REO Speedwagon -- Hi Infidelity

Discussion in 'Music Reviews' started by BBQDad, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. BBQDad

    BBQDad Active Member

    Messages:
    174
    Artist: REO Speedwagon
    Title: Hi Infidelity
    Year released: 1980 (Well, at least that is the copyright date.)
    Label: Epic (Manufacturer) CBS Inc. (Copyright)
    Genre: I call it "Light Rock with some Country/Western"


    LP---Vinyl---Stereo, FE 36844

    REVIEW:

    Ten Songs...

    Don't Let Him Go---Uptempo, good to very good musicianship, lyrics and music an acceptable match.

    Keep On Loving You---Mid-tempo, contrapuntal rhythms, very good musicianship. This was a big hit at the time of release.

    Follow My Heart---Minor key; good drive, very good musicianship.

    In Your Letter---A 1--6m--4--5 variation, slightly uptempo. Good musicianship.

    Take It On The Run---Another big hit for the band. Country/Western-influenced blues flavor. Good musicianship.

    Tough Guys---Uptempo, Good musicianship, weak lyrics. Cute intro.

    Out of Season---Uptempo, good musicianship. Lyrics and music do not match. Musically clumsy, disjoint, as though two or three musical ideas were cut up and spliced together.

    Shakin' It Loose---Hard-rock lyrics beg for hard rock music but do not get it. Good drive, solid vocal, but the rest of it is too clean and restrained, too refined. Cleanest vocal on the album.

    Someone Tonight---Good-to-very-good musicianship. Music fits the lyrics. Vocals fit the lyrics and the music. Good drive

    I Wish You Were There---Ballad-like waltz. Very good musicianship. Lyrics, vocals, music all fit. Maybe the best song on the album, hits notwithstanding.

    OVERALL...

    Produced by Kevin Cronin, Gary Richrath, and Kevin Beamish; co-produced by Alan Gratzer.

    Too many producing producers over-produced the whole produced album and especially the produced vocals: Too much reverb, too much electronic chorus effect, or whatever they did to make it sound like the lead vocalist was always singing with four or five of himself. (The guy's voice can stand on its own.) Too many effects on the instruments, too.

    The album sounded amazingly clean*. Virtually no surface noise, no static at all.

    Lots of studio tinkering (reverb and so on) made it impossible to render any judgment on balance, soundstage, or imaging. The effects got in the way of the music (both instruments and voices), a shortcoming mercilessly revealed by my MA 282e cartridge/stylus.

    Stereo was evident; however, I do not consider it appropriate to offer judgments on soundstage and imaging when in fact some engineer has decided "where" various voices and instruments should be "located" in the soundstage.

    (*After three decades! My Son had rescued it---as part of a stack of about 50 LPs---from a trashed apartment! No liner, just the album cover for protection!)

    An uneven album at best. A little too refined, controlled, and restrained for music that wants to rock out a little. The constant reverb became somewhat annoying. Moderately entertaining. I found myself willing to listen to the whole album and was not bothered enough by any track to get up and move the tonearm to the next track. I think one would have to be a serious REO Speedwagon fan to want to own this album or even to hear the whole thing more than once.

    I hear enough of REO Speedwagon on the FM to more than satisfy my maximum monthly requirement and would not pay for a copy of this album in any format---but that is just me. Your musical tastes my vary...


    EQUIPMENT USED IN REVIEW:

    Receiver: Onkyo TX-8500 Mk II (160 W/CH)

    Turntable: Dual CS 620 Q Direct Drive equipped with the Dual Ultra Low Mass tonearm

    Cartridge/Stylus: MicroAcoustics MA 282e (Sorry; I cannot remember what they called the stylus... Elliptical? Hyperelliptical?)

    Headphones: Panasonic VMSS RP-HT970 (Just to keep room effects out of the equation. The sound quality these headphones offer is probably as good as average speakers. These headphones offer some bass-boost effects that I simply do not use.)
     

     

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  2. aabottom

    aabottom Swing

    Messages:
    1,379
    Thanks. I bought this LP at the thirft. I haven't cleaned it up and played it yet.

    Nice cover.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. BBQDad

    BBQDad Active Member

    Messages:
    174
    Thx 4 Pic.

    Thank you for posting the pic of the album art. A nice one indeed. The one I have is not in condition for a picture.

    If you are an REO fan you may like the album.

    (It is a nice album cover but nowhere as nice as that Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham classic in your avatar.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  4. Andyman

    Andyman Scroungus Stereophilus Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    That was one of their "hit" lps along with "Tuna", but I preferred the earlier harder rocking REO II and "You get what you Play for"

    Ain't no "Golden Country"s on the later 80's LPs... :no:
     
  5. oldskl

    oldskl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    964
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Many memories of my youth are embedded in that album.
     
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  6. targeteye

    targeteye AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes me to.... that album was all the rage when it came out. Just realized I don't have a copy! must take care of that.

    Perahaps a bit too "pop" for some but I like it.

    Steve
     

     

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  7. Edriz

    Edriz AK Member

    Messages:
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    I've had this LP since it's release and liked it from the begining. I now have it on 180gr. and I think, personally, it sounds fantastic. But, I am also a huge REO fan
     
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  8. Andyman

    Andyman Scroungus Stereophilus Subscriber

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    Yep, count me as one...:yes:
     
  9. spideyjack

    spideyjack Addicted Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    i'm not sure about the Country Western description. is it the Midwestern twang of the singer? a very popular album nonetheless
     
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  10. ScramMan2

    ScramMan2 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,166
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Very midwestern. Kevin Cronin's bald brother was a TV weatherman in Wausau and Green Bay WI.
     
  11. goober58

    goober58 Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
    A guilty pleasure LP for sure. I think side 1 is a great side of cheesy pop music and I enjoy listening to it when I'm in the mood. I've got a CBS Mastersound 1/2 speed that dynamically is pretty awesome - though if I remember correctly the regular release wasn't half bad. FWIW - I don't own any Loverboy if that helps my sagging hip pop credibility.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
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  12. BBQDad

    BBQDad Active Member

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    174
    Maybe

    You may be right. I always thought of these guys as country boys who decided to rock it while allowing their rural/country/Midwest roots to flavor their work. (Think: 1973's "Ridin' The Storm Out.")

    Of course, that is just my feeling. I may be hearing something in the twang that really is not there in the music. Thanks for noticing that point.
     
  13. krisjay

    krisjay Super Member

    Messages:
    2,187
    Location:
    Waterville, Maine
    I would tend to disagree, I would say pick up a clean press of this LP as soon as possible. Great LP, and the original press is dead silent and really a nice very dynamic listen. Is it an over produced monstrosity, absolutely, does that make it bad, hell no, it was all the rage. This LP ushered in the 80's with style, 80's style, this and Back In Black were major players in my youth, big memories, big LP, get it!
     
  14. targeteye

    targeteye AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    [​IMG]
     

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  15. ScramMan2

    ScramMan2 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just saw REO again 2/16/12. They still have it!
     
  16. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Hands Off The Stereo Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Have this for old times sake, A girlfriends favorite. A nice LP to listen to at the end of the evening. A band who really were experts with there instruments. Gary Richrath, Very underrated, IMO.
     

     

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  17. prisoners

    prisoners AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I went to a Blue Oyster Cult concert a few months ago, and one of the local FM jocks was onstage during set-up and thought the crowd would be excited to learn that REO would be playing a few days later. Bad idea...he was booed and pelted mercilessly.
     
  18. olds442111

    olds442111 watching the reels

    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    Hammond, LA
    I love this album as well
     
  19. Eric n Kc

    Eric n Kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    1,590
    Yes sir, Class of 79 here. Eric
     
  20. Mozart1220

    Mozart1220 Active Member

    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    I'm a "Mike Murphy" REO fan myself. Never could deal with Cronin's caterwalling. One of my favorite albums is still the original "Ridin the Storm Out".
     

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