Styx (Kilroy Was Here)

Official Album Cover

The Album

Styx (Kilroy Was Here) released in 1983, stands as a significant and highly controversial album in the band’s discography. This concept album, the eleventh studio album by the band, took a departure from their signature sound, incorporating elements of progressive rock, synth-pop, and theatrical storytelling. While “Kilroy Was Here” divided Styx fans upon its release, it remains a compelling and thought-provoking piece of musical history.

One of the notable aspects of “Kilroy Was Here” is its ambitious narrative arc. The album tells the story of a future society controlled by an oppressive regime that bans rock music and promotes conformity. The protagonist, Kilroy, is a rebel who fights against the system. Styx delivers this concept through a series of theatrical rock songs, dialogue interludes, and a distinct visual style that defined their live performances during that era.

The album kicks off with the energetic “Mr. Roboto,” a song that quickly became a signature Styx track. With its catchy synth hook and robotic vocal effects, it captured the essence of the album’s futuristic theme. The anthemic chorus and the rebellious spirit of the lyrics perfectly set the stage for the concept’s unfolding drama.

Throughout “Kilroy Was Here,” Styx experiments with different musical styles, pushing boundaries and testing the waters of their sound. Tracks like “Don’t Let It End” and “Haven’t We Been Here Before” showcase the band’s talent for crafting powerful ballads that tug at the heartstrings. Meanwhile, “Heavy Metal Poisoning” and “Cold War” inject a heavier edge into the album, delivering a more aggressive and guitar-driven sound.

While the album’s concept and experimentation should be commended, “Kilroy Was Here” does have its weaknesses. Some fans felt that the storyline overshadowed the musical quality, as the album’s narrative interludes and dialogue segments disrupted the flow of the songs. Additionally, the integration of synthesizers and electronic elements, though a sign of the times, may not have aged as well as the band had hoped.

Track Listing

  1. Mr. Roboto
  2. Cold War
  3. Don’t Let It End
  4. High Time
  5. Heavy Metal Poisoning
  6. Just get Through The Night
  7. Double Life
  8. Haven’t We Been Here Before
  9. Don’t Let It End


Despite these flaws, “Kilroy Was Here” remains an intriguing chapter in Styx’s career. It showcased the band’s willingness to take risks and explore new territories. While it may not have achieved the commercial success of their earlier albums, it stands as a testament to the band’s creative ambition and their desire to push the boundaries of rock music.

In retrospect, “Kilroy Was Here” deserves recognition for its innovation and storytelling. It marked a pivotal moment for Styx, highlighting their ability to adapt and evolve while maintaining their signature harmonies and melodic sensibilities. Whether you appreciate it for its conceptual depth or its nostalgic ’80s charm, “Kilroy Was Here” is an album worth exploring for any Styx fan or enthusiast of concept-driven rock music.

Mr. Roboto



(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto)

You’re wondering who I am (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
Machine or mannequin (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
With parts made in Japan (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
I am the Modern Man

I’ve got a secret I’ve been hiding under my skin
My heart is human, my blood is boiling, and my brain IBM
So if you see me acting strangely, don’t be surprised
I’m just a man who needed someone and somewhere to hide
To keep me alive, just keep me alive
Somewhere to hide to keep me alive

I’m not a robot without emotions, I’m not what you see
I’ve come to help you with your problems, so we can be free
I’m not a hero, I’m not a savior, forget what you know
I’m just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control
Beyond my control, we all need control
I need control, we all need control

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I am the Modern Man (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
Who hides behind a mask (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
So no one else can see (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
My true identity

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo (domo), domo (domo)
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo (domo), domo (domo)
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) For doing the jobs that nobody wants to
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) For helping me escape just when I needed to
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) Thank you! Thank you, thank you!
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) I wanna thank you!
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) Please, thank you!
(Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

The problem’s plain to see
Too much technology
Machines to save our lives
Machines dehumanize

The time has come at last (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
To throw away this mask (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
Now everyone can see (Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret)
My true identity

I’m Kilroy!


Kilroy Was Here (album) – Wikipedia