Reo Speedwagon Live: You Get What You Play For, Live You Get What You Play For


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RYM Rating


Artist REO Speedwagon
January 1977
3.65 / 5.00.5 from 229 ratings



SkinnyRobbie Jul 09 2005 4.00 stars
Why would someone with music taste as good as mine give a damn about this album, or REO Speedwagon in general? Before this record was released, REO were nobodies that couldn't get a record played on the radio even after five straight albums on giant Epic Records. Had Kevin Cronin stayed in the band, their success would have happened sooner than 1977, so I ended up trying to find the good in this under-appreciated band. When Cronin came back, I had a hunch REO's luck would change, and it did. Up to this point, my friends made fun of me for listening to bands like REO and Slade, since they weren't popular like Kiss and Zep. And in a flash, every dork in the high school halls had on REO t-shirts. I basked in the “told ya so” bit for a while, but while my friends all played their REO 8-tracks, I moved on to other unpopular artists, like The Dead Boys, which returned me to the dunce corner.You Get What You Play For is a staple of the 'Dazed and Confused' era of 70's kitsch. It pushes the same buttons that Kiss Alive and Frampton Comes Alive did before it and takes no risks musically. This is what REO wanted and it's what Epic wanted. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that. The band would never be the same again. For a few years, they continued making listenable, if predictable, albums. Then, in order to keep up with the new generation of 80's kids, they sold their souls to MTV and glossy pop, making them the (deserved) butt of rock satire for the remainder of musical eternity. This album is the retro-fit moment of glory in REO's exhaustive back catalog. Taken for what it is, it's an enjoyable, if mindless, ride in the back seat of a '71 Plymouth Duster.

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skirmani Feb 15 2020 4.50 stars
Who would have thought that the 70's REO would be almost 180 degrees from what I grew up listening to during the 80's. I started my journey with “Wheels are turning” and dabbled with a few albums from the 80's and then furthar on in the 90's. Little did I know that the 70's era sound was like true Rock and Roll, loud, aggressive, guitar solos, tremendous bass and then the drums.This album has it all. The music totally overshadows the singing, not that the singing is bad but the musicians are so much in synch, that this is a treat to listen to. I knew a couple of the songs, like Son of a poor man, Keep pushin, Riding the storm, but those are not the highlights. The whole recording is actually the highlight and the album closer is an epic number.Gary Richrath is phenomenal here, it sounds like it is his band and his guitar dominates. Dougherty, Philbin and Gratzer provide him ample support to make this a real rocker.Highlights: Everything, but if I had to pick a few, Golden Country; Like we do; Lay me down; I believe our time; Gary's solo; 157 Riverside Ave
LifetotheLees Oct 10 2016 4.50 stars

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I first saw this group on TV in the late seventies on the classic music show 'Don Kirschner's' rock concert. I was hooked, and immediately bought this double album. In the days before online music (and internet…), budgeting was necessary and a double live record was ideal. One of the better purchases I have ever made. It has a great live sound, and there is a reason why they replaced Mike Murphy with Kevin Cronin. His vocals (and songs) added a sense of completion to the already excellent writing of Gary Richrath. Highlights are 'Like You Do', 'Being Kind', 'Summer Love', 'Poor Man', 'Golden Country'. and the timeless classic 'Ridin' the Storm Out'. In its live form, that song is worth the price of this LP alone. Forget everything you know or think you know about this group from the syrupy sound of their highly successful 80's AM albums (Hi-Infidelity etc). This is the arena rock sound as it should be heard. Small gripe – and not about the album, but it's been bugging me for many years. I remember listening to an FM rock station in Winnipeg one night in the early eighties, and they were taking requests for a playlist about storms. I called in and offered the above mentioned song. The DJ (who I respected and liked) hadn't heard of it and didn't add it to the playlist. Oh well, what could have been – maybe some earlier fame could have come their way!


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