Styx - Babe

Babe – Styx | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & Adult Contemporary (#9) ; 1979

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Unlike today, when even Aerosmith can be heard on Adult Contemporary radio stations without the fear of audience backlash, in the 1970’s you either rocked or you didn’t, and Styx fans knew where their boys stood. Over the years Styx had worked tirelessly to build a solid – and profitable – career based on their brand of commercialized progressive rock. So what to do with a new soft ballad written by member Dennis DeYoung? Dennis had composed Babe for his wife’s ears only to express just how much he missed her. Singing all the vocal parts over a quiet backing from fellow Styx-ters, Chuck and John Panozzo, Dennis gave Babe to Suzanne as a birthday present. And there it might have ended, except Dennis and Suzanne knew Babe was something special. Dennis convinced the rest of Styx to take the risk, and Babe – in its original version plus an added Tommy Shaw guitar solo – raced to #1.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Dennis DeYoung
  • John Panozzo
  • Chuck Panozzo

Lyrics Written by:

  • Dennis DeYoung


  • Won People’s Choice Award for Favorite New Song (1980)
  • Nominated for Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group (22nd Annual Grammy Awards, 1980)