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VINE VOICEon January 6, 2000
Everyone misses the point about REO Speedwagon: the critics who call their music corporate and faceless, even fans looking for a 70s-80s nostalgia trip every summer with Frampton Comes Alive XXIII.
Unlike studio-born contemporaries such as Toto and Journey, REO came from the midwest and built its reputation on non-stop touring. Even amidst changes in personnel and musical tastes, their music, reflected in their best and most popular songs contained here, reflect persistence and perserverence. Look down the titles: "ROLL with the Changes," "KEEP on Loving You," "KEEP Pushing," "Don't Let Him Go," "Ridin' The Storm Out." (Not to mention "Keep The Fire Burnin'" a great 1982 hit which didn't make it here.) These songs are about staying in the game (whether the game is love or career) when many feel it's no longer necessary. It's no accident that their breakthrough 1977 live album was called, "You Get What You Play For"; REO's success was belated but earned. This is more than a best-of CD. Even with the hit ballads it's a mission statement that rocks.
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REO Speedwagon began life as a rock group, edging toward the harder side. However, the group's success came with ballads, typically power ballads.

This album contains a taste of REO Speedwagon's harder edge with songs "Keep Pushin'," "Roll with the Changes," "Back on the Road Again" and "Ridin' the Storm Out." However, fans of REO Speedwagon's early material will likely be disappointed because the remainder of the album is largely ballads, and even those songs that skirt the definition of ballad are still love songs. This album also focuses on the years from "Hi Infidelity" to 1987, with nine of the fourteen songs in this collection from those years.

"Ridin' the Storm Out" was from the album of the same name, which reached #171 on the Pop Album chart. This song reached #94 and probably has as much air play today as when it was released in 1973.

The 1976 album "R.E.O.," which reached #159 on the Pop Album chart, contributes the song "Keep Pushin'," which I believe was not released as a single.

The 1978 album "You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish" was a breakthrough album for REO Speedwagon, reaching #29 on the Pop Album chart. This album contributes the songs "Time for Me to Fly," which reached #56, and "Roll with the Changes," which reached #58.

The 1979 album "Nine Lives" was about as successful as the 1978 album, reaching #33 on the Pop Album chart. That album is represented by the song "Back on the Road Again," which I believe was not released as a single.

The songs to this point are generally fast with a solid beat. However, in 1980 REO Speedwagon changed styles with the #1 album "Hi Infidelity," which lends three songs to this compilation. "Keep on Loving You" is a beautiful ballad that reached #1. "Take It on the Run" followed, reaching #5 on the charts. "Don't Let Him Go" was faster than the previous two songs, and varied from the previous releases enough that it only reached #24.

REO Speedwagon had another successful release with the 1982 album "Good Trouble," which reached #7. However, neither of the singles released from that album ("Keep the Fire Burnin'" and "Sweet Time") are in this collection.

In 1984, REO Speedwagon released their last top ten album, "Wheels are Turnin'," which reached #7 on the Billboard 200. That album provided two mellow hits, the #1 hit "Can't Fight this Feeling" and the #19 hit "One Lonely Night."

The last original album in this collection is 1987's "Life as We Know It," which provides two songs. "That Ain't Love" is dramatic mainstream pop, and reached #16. "In My Dreams" is mellower, and reached #17.

Two new songs were released on this album. "I Don't Want to Lose You" had a style similar to "That Ain't Love." The second new song was "Here with Me," which was released as a single and hit #20.

This album reached #56 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was one more indication that REO Speedwagon was waning in popularity. I find it unfortunate that a group that had so much to offer ended up going down a commercial path that yielded hits, but ultimately left the group high and dry as musical styles changed. However, for a time REO Speedwagon offered something creative and dramatic, and, even more important, something enjoyable to play on the stereo.

If you prefer REO Speedwagon's early, harder rock music, you may want to avoid this collection and buy the early albums. If you like the REO Speedwagon that released "Hi Infidelity," this collection may contain everything you need.
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VINE VOICEon October 5, 2000
REO Speedwagon was one of those bands that came out of the 70's with an attitude that they'll do it their way. Disco was on it's way out, punk was just hitting its stride, and glam-rock hadn't started but these guys just wanted to ROCK! Although they had acheive some success in the late 70's with their first top 40 hit "Roll with the Changes" and the live album "Nine Lives" which re-introduced "Riding the Storm Out", it was 1981's "Hi Infidelity" which took them to superstar status. Hits like "Take it on the Run" and "Keep on Loving you" brought many new fans to the concerts. Unfortunitly, here is where they also started to sell out. Instead of being Rock & Roll stars they tried to become top 40 hit-makers. Songs like "Can't Fight This Feeling"(1984) and "In My Dreams" (1986) reek of sell out to the masses. What a shame.
This Greatest Hits collection covers just about all their albums, from mid-70's to late 80's, and is a great testament to their staying-power. If I were to buy only one REO Speedwagon CD, it would be Hi Infidelity. However, this collection would be second.
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on February 9, 2005
"The Hits" gives you what you expect from later day REO Speedwagon: power ballads with plenty of keyboards and synthezers to make you want to rock, but blush instead. Oh, don't be ashamed, Americas favorite guilty pleasure hard rock band is fun to listen to, and "the Hits" shows this side, while missing much of their harder rocking, garage days of the late 70's.

The hits are here: "Keep on Loving You" and "Can't Fight this Feeling" are known by many who listen to FM Rock or even adult contemporary radio. REO Speedwagon knew how to craft a killer power ballad, and that's what they did best. Once they found their strength, they used it to their ability to conquer charts and Top 40 radio, a territory most FM Rock staples used to miss, but started entering in the 80's (Foreigner, The Cars, Toto, ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen, Genesis, Van Halen, etc.) REO Speedwagon joined their contempories in crafting commercially successful music, and weren't ashamed of it (hell, the acts make a lot more money from that, and have a chance at a lot more awards).

However, hard core REO Speedwagon fans will be disappointed that not more of their lesser known hard rock/garage songs weren't included. Yes "Ridin' the Storm Out", one of their hits from the older days, is included (brilliantly it is the last song, great way to end the album.) Besides that and few other cuts, it's mainly the newer power ballads and pop-rock songs, which might be a bummer to fans looking for the older sounding songs.

REO Speedwagon is a band many are ashamed to say they enjoyed, but why? They crafted killer power ballads, the kind of songs you could play for your boyfriend or girlfriend and know that they would be yours. Anything wrong with that? Didn't think so. Pick up this album and blush all over again.
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on April 27, 2016
The Hits
REO Speedwagon

Husband loves the album

Sample this album
1
I Don't Want To Lose You
3:07
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2
Here With Me
5:04
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3
Roll With The Changes
5:36
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4
Keep on Loving You
3:21
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5
That Ain't Love
4:01
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6
Take It On The Run
4:00
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7
In My Dreams
4:30
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8
Don't Let Him Go
3:45
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9
Can't Fight This Feeling
4:54
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10
Keep Pushin'
4:05
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11
Time For Me To Fly
3:41
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12
One Lonely Night
3:21
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Back On The Road Again
5:28
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14
Ridin' the Storm Out (Live)

wiki

REO Speedwagon (originally styled as R.E.O. Speedwagon) are an American rock band. Formed in 1967, the band cultivated a following during the 1970s and achieved significant commercial success throughout the 1980s. Hi Infidelity (1980) contained four US Top 40 hits and is the group's best-selling album, with over ten million copies sold.

Over the course of its career, the band has sold more than 40 million records and has charted thirteen Top 40 hits, including the number ones "Keep On Loving You" and "Can't Fight This Feeling". REO Speedwagon's mainstream popularity dissipated in the 1990s but the band remains a popular live act.[1][2]
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on June 22, 2006
Given that the Essential compilation is 2 CDs and about 150 minutes of material (remastered), it's a better bet than this one (at under an hour). If you can get a copy of this, make sure it's remastered and dirt cheap. Otherwise, look for the Essential comp, it's commonly on Amazon for less than $13.
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The groups Foreigner, Foghat, Styx, Journey, Air Supply, and the subject of this review, REO Speedwagon, can cause a lot of debate among music fans due to the "corporate rock" effect that took place in the 1970's, where artists' albums were guaranteed platinum sales if they became part of the well-oiled machinery that may have yielded hits on the radio, but remained in an uninspired and uninnovative cozy rut. As someone into all kinds of music, I find myself in a very untenable position. I like REO Speedwagon, yet I like classic punk and disco, two genres of music that broke the musical cul-de-sac America seemed to be going into.
Having established that, the Hits, which came out a year after REO's last studio album of the 80's, 1987's Life As We Know It, encapsulated material from their R.E.O. 76 album up to Life As We Know It, with two new songs. The first one, the intense and yearning "I Don't Want To Lose You," was written by the team of Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg (Heart, Bangles) and the languid "Here With Me," which was a close cousin to "In My Dreams" released the previous year.
Life As We Know It was released when I first got into them and,"That Ain't Love" was quite a rocker by their standards, as I had the preconception that they were mellow rock like latter day Chicago, but no, this fiery affirmation that "say what you want to hear, do what you want to do" ain't love, told me otherwise.
However, the third single, co-penned by lead singer Kevin Cronin and ace songwriter Tom Kelly, "In My Dreams" sounded more what I expected to hear, soaring lead vocals, inoffensive harmonies, in other words, the mainstream rock ballad. The two singles represented the two kinds of songs mainly done by REO, love songs and leaving songs.
Now, for their two signature tunes, "Keep On Lovin' You" and "Can't Fight This Feeling" their two #1s from Hi Infidelity and Wheels Are Turning respectively. A fiery guitar on the first and the trademark 80's synths and lovey-dovey vocals on the second. There was a time when I couldn't tell them apart from Chicago, the harmonies and sound were so alike. That has been rectified.
Speaking of Hi Infidelity, one of my favourites by them, "Take It On The Run" with that "heard it from a friend" rumour-mongering that leads to a fed up "I don't want you around." This sports one of their best fiery guitar solos.
Of course, they got started on the road to big status with the boisterous "Roll With The Changes" from You Can Tune A Piano..., which was their first Top 40 hit. Yes, there is a piano in this song. Also on that album was "Time For Me To Fly," which set the standard for the #1 songs they eventually made. But the sound that places them in the 70's is best represented by "Keep Pushin'" from R.E.O., as does the hard-rocker "Back On The Road Again," which the most hard-driving track here.
A live version of the title track to their Ridin' The Storm Out album finishes this collection, which seems to overlap the First Decade and Second Decade compilations, but for someone who grew up in the 80's, the Hits will do just fine. While not innovative, at least REO comes through with a consistent and familiar sound, slightly altered with synths in the 80's, be it harder stuff or rock ballads.
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REO Speedwagon's "The Hits," makes the unfortunate mistake of emphasizing the band's latter history as vapid, power balladeers over their earlier, more energetic garage band days. So instead of a burning political song with feeling like 1973's Vietnam rant "Golden Country," you get claptrap like the awful late 80s "Here With Me," and "I Don't Want to Lose You." REO's big breakthrough was the 1980 album "Hi Infidelity," (represented decently by "Take it on the Run," "Don't Let Him Go," and "Keep On Loving You"). Unfortunately, that success caused them to virtually stop rocking as leader Kevin Cronin repeated himself writing syrupy slop straight into commericial oblivion.
Still, the album is partially redeemed by the presence of late 70s tunes "Time for Me to Fly," "Roll With the Changes," and the crackling live version of "Riding the Storm Out." Those three songs contain more vitality and energy than every single album the band recorded after "Hi Infidelity." In the end, "The Hits" ends up as a fascinating study of what happens when a rock band tries too hard to pander to its audience.
Overall, a half-good anthology that would have been redeemed with the inclusion of more older material.
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on November 3, 2014
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on September 4, 2004
The Hits is exactly what it says it is, a collection of Reo Speedwagon's biggest radio hits and two I Don't Want to Lose You and Here with Me making their first appearance on an Reo album. The songs like Roll with the Changes, Time for Me to Fly, Take it on the Run, Keep on loving You, Can't fight this feeling, Ridin the storm out cover most of Reo's best known songs, as well as concert favorites like Keep Pushin' and Back on the Road Again, the only big hit out at the time that's missing is Keep the Fire Burnin. The Hits does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the Reo Speedwagon radio experince and is all most casual fans will need.
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