Thursday, January 9, 2020

"That Ain't Love" by REO Speedwagon

Song#:  3007
Date:  01/31/1987
Debut:  73
Peak:  16
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's eleventh album, Wheels Are Turnin', ended up being a double platinum seller thanks to the #1 hit "Can't Fight This Feeling." The song basically saved the album since its lead single, "I Do' Wanna Know" stalled early on the Pop chart (#29). A little over two years later, the band returned with their next album Life As We Know It. This first single was released and it did well at Rock reaching #5. The reception at Pop was a bit more tepid with the song stalling inside the Top 20. The lack of a stronger hit didn't bode well for the album and unfortunately they didn't have a song on the LP like "Can't Fight This Feeling" that would turn it around. In the end, the album would peak and #23 and go gold, which was a far cry from their three previous multi-platinum successes.

ReduxReview:  This is not too bad of a song. The chorus is strong and Kevin Cronin puts out a solid vocal. The problem with it is the arrangement. They 80-fied it with cheap keyboards clanking all the way through along with little sound effects. I'm sure they were trying to keep up with the sounds of the time, but this song didn't need it. A straight-forward rock arrangement would have served the song much better. Instead, they moved more towards being Starship rather than REO. The material was there. They just didn't shine it in the best possible light.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  When REO Speedwagon recorded their first album in 1971, the lead vocalist for the band was Terry Luttrell. Issues within the band caused Luttrell to leave after one LP. He would then join the prog rock band Starcastle. The Illinois group got signed to Epic Records and released four albums between 1976 and 1978. They missed getting a single on the Pop chart by just a hair. Their 1976 track "Lady of the Lake" from their self-titled debut album bubbled under the chart peaking at #101. Kevin Cronin would step in as lead vocalist for REO after Luttrell's departure.


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