Thursday, June 18, 1970

Musical Artist - REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon in 1988
REO Speedwagon is an American band originally formed in 1967 in Champaign, Illinois by Neal Doughty and Alan Gratzer. The two were joined by Joe Matt and Mike Blair to form REO Speedwagon, taking the name from a 1915 truck designed by Ransom Eli Olds. Within a few years Matt and Blair were replaced and singer Terry Luttrell joined the band. The group was signed to a recording contract in 1971 and released their debut album REO Speedwagon that same year.

Over the next few years, the band toured the Midwest and switched lead singers - featuring three different lead singers on their first three albums. The band eventually settled on Kevin Cronin as their lead vocalist, but not before he had recorded an album =with them, left the band while they recorded another album with a different singer, and returned only after their first choice for a lead singer declined due to his decision to become a born-again Christian. The band's biggest hit in this time period was 1973's Ridin' the Storm Out with Michael Bryan Murphy on lead vocal.

Bassist Greg Philbin left the band in 1977 and was replaced by Bruce Hall. In 1978, the band released the album You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish, which became their first album to reach the top forty powered by the hit singles Roll With the Changes and Time for Me to Fly. In 1980, the band released Hi Infidelity containing the singles Keep On Lovin' You, Take It on the Run, and Don't Let Him Go, launching the band to superstar headliner status that would last through most of the 1980s.

The band released the indifferently successful Good Trouble in 1982, but followed that up with Wheels Are Turnin' in 1984 that included hits like Can't Fight This Feeling, I Do' Wanna Know, and One Lonely Night. In 1987, REO Speedwagon released Life as We Know It with the minor hits That Ain't Love and In My Dreams, but this was something of a swan song for the group. By the 1990s members had begun leaving the group to embark on other projects and the band began the slow process of evolving into a nostalgia act.

Over the years, the band released sixteen studio albums, producing thirteen Billboard top forty hits, including two number one singles. Though they have not had a single reach the charts since 1990, the band continues to tour on a regular basis and shows no sign of slowing down despite several lineup changes.

The band has an official website named REO Speedwagon. They also have a Facebook page.

Musical Monday Selections:

03/18/19: Keep On Lovin' You

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