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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » REO Speedwagon - 1980 Hi Infidelity
REO Speedwagon - 1980 Hi Infidelity

ARTIST: REO Speedwagon
ALBUM: Hi Infidelity
SERIAL: FE 36844
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2000, Legacy, EK 61614


LINEUP: Kevin Cronin - vocals, guitars * Gary Richrath - guitars, vocals * Neal Doughty - piano, organ, synthesizers * Bruce Hall - bass, vocals * Alan Gratzer - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Let Him Go * 02 Keep On Loving You * 03 Follow My Heart * 04 In Your Letter * 05 Take It On The Run * 06 Tough Guys * 07 Out Of Season * 08 Shakin' It Loose * 09 Someone Tonight * 10 I Wish You Were There


In 1979, I fell in love with REO Speedwagon's 'Nine Live's LP. A blistering rock album which lifted this band beyond their prior efforts. Just about overnight, their persona and perception moved from great working class mid-west toil to 'sit up and take notice of us' hard rockers. Just as I was all set to embrace these guys as my new American heroes, they go and toss out the rule book and move into commercial pop rock territory with their follow-up, the mega selling LP 'Hi-Infidelity'. Released the week before Christmas in 1980, 'Hi Infidelity' would become the biggest selling album of 1981, and propelled this Illinois outfit into the big-time.

The Songs
Album opener 'Don't Let Him Go' is an exciting way to start - easy to remember chorus, a heap of keyboards and an unrelenting back-beat which keeps the metronome busy. The success of 'Keep On Loving You' was perhaps the start of a deluge of radio-friendly pop oriented ballads, that would see the likes of Foreigner, Toto and Journey emulate REO. In fact, the entire gamut of rock ballads throughout the 80's could be traced back to the success of this one song. 'Follow My Heart' encases another memorable chorus alongside edgy guitar lines, the next tune 'In Your Letter' is an acoustic/piano ditty that borders on cute (others would say schmaltzy). The album's prime moment is the power-ballad 'Take It On The Run' - a desperate tale of lost love with a sound that is equally desperate.. AORsters know what I'm talking about. 'Tough Guys' and 'Out Of Season' see REO revert to a style reminiscent from their previous albums, whereas 'Shakin' It Loose' heads down the good time rock n roll street while 'Someone Tonight' tosses a few hints that a power-pop direction/style is not beneath them! The only song which doesn't stack up is the closer 'I Wish You Were There', which is a tedious 60's styled gospel like ballad.

In Summary
'Hi Infidelity' spent 15 weeks at number 1, spent 32 weeks in the top 10, and 65 weeks all up - on the Billboard album charts. As mentioned, it was the biggest selling album of 1981 (among a whole host of top contenders), and it spawned four top forty singles, of course 'Keep On Loving You' spent one week in the coveted no 1 singles spot during March 1981. Who would've thought that the band, from modest beginnings in Champaign IL would get this big? The band would follow this success up with 1982's 'Good Trouble' and '1984's 'Wheels Are Turnin', featuring REO's next number 1 single 'I Can't Fight This Feeling'. The band are now regulars on the classic rock circuit, and as at 2007, they are still active, and are due to release a new album..

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
This, along with Journey 'Escape', was my introduction to the world of rock back in 1981. Strangely enough, I never did replace my LP with the CD back then, as I got their greatest hits package 'The Hits' when it came out in 1988. It's been good revisiting all the non-hit tunes on this excellent album. Unlike George, I love 'I Wish You Were There'.
#2 | imprimateur on July 24 2008 04:16:08
Good on them for achieving success with this album. Still prefer 'Nine Lives though.
#3 | super80boy on May 10 2014 16:52:33
A positively strong album where they hit their peak form and produced some great non single oriented songs that kept the album consistently balanced, like the ear candied 'Someone Tonight'. I would have to give the slight nod to 'Wheels Are Turnin' as their very best effort though.
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