Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  2188
Date:  01/19/1985
Debut:  46
Peak:  1 (3 weeks)
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  REO's eleventh album Wheels Are Turnin' seemed to be on the brink of being a dud when its first single, "I Do' Wanna Know", stalled at a minor #29 on the Pop chart. Although it was able to get to #5 at Rock, the results at Pop caused album sales to be quite slow. After five straight gold or platinum albums, question arose as to whether this one could even reach gold level. That all changed when this second single was issued. The power ballad had already been getting attention following the release of the album, so when the single came along it splashed onto the chart just outside the Top 40. It made a beeline to #1 and stayed there for three weeks. The song helped turn around the album and it would eventually turn into a double-platinum seller that peaked at #7.

ReduxReview:  This is a near-perfect piece of pop that has nearly everything you'd want in a power ballad. If there existed a checklist of elements needed to create a classic soft rock hit, this tune would check off all the boxes. I am usually a sucker for these types of songs, yet even though it meets all the hitmaking criteria, I found myself disliking the track. Part of it could be that I didn't care that much for REO and their previous album, Good Trouble, and it distanced me further from the band. It could also be that Kevin Cronin's voice can be a bit grating or that the song got played to death. Maybe it just seemed like a big stab at commercial pop from a band who gave us some pretty sweet rock tunes. Maybe it was just everything. All I know is that I avoided the song back then and I still haven't warmed up to it. However, I do recognize that it's a well-crafted pop song that still gets airtime today. It also helped revive a band whose fortunes were beginning to fade.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The controversy over licensing songs for commercial use had been around for decades. Some artists and fans consider it "selling out" while others consider it a shrewd business tactic that keeps interest in the artist alive. It can also help sell records (i.e., interest in Nick Drake's catalog soared after his "Pink Moon" was used in a 1999 Volkswagon commercial). While there are certain song/product combinations that work well, such as Chevy's campaign using Bob Seger's "Like a Rock," there are others that don't work or are simply strange. This song may fall into the latter category. In 2016, REO (or more likely songwriter Kevin Cronin and his publishing company) made a deal with Mars, Inc., to use this song in...a cat food commercial. Promoting their new line of Sheba Perfect Portions, a comical ad was made that uses this song. The funny premise of the ad most likely helped Mars secure a deal and it seems the commercial was received well. Still, serving cat food with this as the soundtrack was certainly an unlikely and odd pairing.



  1. 10/10 for me actually! I've always loved this song!

    1. A lot of people do and I totally get that. For some reason, I just never hooked into it. Guess you could say that I just can't fight the feeling of not really liking it...