REO Speedwagon - Hi Infidelity 30th Anniversary Edition
For the decade-long fans of the early part of REO Speedwagon's career, the one's who knew all the words to "Golden Country" from R.E.O./T.W.O., the ones who were hoisting cans of PBR in salute to rock'n'roll survival anthem "Ridin' the Storm Out" years before most of the world, 1981 was a sad year indeed. The occasion was the release of Hi Infidelity, the album that would complete REO's transition from one of the Midwest's favorite but still struggling rock bands into a genuine arena-rocking titan. And while fans from the early years felt the album was a little watered-down, a bit of a sell-out, millions disagreed and from that point on there was no looking back as the album produced a string of radio (and video on the brand new at the time MTV) hits like "Don't Let Him Go," "Take it On the Run," "Keep on Loving You" and "Tough Guys." None of these songs were deeply poetic or earth-shaking in their message but the time was right for power ballads that perfectly struck a balance between sappy lyrics (for the girls?) and driving guitars (for the guys!) The music on Hi Infidelity may not exactly be timeless but it holds up pretty good today; if you liked it then you'll still like it today. And with the release of this 30th Anniversary Edition you can do something really fun---hear the demos for the entire album (except for "Out of Season") that are included as a bonus. Referred to as the Crystal Demos after the Hollywood studio they were cut in, the early versions were "lost" for 28-years, only recently discovered in the garage of the band's manager. Most of the demo versions, as you would expect, sound quaint compared to the highly-polished finished product; conversely none are so rough that they should've been left on the studio floor. The demo selections provide the real value here, especially for those who over the past thirty years have memorized every note of the original album; listening to the Crystal Demos brings the band back down to earth and places them right in your living room, which as cherished old friends is exactly where they belong.
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