REO Speedwagon took the slow road to fame and fortune, but once they reached the top, they became one of the biggest pop-rock acts of the 1980s. Formed in 1967 in Champaign, Illinois, REO Speedwagon didn’t have a big hit until 1980, but the success that followed was huge. Hi Infidelity sold ten million copies, spent fifteen weeks as the number one album in the country, and landed four singles inside the Top 40, including the number one hit Keep on Loving You. Four years later, REO Speedwagon would score another number one hit with Can’t Fight This Feeling, but in between were a selection of records still found on the airwaves more than thirty years later. The group’s soft rock sound with solid guitar work and lyrics marked by desperate longing and vulnerability proved a winning formula for nearly a decade. Romantic comfort music, from Take It on The Run to Keep the Fire Burnin’ and Tough Guys routinely kept REO Speedwagon on the charts. Their blended style of rock and saccharine pop allowed the band to reach across the FM and AM dials and build a following among fans of both ballad rock and melodic adult contemporary music. REO Speedwagon may have struggled on its journey to the top, but it’s obvious they like the destination. With more than forty million records sold, REO Speedwagon continues to tour nationwide, and while it is no longer the album-rock powerhouse it used to be, the band continues to score hit single after hit single, proving that heartfelt songs about failed relationships never go out of style.
REO Speedwagon Family First Tour
REO Speedwagon digs deep into its music vault during 2015’s Family First Tour. Although the band, which features keyboardist Neal Doughty as the only original member, consistently gives fans their surefire favorites, including Keep on Loving You and Roll With the Changes, they have a tendency to pull out B-sides and deep cuts from their early albums, including tour staples like Son of a Poor Man or Golden Country. This year, fans can expect to hear a slew of songs written by late guitarist Gary Richrath, who passed earlier in 2015. Richrath wrote several of the band’s biggest hits and will get his due from his former bandmates, an entirely fitting tribute on a tour that puts family first. REO Speedwagon is, as usual, spending plenty of time in its old Midwest stomping grounds, but they’ll be swinging through casinos and theaters throughout the South and Mid-Atlantic, as well. REO Speedwagon may be standard fare on the adult contemporary dial, but their energetic and upbeat concerts, which showcase singer Kevin Cronin’s impressive vocal interpretations, make classic songs seem new and gives the band a surprising number of young fans who enjoy this powerful pop-rock quintet whether recorded or live on tour.