The roots of the band REO Speedwagon date back to the mid
1960's, when several University of Illinois classmates got together to
form a band. The band named themselves after the old flatbed truck
by the same name (pictured). "R.E.O." are the initials of the
car's creator (Ransom E. Olds). REO Speedwagon was a big hit on
the midwest club scene, and by 1971, the band had signed a contract with
Epic Records and released a self-titled album. Some of you may
remember the song "157 Riverside Avenue" from this album.
For the first few albums REO Speedwagon produced, they
switched vocalist three times, eventually landing with Kevin Cronin, the
signature voice we recognize today. REO Speedwagon released 9
albums in the 1970's, including a live release that went platinum.
Songs you may remember from this decade include "Ridin' the Storm Out" (Ridin'
the Storm Out, 1973), "Keep Pushin'" (R.E.O., 1976), "Roll
with the Changes" and "Time For Me to Fly" (You
Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish, 1978).
It was the 1980's that REO Speedwagon began meeting with
real success. In 1980, the band released the album Hi
Infidelity, which was a departure from their hard rock days to more
of a pop rock sound. This switch proved to be very successful for
the band, as this album featured four hit songs: "In Your Letter",
"Don't Let Him Go", "Take It On the Run", and "Keep On Loving You".
This album was in the charts for 65 weeks, and number 1 for 15 of those
weeks. In 1982, the REO Speedwagon followed up with the album
Good Trouble, which featured the hit songs "Keep the Fire Burning"
and "Sweet Time". Wheels Are Turnin', their 1984 released,
featured the songs "Can't Fight This Feeling", "I Do' Wanna Know", "One
Lonely Night", and "Live Every Moment". The band's 1987 release,
Life as We Know It, did not do as well as previous releases, but
still brought us the hit songs "That Ain't Love" and "In My Dreams".
By the late 1980's, the popularity of REO Speedwagon
was waning, and some members began to leave the band to start other
projects. Since their heyday, REO Speedwagon has continued to
produce new material and go on tour. At the time of this writing,
the REO Speedwagon Discography was as follows:
1971: R.E.O. Speedwagon
1973: Ridin' the Storm Out
1974: Lost in a Dream
1975: This Time We Mean It
1977: Live: You Get What You Play For
1978: You Can Tune a Piano but You Can't Tuna Fish
1979: Nine Lives
1980: Hi Infidelity
1980: A Decade of Rock and Roll 1970 to 1980
1982: Good Trouble
1984: Wheels Are Turnin'
1985: Best Foot Forward
1987: Life as We Know It
1988: The Hits
1990: The Earth, a Small Man, His Dog and a Chicken
1991: The Second Decade fo Rock and roll 1981 to 1991
1995: Believe in Rock and Roll
1995: Hi Infidelity - Gold
1996: Building the Bridge
1998: Only the Strong Survive
1998: Premium Best
1999: The Ballads
2000: Arch Allies: Live at Riverport
2001: Live Plus
2001: Take It On the Run
2001: Simply the Best
2001: Live Plus 3
2001: Extended Versions Live
2002: Keep On Rollin'
2004: The Essential REO Speedwagon
2005: Rock Breakout Years 1981
2006: Hi Infidelity Then Again...Live
2007: Find Your Own Way Home
2007: XM Confidential Live
2008: Playlist: The Very Best of REO Speedwagon
2009: Not So Silent Night...Christmas with REO Speedwagon