REO Speedwagon Information
Formed loosely in the late '60s at college in Illinois, REO Speedwagon, named after a fire engine, had a rotating lineup of members that wasnâ€™t truly consistent, switching vocalists three times for each of their first three albums. The current members are Kevin Cronin, Bruce Hall, Neal Doughty and Bryan Hitt, two of which were founding members. Michael Bryan Murphy sang for free of the first four albums, Ridin' the Storm Out, Lost in a Dream and This Time We Mean It, before Cronin returned in January 1976 and recorded R.E.O., released that same year. Cronin's return came after Greg Volz turned down the position for lead vocals due to his conversion to Christianity.
REO Speedwagon's first live album, Live: You Get What You Play For (1977), was self-released and certified platinum. The band was dissatisfied with the producers on their studio albums because of their inability to capture the quality of the band's live show. In 1977, Philbin was replaced with Bruce Hall for You Can Tune a Piano but You Can't Tuna Fish, released in 1978 which received FM radio airplay. The album was REO's first Top 40, peaking at #29. The album sold over 2 million copies in the U.S., going double platinum. In 1979, the band took a turn back to hard rock with the release of Nine Lives.
By the early '70s the band's non-stop touring and recording jump-started carved a path followed by rock bands like STYX, Kansas, and Cheap Trick. Platinum albums and freeform FM radio staples such as "Ridin' the Storm Out" followed, setting the stage for 1980's more pop-oriented Hi Infidelity. Hi Infidelity spawned four hit singles written by Richrath and Cronin, including the #1 "Keep on Loving You" and the #5 "Take It on the Run". The album remained on the charts for 65 weeks, 32 of which were in the top ten. With such rock anthems are â€œCanâ€™t Fight This Feelingâ€ and â€œKeep on Lovinâ€™ Youâ€, REO Speedwagon was the quintessential 80â€™s band to breakout rock triumphs to the pop radio station playlists. The latest studio album released by REO as Not So Silent Night, a holiday collection. REO will be playing at the Bank of America Pavilion for its â€œLove on the Runâ€ tour alongside Pat Benetar on August 29th.