Writer: Dennis DeYoung
Recorded: Spring and summer 1979
Released: Fall 1979
|Players:||Dennis DeYoung — vocals, keyboards
Tommy Shaw — guitar, vocals
Chuck Panozzo — bass
John Panozzo — drums
|Album:||Cornerstone (A&M, 1979)|
“Babe” was Styx's first Number One single on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was a birthday present from singer-keyboardist Dennis DeYoung to his wife of 15 years, Suzanne. “Being on the road for six years puts a strain on a relationship,” he said. “I wanted to tell her how much I missed her when I was gone.”
It was Suzanne who predicted that “Babe” was “as good as 'Lady'”–Styx's 1975 chart debut–“if not better.” But, she said, “I wasn't so sure I wanted to share our feelings with the world.”
Neither were the other members of Styx, who fought DeYoung over releasing the unabashedly mellow love song. “Change is a scary thing for everyone,” he said. “According to some people, you're either a rock-and-roll band or you're not. And anybody who plays ballads was looked down upon by the radio establishment.”
After the band had trouble getting a suitable recording of “Babe,” the group decided to go with DeYoung's original demo–recorded only with the Panozzo brothers' rhythm section–and an overdubbed solo by singer-guitarist Tommy Shaw.
The Cornerstone album reached Number Two on the Billboard 200 and sold more than two million copies.