10 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 10x-platinum 1980 album (the band’s ninth) is the career pinnacle for arena rockers REO Speedwagon. By this point, they’d shed their earlier prog affections and roadhouse rave-ups in favor of straight-up heartland radio rock. The slick-sounding album is often lazily dismissed as a cloying collection of power ballads, but a closer listen reveals both songcraft subtlety and how long-overlooked guitarist Gary Richrath kept the songs grounded in some rock ’n’ roll debauchery. Richrath had a rarely contained Ron Wood/Jeff Beck vide amid an otherwise controlled bunch of players and songs. Ex-folkie Kevin Cronin penned the majority of the tunes, but Richrath was key to their success. High Infidelity is a study in contrasts. They got the ladies with weepy, unironic ballads and the dudes with raunched-out, glammy guitar. Both elements often appeared in the same tune, as on the massive hits “Take It on the Run” (written by Richrath) and “Keep on Loving You” (written by Cronin). Conversely, songs like “Don’t Let Him Go” (featuring a killer Bo Diddley beat), “Out of Season,” and “Someone Tonight” rivaled the pop of Dwight Twilley or The Knack.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 10x-platinum 1980 album (the band’s ninth) is the career pinnacle for arena rockers REO Speedwagon. By this point, they’d shed their earlier prog affections and roadhouse rave-ups in favor of straight-up heartland radio rock. The slick-sounding album is often lazily dismissed as a cloying collection of power ballads, but a closer listen reveals both songcraft subtlety and how long-overlooked guitarist Gary Richrath kept the songs grounded in some rock ’n’ roll debauchery. Richrath had a rarely contained Ron Wood/Jeff Beck vide amid an otherwise controlled bunch of players and songs. Ex-folkie Kevin Cronin penned the majority of the tunes, but Richrath was key to their success. High Infidelity is a study in contrasts. They got the ladies with weepy, unironic ballads and the dudes with raunched-out, glammy guitar. Both elements often appeared in the same tune, as on the massive hits “Take It on the Run” (written by Richrath) and “Keep on Loving You” (written by Cronin). Conversely, songs like “Don’t Let Him Go” (featuring a killer Bo Diddley beat), “Out of Season,” and “Someone Tonight” rivaled the pop of Dwight Twilley or The Knack.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
170 Ratings

170 Ratings

Sword Of Damocles ,

The start of the 80's

"Alfalfa would you swing me before we have lunch?" "Sure Darla" "Say Romeo what about your promise to the Hee Man Woman Haters Club" " I'm sorry Spanky i have to live my own life"

Michaelj33031 ,

Greeeat album!

This album is fantastic. It's early 80s for sure..no doubt..What most people don't realize about REO is that they are a rockin' band. Anyone who says otherwise has never seen them live and must get their information from adult contemporary type radio stations. A couple of ballads made them famous millionaires, sure..can't be denied.. But they were and are a five man, midwestern rock band. Nothing more, nothing less.
Hi Infidelity was refined compared to their previous records. It shows in the mix. But the genious of the record is that it came when it did. They set the standard for power ballads and arena rock. Whether it was intended or not. And thereby creating over 10 million records in sales. Even after the Hi Infi phenomenon, REO kept to their roots and played what they wanted to play. Their music was great then and is now. It is a testiment to why they are still together (most of them) and still selling out concert venues nationwide.

katiethel ,

One of the best albums ever produced

Hi Infidelity is one of the best and most under-rated albums ever made. Every song on it is great. Like Boston's debut album and Rush's Moving Pictures, it is rock and roll perfection.

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