According to Styx’s Dennis DeYoung, this song was meant as a “working class take on what was wrong in America.”
it was also the first song on the Paradise Theater album. The Paradise was a real theater in Chicago. It opened in 1928 and, after years of neglect, it was torn down in 1958. DeYoung saw a picture of the dilapidated Paradise in an art museum and he felt that it was the perfect metaphor for the end of the American dream. Hence, the album and this song.
And, for that matter, this video. The video opens with DeYoung on a stage that could very well have been in the Paradise Theater. He wears a white tuxedo, the type that would have been popular when the Paradise Theater first opened. Of course, once he joined onstage by the rest of Styx, the video becomes a fairly standard performance clip.
This was the 10th video to be played on MTV on August 1st, 1981, the network’s first day of broadcast.
The First Videos Shown on MTV:
- Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles
- You Better Run by Pat Benatar
- She Won’t Dance With Me by Rod Stewart
- You Better You Bet By The Who
- Little Suzi’s On The Up by PH.D
- We Don’t Talk Anymore by Cliff Richard
- Brass in Pocket by Pretenders
- Time Heals by Todd Rundgren
- Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon