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The Essential REO Speedwagon

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REO Speedwagon 8/10/2004

Review

REO Speedwagon reached the Billboard charts 24 times. Not all of those were big hits, of course. Some of the early singles barely qualified for the Hot 100, while some of the latter-day hits made no waves outside of the Mainstream Rock charts, which means that they are relatively unheard by the pop audience that loved Hi Infidelity and "Can't Fight This Feeling." In other words, all the big hits could have been assembled on a single-disc collection, but Epic/Legacy's 2004 release The Essential REO Speedwagon is a sprawling double-disc, 33-track history. There's a reason for that. The extra space gives plenty of room for the band -- and Kevin Cronin was indeed a co-producer on this set -- to show that they weren't just a power ballad powerhouse, that they also rocked hard and stretched out on occasion. Consequently, The Essential is more of a history than a standard hits collection. If anything, the hits take a back seat, with the first big anthem, "Roll With the Changes," not showing up until track 13 and Hi Infidelity not rearing its head until the second disc. If you just want the hits, the appropriately titled 1988 collection The Hits will serve those up, but Essential digs deeper, hitting nearly all of the key album tracks, concert staples, and fan favorites, drawing a picture of a band that was more muscular and complex than the hits, particularly power ballads like "Can't Fight This Feeling," would suggest. It's not for every listener, but for those fans who want more than the hits but don't want full-length albums, this is the perfect solution. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Sophisticated Lady REO Speedwagon 3:59
  3. 2 Music Man REO Speedwagon 4:31
  4. 3 Golden Country REO Speedwagon 6:32
  5. 4 Son of a Poor Man REO Speedwagon 3:53
  6. 5 Lost in a Dream REO Speedwagon 6:32
  7. 6 Keep Pushin' REO Speedwagon 4:4
  8. 7 (I Believe) Our Time Is Gonna Come REO Speedwagon 5:1
  9. 8 Lightning REO Speedwagon 5:53
  10. 9 Like You Do REO Speedwagon 6:52
  11. 10 Flying Turkey Trot REO Speedwagon 2:33
  12. 11 157 Riverside Avenue REO Speedwagon 7:36
  13. 12 Ridin' the Storm Out REO Speedwagon 5:43
  14. 13 Roll with the Changes REO Speedwagon 5:35
  15. 14 Time for Me to Fly REO Speedwagon 3:41
  16. 15 Say You Love Me or Say Goodnight REO Speedwagon 4:56
  17. 1 Back on the Road Again REO Speedwagon 5:26
  18. 2 Only the Strong Survive REO Speedwagon 3:51
  19. 3 Don't Let Him Go REO Speedwagon 3:44
  20. 4 Keep on Loving You REO Speedwagon 3:19
  21. 5 In Your Letter REO Speedwagon 3:14
  22. 6 Take It on the Run REO Speedwagon 3:59
  23. 7 Keep the Fire Burnin' REO Speedwagon 3:53
  24. 8 The Key REO Speedwagon 3:25
  25. 9 One Lonely Night REO Speedwagon 3:20
  26. 10 Live Every Moment REO Speedwagon 4:58
  27. 11 Can't Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon 4:50
  28. 12 That Ain't Love REO Speedwagon 4:0
  29. 13 In My Dreams REO Speedwagon 4:28
  30. 14 Variety Tonight REO Speedwagon 4:23
  31. 15 Here With Me REO Speedwagon 5:0
  32. 16 Love Is a Rock REO Speedwagon 5:30
  33. 17 Building the Bridge REO Speedwagon 4:15
  34. 18 Just for You REO Speedwagon 4:36

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