Saturday, March 16, 2013

REO Speedwagon

This is music review number four in my trilogy. I thought after my last review of Aaron Neville's Doo Wop concert that I was through for a while with this topic. Unknown, or is it unremembered, at the time I had an REO Speedwagon concert on AXS in the DVR queue. I just watched it, so here's the BillyJim critique.

REO Speedwagon is a rock band formed in 1967 in Champagne, IL. by University of Illinois students. They were popular in the 1970's and 80's. They hit their peak in the 80's when they changed from harder rock to a more pop oriented, radio friendly style of music. There Hi Infidelity album spent 65 weeks on the charts and, 32 weeks in the top ten and 15 weeks at number one. It sold over 10 million copies. Not too shabby. The current band members include only one original member, Neal Doughty. Lead singer Kevin Cronin has been with the group since 1972 except for a couple of years and sang their 1980's hits.

Steve Perry of Journey
I was never a big REO Speedwagon fan although I like many of their songs. It's not that I didn't like them so much as I didn't really pay as much attention to bands in the 1980's. I just listened to songs I liked. There were several groups of that era that sounded pretty much alike to me. Groups like Styx, Foreigner, INXS, Rush and Air Supply. I'd be hard pressed to be able to identify who performed a particular song among those bands. I wasn't completely tone deaf or musically illiterate during the 70's and 80's. I can tell a Journey song but that's easy because of Steve Perry's great unique voice. Other groups also had unique sounds like Simply Red, again a great lead singer in Mick Hucknall, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straights and others.

It's normal to know every popular song and singer when you're a teenager. Less so in your 20's but music and concerts are still important. By the 30's it fades even more as the kids and career move to the forefront. You may know more Sesame Street or Sponge Bob songs than top 40 hits.

Kevin Cronin - Now
Back to REO Speedwagon. Here is the playlist from the TV show. You may recognize a few of the songs.

  • Find Your Way Home
  • Take It On The Run
  • Keep Pushin'
  • Can't Fight This Feeling
  • Dangerous Combination
  • Time For Me To Fly
  • Don't Let Him Go
  • Keep On Loving You
  • Roll With The Changes
  • Ridn' The Storm Out
Kevin Cronin - Then
The concert was OK. Kevin Cronin's voice is not as good as it was in the 1980's but it's not bad. That's to be expected. Many of us have declined in some areas over the 30+ years. He also had some lame chatter between songs. I did not recognize most of the songs. Take It On The Run and Keep On Loving You were big hits that I do remember. As for the others I don't know if they are from the 1970's and 80's or are "new" songs. They haven't had any hits since the late 80's but they have produced a few new albums as well as reissues and compilations of their hits.

Of the five concerts/shows in this four part trilogy, this one is maybe fourth. The History Of The Eagles was the best. Aaron Neville's Doo Wop and Hullabaloo are tied for second for different reasons. Hullabaloo is pure nostalgia and Aaron is a favorite artist who still is performing at a high level although he was singing nostalgic songs too. The REO Speedwagon concert was fourth. It was OK, nothing to write home about but apparently good enough to blog about. Hootenanny was just bad and finishes in last place.

So, I checked and there are no new recorded music shows or concerts on the DVR or in the queue. A fifth entry in the trilogy might be pushing it. I did record the Dick Cheney interview/documentary, The World According to Dick Cheney, on Showtime. Maybe that will be next. From Hullabaloo to Cheney will be quite a transition. Cheney may belong on The Viewpoint blog. Stay tuned.


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