Rockin' The Paradise
by Styx

Album: Paradise Theater (1981)

Songfacts®:

  • This song leads off the Paradise Theatre album, setting up the concept of the rise and fall of a Chicago theater. The Paradise Theatre was real, located in Chicago and built in 1928 with the slogan, "Not for today but for all time." It gradually degraded and was torn down in 1958.

    The theatre is a metaphor for life in America, which at the time seemed bleak to keyboard player Dennis DeYoung, who came up with the concept. He calls this song his "working class take on what was wrong with America."
  • Dennis DeYoung, who sang lead on this track, got the idea for this song and the album concept after visiting an art gallery where he saw a serigraph (a silkscreen print) by the artist Robert Addison of the Paradise Theatre in decay. That image became the basis for the album art; a vibrant scene of the theatre's opening on the front cover, and an image of the dilapidated venue on the back.
  • The first part of this song ("Tonight's the night we'll make history") is listed on the album as a separate song called "A.D. 1928," representing the year the Paradise Theatre opened. This section is almost always played as part of the song, as it flow into "Rockin' the Paradise."
  • Styx made a video for this song, which was prescient considering MTV was not yet on the air. It's a modified performance clip where Dennis DeYoung wears something resembling a 1920s tuxedo and sings near a player piano before joining his bandmates on stage. When MTV launched eight months after the album was released, "Rockin' the Paradise" was the 10th song they played.

Comments: 1

  • Stukka63 from St.augustine,fla.This song is an amazing song.
    Dennis DeYoung tears it up.
    N Tommy Shaw n his jealousy just needs to let it go.
    Yeah Tommy, we all realize you are an extremely talented artist.
    Just let it go dude.
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