“Equinox” was the first national record label album for Styx and the last for guitarist John Curulewski who left the band in turmoil with his departure shortly after its release.
Although Curulewski’s departure wasn’t over any bad blood between the band members (he wanted to spend more time with his family – who can’t respect that?) the timing couldn’t have been worse. Styx was about to go out on a major tour supporting “Equinox” and now they had to find a replacement. It wouldn’t be easy. Curulewski was a significant member of the band; in addition to guitar, he also sang and played synthesizers alongside Dennis DeYoung.
Equinox was a solid album for Styx, but I think that with the departure of Curulewski, a key member in the group, A&M became worried about the stability within Styx. The album was not as well backed by the record label as it could have been, even though it spawned a top 40 hit with the single “Lorelei”.
In the end, it worked out well for Styx. Shortly after John Curulewski’s departure, they recruited the talents of Tommy Shaw. He couldn’t play keyboards like Curulewski, but in addition to playing guitar, he was one hell of a vocalist and a great songwriter. He became such an integral part of the success of Styx that many people don’t realize he is not an original member.