Concept

Kilroy Was Here (album)

Summary
Kilroy Was Here is the eleventh studio album by the American rock band Styx, released on February 22, 1983. A concept album and rock opera about a world where rock music is outlawed, it is named after a famous World War II graffiti tag, "Kilroy was here". It was the last album of original material to be released by the "classic" lineup of Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James "J.Y." Young, John Panozzo, and Chuck Panozzo. The album spawned two hit singles, the synth-pop "Mr. Roboto" which later became one of their signature songs, and the power ballad "Don't Let It End". Both of them were major hits in 1983, peaking at No. 3 and No. 6 respectively, on the US Billboard Hot 100. The album is certified platinum by the RIAA. It is the most recent studio album by the band to be certified platinum. In 2022, Rolling Stone ranked the album #50 on their list of the 50 Greatest Concept Albums of All Time. The band created the album Kilroy Was Here partly to mockingly respond to Christian groups and other anti-rock-music activists who had previously influenced the Arkansas State Senate to pass a bill requiring that all records containing backmasking be labeled as such by the manufacturer. Cited in the legislation were albums by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, and Styx. ELO similarly responded with its own 1983 album Secret Messages. The hard rocker "Heavy Metal Poisoning", the fifth track on the album, begins with the backmasked Latin words "annuit cœptis, novus ordo seclorum". Translated from the Latin, these words mean "[he] has favored our undertakings, a new order of the ages". These are the two mottoes from the Great Seal of the United States on the reverse side of the United States one-dollar bill. The album's somewhat rock-operatic story tells of a future in which a fascist and theocratic government and the "MMM (the Majority for Musical Morality)" have outlawed rock music. The story's protagonist, Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (DeYoung), is a former rock star who has been imprisoned by MMM leader Dr.
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