I LOVE REO! I got to see them live last summer at Fiddler's Green in Denver and they can still ROCK. It was an excellent show. Styx wasn't too bad either.
13 responses Add your response
Ouch! Mainstream American Arena rock iwas dealt a horrible blow when REO showed up. Arena rock pretenders is closer to the truth. No doubt, the guitar player could light it up and was all that was good about the band.
Cronin could not ever sing a note and they heavily modified his vocals on the albums to make him sound more human than he really was. Maybe they had what, three hits? Their albums were uniformly bad in retrospect, including hi-inf-- just my opinion. Of course, I had many friends that loved them for the whole guitar hero thing. REO falls into the *Journey* category for me. Bad band, good guitarist -- sugar flavored (wish we were Aerosmith) rock trash... Always the trailer(trash) band for more worthy great bands of their era
Boston, Chicago, Yes, SuperTramp and other big-sound bands at least had real talent, excellent writing and charismatic leads. Styx as well, had top to bottom talent, great song writing and skilled musicians at every instrument. Quick, name the Roy Bittan wannabe on the keys for REO, the drummer? All journeymen. There were no Dennis DeYoungs, Bill Brufords or Roger Hodson's playing for REO...
My grade school age daughters were watching some singing show called do you know the lyrics or something like that a few weeks back, and called me to see if I knew who the special guest star was. There was Cronin, sounding even worse than I'd have imagined, hobbling his way through wrecthed pop tunes... oh yeah, they were icons alright... :o)
All in fun really. Have to admit I may have done my guitar hero act to one or another tune of theirs way back when (Riding The Storm Out?). Hell, I was only 17 after all... It;s my 45 year old brain now that thinks they sucked...
NIce...I was expecting some flaming...actually song for song..."U cant tune a piano..." is the best REO LP...includes Rollin with the changes...and Time for me 2 fly...and the great jam TUrkey trot...in all seriousness...comparing Journey,Styxx,Kansas,etc is like splitting hairs...they all had their moments and contributed heavily to the birth of stadium and mulit-platinum late 70s/early 80s FM AOR rock...the main weakness above anything else is the lack of quality lyrics...for the most part the playing and songwriting is there...albeit in a somewhat cheesy fashion...but that is the fun of rediscovering old LPS...its like going into a time machine!
.".expecting"? You were inviting some dirt, so I was just trying to help out...
Ok, forgot about U Can't Tune A Piano. Actually that was pretty good in its day--for rock/pop, and the guitarist Gary Richrath(sp?) was really something. I still think Styx was a cut above the others in stage presence and sheer talent. Kansas, maybe Boston is a peer with REO, while Journey definitely heralded the end of decent stadium bands and paved the way for sugar pop and the death of good fm radio.
Still and all a fun bubble gum era band, however the best musician oriented bands of that day, ELP, YES, Jethro Tull, Elton, Supertramp, Eagles, Chicago thoroughly outdrew, outperformed and outclassed REO as a band. They were good for openers... :)
REO was Gary Richrath... Cronin and company(which I believe they are touring without Richrath currently) are not worth an opening slot.
Journey- I would have to disagree on the quality of musicianship here..Jonathan Cain is a pretty decent keyboard player and Steve Smith is an incredible drummer....
Funny how most think Steve Perry was the original singer of the band...Wasn't brought on until four years after the bands inception...(Golden Gate...)
REO gets a strange perception from the masses. You almost have to put them in the "one hit wonder" category. They had been around since the late 60's and went through numerous line up changes. The only commercial success was with Cronin for 3 or so albums, then numerous line up changes again...I would definately agree with you on the production..
I thought that Journey had a promising start with Neil Schon and Gregg Rolie coming from Santana and releasing the original Journey albums. Problem is that they went pop too soon.
Neil and Gregg got back together in the mid 90's with other Santana members to release 'Abraxas Pool' . I thought it had some terrific moments. Too bad these guys couldn't keep this act together.