Renegade (Styx song)

Single by Styx
from the album Pieces of Eight
B-side "Sing for the Day"
Released January 9, 1979 (1979-01-09)
Format 7"
Recorded 1978
Genre Hard rock
Length 4:15
Label A&M
Writer(s) Tommy Shaw
Producer(s) Styx
Styx singles chronology
"Sing for the Day"

"Renegade" is a 1979 hit song recorded by the American rock band Styx. It was on their Pieces of Eight album. It reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1979.

The song is a first-person narrative of an outlaw, captured for a bounty, who recognizes that he is about to be executed for his criminal activities. The execution will be by hanging, as the outlaw laments, "Hangman is coming down from the gallows and I don't have very long."

Some pressings of the single were made with translucent, red vinyl. Years after its release it remains a staple on classic rock radio playlists, and is usually the final song Styx plays at its concerts.

When performed live from 1978 to 1983, drummer John Panozzo increased the tempo of the drum pattern during the guitar solo sections. Also, the track would serve as the drum solo spot for Panozzo during that time frame.

Although songwriter Tommy Shaw and fellow Styx guitarist James Young usually played lead guitar on their own compositions, Shaw asked Young if he could take the solo on "Renegade". Young agreed, and later returned the favor by allowing Shaw to play lead on his "Half-Penny, Two-Penny" on the Paradise Theatre album.

Since 2001, the song has become a de facto theme song for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.[1] The song is frequently played on the Heinz Field jumbotron, accompanied by a video featuring members of the defense.[1]



  1. 1 2 "Steelers Turn To Power Of 'Renegade' To Fuel Defense: 'Oh Momma' Rallying Cry For Black And Gold". WTAE-TV. November 9, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-22.
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