Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Heavy Metal Poisoning

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Released  1983
Length  4:57
Writer(s)  James Young
Recorded  1982
Label  A&M

"Heavy Metal Poisoning" is a song by American rock band Styx. It was included as the fifth track on their 1983 studio album Kilroy Was Here.


The song in the story of Kilroy Was Here has the character of Dr Righteous (portrayed by James "JY" Young) preaching the "evils" of rock and roll. The song got some minor airplay on FM rock radio but its music video got significant airplay on MTV upon release.

It would be released as a B-side to the single "Music Time" (from the band's 1984 double live album Caught in the Act) in 1984.


The song begins with the backmasked Latin words "annuit cœptis, novus ordo seclorum". Translated from the Latin, these words mean "He/God has favored our undertakings, a new order of the ages". These are the two mottoes on the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States. If listened closely enough, just after the second refrain and instrumental break, another backmasked message can be heard, saying "Sparky holds the secrets" in reference to Sparky the flying wonder dog from the Paradise Theater album..


The video of the track was directed by Brian Gibson (alongside the videos for "Mr. Roboto" and "Don't Let It End"). The video has Dr. Righteous performing a sermon on The Dr. Righteous Show with his two henchmen (portrayed by the Panozzo twins) by his side. Interspersed is footage of people and members of The Majority for Musical Morality setting fire to guitars and records. On Righteous' TV show, Righteous brainwashes a youth who was inflicted with the "evils" of rock and roll which was almost thwarted when Jonathan Chance (played by Tommy Shaw) tried to save the youth only to escape from being arrested by the Majority of Musical Morality. While the Tommy Shaw character mimes the guitar solo, it is actually played by James 'J.Y.' Young. At the end of the clip, Righteous succeeds in "curing" a youth from the "evils" of rock and roll. Interestingly, primary frontman and singer Dennis DeYoung doea not appear in the video - the only Styx video he does not appear in until he was unceremoniously dismissed from the band in 1999.

It is included on the Styx compilation album Styx Rockers.


  • James "J.Y." Young - electric guitars, guitar solo, lead and backing vocals, guitar synthesizers
  • Dennis DeYoung - synthesizers, backing vocals
  • Chuck Panozzo - bass guitar
  • John Panozzo - drums
  • Tommy Shaw - electric guitars, backing vocals
  • References

    Heavy Metal Poisoning Wikipedia

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