It was inevitable when I began this series that eventually I would have to admit to liking some music that I can't stand anymore. So here it is: I had an 8-track of A Decade Of Rock & Roll '70-'80 by REO Speedwagon, and I loved it.
REO started out in Champaign-Urbana, IL around the time I was born there. As a midwestern band, they probably got more airplay in the Chicago area (where I moved in 1973) than elsewhere. I have realized while writing this series that music was still somewhat regional in the late 1970s and early 1980s--Cheap Trick, Styx, and REO were all Illinois bands that I liked in those days, although I didn't know they were "local" until years later.
This best-of compilation covers REO's first nine albums, including the legendarily titled You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish. Although I listened to Decade a lot, I usually gravitated (i.e., changed tracks) toward a handful of songs: "Keep Pushin', "Roll With The Changes," "Time For My To Fly," and "Only The Strong Survive." And of course, there was the live version of "Ridin' The Storm Out," my favorite song on the tape. Reading the lyrics now, I think it was kind of a goofy song, but I liked the music.
Decade came just before their big commercial break-through, 1981's Hi Infidelity, which included "Take It On The Run" and "Keep On Lovin' You." I borrowed a friend's copy and liked it but somehow resisted buying it for myself. I don't like them anymore; I can't stand Kevin Cronin's voice. If I hear an REO song on the radio, I change the station, even if it's "Ridin' The Storm Out." I guess I'm not sentimental about all of my 8-track memories.