ARTIST: REO Speedwagon
TITLE: R. E. O. Speedwagon
YEAR RELEASED: 1971
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Sophisticated Lady (#122 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: 157 Riverside Avenue, Lay Me Down
LINEUP: Neal Doughty, Alan Gratzer, Terry Luttrell, Gary Richrath, Gregg Philbin
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Generic Midwestern band releases album of generic rock and roll songs without anyone having any idea that in ten years they’d be the biggest thing in the music industry.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: No, Kevin Cronin isn’t on this album – and take that what you will. This album is just…there. There’s nothing really bad or wrong about it (except the drum solo in Dead at Last, but it was 1971). There were some political cuts, but by 1971 opposing Vietnam wasn’t radical at all, even in the middle of Cornfield, Illinois.
157 Riverside Avenue is probably the song you know if you listened to any REO compilation or live album, but as a studio cut it’s as meh as the rest of this. If REO didn’t become the REO of 1981, this wouldn’t even be in print (not that I don’t like albums going out of print in the digital age but that’s another story).
NOTES & MINUTAE: The lead singer was Terry Luttrell. He left after this record. Well, actually Gary Richrath wanted to fight him and he fled into a cornfield.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: This thing wasn’t even released on cassette! (But it was on CD, because, money…)
GRADE: C : It’s the definition of generic and collectors of REO should have it, I guess. I’m not keeping it.