Snowblind
by Styx

Album: Paradise Theater (1981)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is officially credited to band members James Young and Dennis DeYoung, although Tommy Shaw has claimed that he helped write the song. Speaking with Allan Handelman on WZTK in North Carolina, Shaw explained that the song was about cocaine, but it's really an anti-cocaine song. Shaw says that he did the drug, since it was part of the scene at the time, but didn't like it, since it made him stupid and just gave him a desire to drink more and do more coke.
  • At a time when many rock bands were being accused of concealing reversed Satanic messages in their music, it was widely alleged that "Satan move through our voices" could be heard when this song was played backwards; however, no one has ever identified the exact section of the song which supposedly contains the messages. Styx would go on to parody the anti-rock Christian fundamentalist movements on their next album, Kilroy Was Here, which told the story of a future ruled by the "Majority for Musical Morality." The kerfuffle over the backward message was great publicity for Styx, as lots of people bought the album so they could check it out. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - Voorhees, NJ

Comments: 15

  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlThis song is a good break from their more commercial mainstream tunes.
  • Mike from Norwalk, CtI miss hearing this song!!!!!!!!!
  • Dane from Green Cove Springs Fla., FlA way cool Styx song.I always thought it was about cocaine from a users' point of view.I really like the changes in this one.
  • Cheryle from Columbus, Oh"Snowblind" is about cocaine, written by JY and Dennis as anti-drug. However, they had several open verses and asked Tommy to write lyrics. He took the subject matter and "wrote from experience." Tommy was pretty heavily involved with drugs and alcohol that escalated during the 80's and culminated in his extreme unhappiness over the whole Kilroy thing. That was when he quit the band. Tommy did get clean in the mid-80s around the time his daughter was born.
  • Christian from Oslo, NorwayI agree that this could be about cocaine...
    seems like it's from an addicts point of view...
  • Dave from Easton, PaI really like this song, Satanic messages aside. I also believe that "Paradise Theater" was the best Styx album. I know every song on that album, and there's not a throwaway in the bunch.
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhKevin, thank you for clarifying that. ***Is it me, or does "Heavy Water" have a similar guitar riff as "Heavy Metal Poisoning"? ***If "Snowblind" is about cocaine usage, I highly doubt that any of the band members used it on a regular basis. Otherwise, great song.
  • Kevin from Rolla, MoActually, Randy, the backward phrase at the beginning of Heavy Metal Poisoning was "Annuit Coeptis Novus Ordo Seclorum". Annuit Coeptis means "He (God) approves (or has approved) our undertakings" and Novus Ordo Seclorum means "New Order of the Ages". You can find both phrases on the back of a $1 bill, around the pyramid with the eye.
  • Mark from Luling, LaThe opening to this song is fantastic!
  • Tom from Chicago, IlOk so this song obviously talks about cocaine, am I right? So I just wanted to know why no one else says anything about it.
  • Achory from Warner Robins, Gaif styx put any sort of backwards message in a song, it was probably done with the same intention as pink floyd's backward message in "empty spaces": to make fun of all the people who go looking for backwards messages in music; however, i seriously doubt that they would put something satanic like that.
  • Jerry from Visala, CaThe backward phrase is, "Satan Moves In Our Words" and the part of the song when this occurs is when they sing, "Tried so hard to make it so." In fact even if you just record your own voice singing "Tried so hard to make it so" and play it backward, you can hear the backward message. It's pretty cool. I've done it.
  • Joe from Bellingham, WaBlack Sabbath song?
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhI liked what JY did to the introduction of the song, 'Heavy Metal Poisoning'...He did INTENTIONALLY added a backward message to it. I remember hearing on the radio show 'Rockline', when the album 'Kilroy Was Here' was released. If I'm not mistaken, it states the latin motto, 'E Plurbus Unum', or 'In god we trust', along with another verse. Unfortunately, I don't have the capability to actually play that section backwards to confirm it. But I do think that this was JY's way of screwing with the PMRC and the State Lagislature of California for what they did to STYX with 'Snowblind'. GOOD JOB, JY!
  • Donna from Neosho, Wi"Snowblind" sparked controversy when the California State Legislature and later Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center claimed that the song's lyrics were "Satanistic" and contained backwards messages. The line "I try so hard to make it so" supposedly said backwards was "Satan move through our voices," although visual inspection reveals this is not the case. The Parents Music Resource Center also lobbied for a bill to get warning labels about such messages on record labels. Styx later dismissed these claims as baseless. They created the concept album "Kilroy Was Here" as a response to the California ruling. "Kilroy Was Here"
    I still cannot believe Styx was accused of such a thing as "backwards Satanic messages." For God's sake, Styx is such a loving band! J.Y. has often gone on the record, refuting this charge during his concert introduction for "Snowblind," with Dennis saying on "In the Studio with Redbeard" which devoted an entire episode to the making of "Paradise Theatre" that "we had enough trouble to make the music sound right forward. It was the name Styx which is the river that runs through the underground. Can you imagine attacking the band that made Babe, I mean please!"
    Seriously people...it's not possible. James Young and all the members of Styx are such wonderful people...there's no way they would intentionally do that. There are way too many misguided souls ou there who just try to find stuff to do by playing songs backwards and the just making false accusations just to make headlines and make bands look bad...
    Styx is one of those bands...and they certainly do not deserve that!
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