Sunday, July 19, 2020

"In My Dreams" by REO Speedwagon

Song#:  3199
Date:  07/18/1987
Debut:  82
Peak:  19
Weeks:  30
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  REO grabbed their seventh Pop Top 20 hit with "That Ain't Love," the first single from their album Life As We Know It. It was a good, but not great, start to the LP. Looking for something better, they issued out the second single "Variety Tonight." Unfortunately, the single tanked at a low #60 putting the album in danger of quickly disappearing. Desperately needing a turn around, the band then issued out this third single. The pop-leaning ballad had more mainstream appeal and it caught on at AC reaching #6 on that chart. It also got them back in the Top 20 on the Pop chart. The hit did extend sales of the album, which ended up going gold. However, that was a significant drop from their three previous studio albums that all went multi-platinum. It seemed to signal that the Speedwagon was running out of gas.

ReduxReview:  Kelly's pop touch could certainly be felt on this song and most likely helped to turn it into a hit. However, it sounded nothing like an REO song. Even the sweet production that framed the tune was far from REO's brand of guitar-driven radio-ready rock. I think some older fans of REO were hanging on by a thread at this point in the band's career and I think this song may have been the last straw for a lot of them. They wanted to rock, not sway along to a pretty little pop tune. The band had been revving up to jump the shark for a while, but with this song they gave it the gas and took off. It ended up being a middling, forgettable hit for them that somewhat helped to salvage an album that was on the verge of tanking. If I'm being honest, this is a nice pop tune. The lyrics aren't the best, but the lovely melodies make up for it. The problem was that this came from REO and it just about erased any rock credibility they had.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  For their previous album, Wheels Are Turnin', the band got a little boost on a couple of tracks from hit songwriter Tom Kelly ("True Colors," "Alone"). For Life As We Know It, the band kept up the association and also brought along Kelly's songwriting partner Billy Steinberg. Kelly and Steinberg would co-write three of the LP's tracks with a couple of REO members while Kelly would co-write "In My Dreams" with the band's lead singer Kevin Cronin. It seems that Kelly's hitmaking ability helped as the song was able to crack the Pop Top 20 and AC Top 10.


1 comment:

  1. Actually, I find the lyrics quite striking and poetic.