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Released: Nov. 21, 1980

Rating: 3.657 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: arena rock

Quotable: “If you need proof why arena rock was giant, this is it…This is really arena rock’s Blood on the Tracks.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Don’t Let Him Go
  2. Keep on Loving You
  3. Follow My Heart
  4. In Your Letter
  5. Take It on the Run
  6. Tough Guys
  7. Out of Season
  8. Shakin’ It Loose
  9. Someone Tonight
  10. I Wish You Were There

Total Running Time: 34:25

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 9.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 13.4


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 15
peak on U.K. album chart 6

Singles/Hit Songs: *

  • Keep on Loving You (11/29/80) #1 US, #7 UK, #9 AR, sales: 1.0 m
  • Take It on the Run (3/21/81) #5 US, #19 UK, #6 AR, sales: 0.5 m
  • Don’t Let Him Go (3/21/81) #24 US, #11 AR
  • Tough Guys (3/21/81) #25 AR
  • Out of Season (3/28/81) #59 AR
  • In Your Letter (8/8/81) #20 US, #26 AC


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Billboard Magazine’s Album of the Year

Hi Infidelity
REO Speedwagon
REO Speedwagon “had been slogging it out in the arenas of the U.S.” STE for nearly a decade, “building up a sizeable audience because they could deliver live. And then, in 1980,” STE they “landed on the top of the charts with this incredibly mainstream collection of power ballads and economic hard rock.” RO This was “a record that not just summarized their strengths, but captured everything that was good about arena rock. This is the sound of the stadiums in that netherworld between giants like Zeppelin and MTV’s slick, video-ready anthems.” STE

“The band’s strongest attribute is its inconspicuous nature. You never see it coming. Kevin Cronin has a serviceable voice and Gary Richrath is a solid if unspectacular lead player.” RO “This is unabashedly mainstream rock” STE – it was the biggest selling rock album of 1981 WK – but there’s a real urgency to the songs and the performances that gives it a real emotional core, even if the production keeps it tied to the early, previsual ‘80s. And so what if it does, because this is great arena rock, filled with hooks as expansive as Three Rivers Stadium and as catchy as the flu.” STE

“That, of course, applies to the record’s two biggest hits — the power ballad Keep on Loving You and the surging Take It on the Run — which define their era.” STE The former was a #1 pop hit and set “the pattern for the power ballads that would take many a hard rock band to the top of the charts throughout the ‘80s.” RO

“What gives the album real staying power is that the rest of the record works equally well. That’s most apparent on the Bo Diddley-inspired opener, Don’t Let Him Go, whose insistent beat sent it to the album rock charts, but also such great album tracks as Follow My Heart.” STE Those two both “offer up simple platitudes about the trials and tribulations of love with a radio-ready sound that connected well with their audience.” RO Other radio-friendly songs included “the sun-kissed ‘60s homage In Your Letter, and Tough Guys.” STE

“What’s really great about these songs is not just the sheen of professionalism that makes them addictive to listen to, but there’s a real strain of pathos that runs through these songs – the album’s title isn't just a clever pun, but a description of the tortured romantic relationships that populate this record’s songs. This is really arena rock’s Blood on the Tracks, albeit by a group of guys instead of a singular vision, but that makes it more affecting, as well as a killer slice of ear candy. It's easy to dismiss REO Speedwagon, since they weren't hip at the time, and no amount of historical revisionism will make them cool kitsch. And, let's face it, their records were usually hit-and-miss affairs. But they did get it right once, and it's on this glorious record – if you need proof why arena rock was giant, this is it.” STE

Review Source(s):

Keep on Loving You

Take It on the Run (live)

Don’t Let Him Go (live)

Tough Guys (live)

In Your Letter

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Last updated October 6, 2010.