Arch Allies (2000)


Disc One 1.Blue Collar Man 2.The Grand Illusion 3.Fooling Yourself 4.Lady 5.Brave New World 6.Edge Of The Century 7.Heavy Water 8.Too Much Time On My Hands 9.Renegade 10.Blue Collar Man 11.Roll With The Changes Disc Two 1.Don't Let Him Go 2.Music Man 3.Take It On The Run 4.Can't Fight This Feeling 5.Time For Me To Fly 6.Back On The Road Again 7.Keep On Loving You 8.Roll With The Changes 9.Riding The Storm Out 10.157 Riverside Avenue 11.Blue Collar Man 12.Roll With The Changes


 

This is a double CD with the band Styx on one CD and REO on the other. The title is meant to replicate the show/tour that both bands were co-headlining at the time. It might seem a strange idea, but the two bands really did have a lot in common. They basically hailed from the same geographical area, had a lot of mediocre product in the early days, built a loyal following by playing live, and erupted into overnight sensations right around the same time.

Like Styx, REO's career since that explosion has been hit and miss, and by 2000 they were only left with some of its classic members, but they hit the road anyway. Whereas Styx was without leader Dennis DeYoung, REO was without Gary Richrath. Most of the time, you don't miss a guy in the band as much as when he's the lead singer, so this part of the "double bill" is a bit more faithful to the lineup that brought millions to their feet.

If you want to get picky, you can argue that the songs here don't quite sound as strong as the live versions on Second Decade of Rock and Roll. You really can tell the gap left from Gary Richrath's distinct guitar sound. Still, the set delivers. Fortunately everything here is just what it should be. They don't try to bloat the set with latter day mediocre songs, but instead perform a solid showing their best songs. Yes, Kevin Cronin tends to yak his gams a bit in places, but that was usually how their shows went. The best live album by this band. It's a shame it came out about fifteen years later than it should have.





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