ARTIST: REO Speedwagon
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Little Queenie, and I know some of these songs have been on deep cut radio, but I can’t really pick one out for sure.
LINEUP: Kevin Cronin, Neil Doughty, Alan Gratzer, Gregg Philbin, Gary Richrath
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Kevin Cronin joins, and the quality of song and performance is improved.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After a rather mundane first album, REO signed Kevin Cronin up to be vocalist and there was immediately a spark. The songs were better, the performances were better, and while this still was rather generic Midwestern rock-and-roll, at least it was good generic Midwestern rock-and-roll.
There’s no doubt that Cronin pushed Gary Richrath to write better songs and Cronin’s vocal range allowed for more flexibility in arrangements and melody. Richrath also has some good moments as a lead guitarist here as well.
While this didn’t chart, nor did they release any singles from it, there was growing support in the Midwest for REO and this album eventually went gold on its merits.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Somehow they got Boots Randolph to play sax on “Little Queenie”
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: Nothing earth-shattering here, but it’s a good record for deep cuts.