatelys)or the Fenger vs CVS games at Gately stadium..back in the day of course...
  • Mia from Syracuse, NyI want to add that James Young does play the lead guitar solo in this son because when Tommy wrote it, he asked Tommy if he could play it because he loved how hardcore it rocked!
  • Mia from Syracuse, NyI love this song and when Styx does it live the crowd goes nuts. I have had the pleasure of standing directly in front of Tommy on many occations when they perform this song and WOW, I am blown away every time. This song has stood the test of time.
  • Erikka from Buckeye, AzI love everything about this song! The beats, the harmony, everything!
  • Nicole from Chicago, IlMy dad sang this when I was little, and I'd always tell him to stop because I was afraid of hangmen. It also makes me think of Freaks and Geeks! Great show!
  • Kristin from Heflin, Althis is one of my all time fav songs! this and miss america are my fav styx songs!!
  • Jimmy from Rolla, MoStyx is an amazing band and this song simply backs that up. Awesome song...one of the best ever.
  • Suzannah from Williamsport , MdI love this song.its so unforgettable
  • Melanie from Seattle, Wathis song is so cool. it starts out all mysterious and quiet, almost like the beginning of Bohemian Rhapsody. and then BAM! it explodes into awesomeness. this song rocks. Styx is amazing
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesThis song is interesting. The beat is the right beat to dance to. Styx decided to mix the disco beat with such gloomy, morbid lyrics. How do those mix? That doesn't make much sense at all. But that's part of what's mysterious about Styx. You never know what two things the band "styx" together in a song until you hear it. Styx, you rock!! I like that your band is mysterious!!
  • Achory from Warner Robins, Gai love this song. my girlfriend said this was her softball team one year's theme song when they had this name, and i've decided that if i personally were to have a theme song, this would fit me best. obviously, i'm not a criminal or anything, but the gerneral theme of someone who's an outcast from society, has people looking for him, etc. fits me. i won't get into how.
  • Shelby from The Other Side , United StatesDude. This is seriously uber. Yeahhhhh...rock on Styx!
  • Lance from Pittsburgh, PaIt was the theme song to the 2005 Superbowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers!!!
  • Jeeves from Dc, Dchow can you stand styx this songs ok but i hate styx
  • Kedie from Hamilton, CanadaI'm more of a hip hop person, and yet i love this song.This song was also featured in the t.v show "supernatural". It's used to discribe Dean Winchester's kick ass personality.
  • Zac from Grawn, MiI would say this is one of my favorite Styx songs, but I also like Little Suzie. How come that isn't on here? I think it's a popular Styx song...
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., Oh This is one of those STYX songs where only the classic Styx lineup could perform, with JY on lead guitar, and John Panozzo on drums. I did have the pleasure of seeing STYX with the FAB FIVE perform this live. I also saw Tommy perform this song as a solo act twice in the 80's, and he just could not play the lead guitar like JY does. And Todd does not play the drums on this as well as John did. This song is definitely one to play as an encore.
  • Anonnymous from Nashville, TxThis is one of the best songs of all time.
  • Meg from Blahblahblah, Lagreat song. great band!

    styx is awsome and this is not as many comments as i would expect
  • Brandy from Seattle, WaOne of my favorite songs from Styx. It was also my late uncle's favorite Styx song too. It's great!
  • Veronica from Austin, TxGreat use of this song in the show Freaks and Geeks when the geeks are gearing up to fight their nemesis. They're marching down the street, as tough as they can be, with Renegade in the background.
  • Sean from Colorado Springs, CoHell yea it does... if you've not heard it, then you've not truly lived.. you've also not spent enough time in the car :P Radio stations like it as much as I do.
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