Hi Infidelity [30th Anniversary Edition]

Hi Infidelity [30th Anniversary Edition]

by REO SpeedwagonREO Speedwagon

CD(Anniversary Edition / Bonus CD)

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Many albums have scaled to the top of the American charts, many of them not so good, but few have been as widely forgotten and spurned as REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity. In a way, the group deserved this kind of success. They had been slogging it out in the arenas of the U.S., building up a sizeable audience because they could deliver live. And then, in 1980, they delivered a record that not just summarized their strengths, but captured everything that was good about arena rock. This is the sound of the stadiums in that netherworld between giants like Zeppelin and MTV's slick, video-ready anthems. This is unabashedly mainstream rock, but there's a real urgency to the songs and the performances that gives it a real emotional core, even if the production keeps it tied to the early, previsual '80s. And so what if it does? This is great arena rock, filled with hooks as expansive as Three Rivers Stadium and as catchy as the flu. That, of course, applies to the record's two biggest hits -- the power ballad "Keep on Loving You" and the surging "Take It on the Run" -- which define their era, but what gives the album real staying power is that the rest of the record works equally well. That's most apparent on the Bo Diddley-inspired opener, "Don't Let Him Go," whose insistent beat sent it to the album rock charts, but also on such great album tracks as "Follow My Heart," the sun-kissed '60s homage "In Your Letter," and "Tough Guys." What's really great about these songs is not just the sheen of professionalism that makes them addictive to listen to, but there's a real strain of pathos that runs through these songs -- the album's title isn't just a clever pun, but a description of the tortured romantic relationships that populate this record's songs. This is really arena rock's Blood on the Tracks, albeit by a group of guys instead of a singular visionary, but that makes it more affecting, as well as a killer slice of ear candy. It's easy to dismiss REO Speedwagon, since they weren't hip at the time, and no amount of historical revisionism will make them cool kitsch. And, let's face it, their records were usually hit-and-miss affairs. But they did get it right once, and it's on this glorious record; if you need proof why arena rock was giant, this is it. [The Deluxe Edition of the album released in 2011 features a nicely crisp remastering job plus a fascinating bonus disc of demos. Before recording the album proper, the band hit a cheap studio in Hollywood and laid down rough versions of nine of the ten songs that ended up on the album (only "Out of Season" is missing). After attempting to recapture the magic they found in the crummy studio in fancy studios, and failing, the band ended up using about half the original demo performances on the final album and added overdubs to the rest. While it might have been fun to hear some of the failed attempts as well, hearing the entirety of the Crystal Demos is a powerful experience and makes this new edition of the album (even more) absolutely essential.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Tim Sendra

Product Details

Release Date: 07/19/2011
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0886976957926
catalogNumber: 769579
Rank: 652

Album Credits

Performance Credits

REO Speedwagon   Primary Artist
Kevin Cronin   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Group Member
Neal Doughty   Synthesizer,Piano,Hammond Organ,Group Member
Steve Forman   Percussion
Alan Gratzer   Drums,Tambourine,Group Member
Bruce Hall   Bass Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Group Member
Tom Kelly   Background Vocals
Richard Page   Background Vocals
Gary Richrath   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Soloist,Guitar (12 String Electric),Guitar (Leslie),Group Member
N. Yolletta   Background Vocals
He-Man Broken Hearts Club Choir   Background Vocals
Kevin Cornin   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Waspel Gospel He-Manettes   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Kevin Beamish   Producer,Engineer
Kevin Cronin   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Lyric Assistant
Alan Gratzer   Producer
Bruce Hall   Composer
Tom Kelly   Composer
Gary Richrath   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Photo Courtesy
Kosh   Art Direction
Jeff Magid   Reissue Producer

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