"As on REO fan for something like 25 years, I would rate this album with their best. "Hi InFidelity" broke them to the masses, but this one marked Kevin Cronin's return to the fold and (in my mind) established them as one of the best west coast influenced jam bands of the 70's. Mighty big words, but listen to "Lightning" and "Our Time is Gonna Come". The only thing (in my mind) that kept them from going on and on was the restrictive time constraints of the LP format. Gary Richrath really goes to town on all of those major scale solos at the end of each of these songs, and the deceptively simple song structures ("Breakaway" and "Keep Pushin'") ring as true as anything the Eagles were doing. I just picked up the live Big Head Todd and the Monsters cd without ever hearing anything other than their radio hits and was struck by the similarity of much of their material to this mid-period REO stuff. The influences are definately there: the big guitar solos, the (seemingly) simple song structures, the emotional punch of the melody.... REO Speedwagon obviously did influence many bands playing today and "REO" is probably the best example of what made that band so great and, uh, meaningful."
LOOK WHO'S BACK
Eric J. Weik | Dyersburg, TN | 02/17/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Kevin markes his return to the group,after a three album gap in singing on their recordings, his first one out of the group, his vocals were recorded over, but the songs he wrote were still included. REO is not a great cd. It has some good songs, but the production on this outing is horrible, killing most of the songs. Keep Pushin, and (I Believe) Our Time is Gonna Come, are to very good songs. Any Kind of Love, and Summer Love deserve mention, showing that they are heading toward the "big ballad" days to come. Rest of this disk is weak, and does not show the promise of the Speedwagon ahead."
Gitters | Allendale, IL United States | 09/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1976 Mike Murphy was booted out, and Kevin Cronin rejoined Reo Speedwagon. R.E.O. or C.O.W. as some like to call it, is one of Reo's most solid early efforts. The tape opens with one of Reo's best rockers Keep Pushin'and it pretty much keeps rockin through until the end. Buy the time this album had came out the members of Reo where becoming very good songwriters. This is a great album for all REO fans."
Signs of things to come
Bach the Rock | Long Island | 12/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1976, and with the return of Kevin, you can hear the brilliance that was to follow. Every song is solid. It is a shame that the sound quality is so poor, and as others have said, even flatter then the vinyl version (I wish mine was in better condition). Had the sound quality been that of say Hotel California, it would have gotten much more airplay. For some reason Gary's instrumental Flying Turkey Trot seems to have better sound then the rest. So who stepped into the engineering room when that was done? So then it looses a star just because of the sound quality."
Don't buy this CD!!!!
Bach the Rock | 08/25/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The production is terrible and the songs sound flat. My favorite is "Keep Pushin'" and it just doesn't sound the way I was used to hearing it-so if you have your old vinyl-or the Decade of Rock N Roll LP-you're better off sticking to those versions. Trust me, the songs-not including the sappy "Any Kind of Love" and "(Only A) Summer Love"-are great, but the sound is awful, at least, I was expecting it to sound better than it did."