The Second Decade of Rock and Roll, 1981-1991 (1991)

1. Don't Let Him Go 2. Tough Guys 3. Take it on the Run 4. Keep the Fire Burnin' 5. Roll with the Changes 6. I Do'Wanna Know 7. Can't Fight This Feeling 8. Live Every Moment 9. That Ain't Love 10.One Too Many Girlfriends 11.Variety Tonight 12.Back on the Road Again 13.Keep on Loving You '89 14.Love is a Rock 15.All Heaven Broke Loose 16.L.I.A.R. 17.Live it Up


Kind of a strange one, but then again, the same can be true for a lot of latter day "compilations". The "first" Decade of Rock and Roll, released ten years earlier, was a double album which showcased the best of the band during their first decade (you couldn't call it a greatest hits album, because at that point, they hadn't had any). Shortly after that compilation, REO Speedwagon suddenly exploded in popularity. After the popular lineup split up around 1988, the record company wisely decided to put out a legitimate greatest hits package, simply called The Hits, which, not surprisingly, consisted mostly of songs during their "second decade".

So why, then, do we need this one, and how do you actually pull something like this off? They just had a greatest hits album, and they only had one studio album since then, and that album flopped. What the Speedwagon does is a bit peculiar. They basically release a half "live" album and a half "studio" album. All of the hits here are live versions and the studio versions are from their last two studio albums. After listening to this album, it's obvious to realize that what they should have done is just stick with a solid live album. They hadn't had one since 1977, and even though they weren't really that popular then, the album beat everyone's expectations and you could make the argument that it was this band's persistence that led to their eventual climb to the top. Plus the latter day studio cuts don't really do much. It's almost as if the band is forcing them on this compilation since not many people bought those albums to begin with, and they're wanting you to listen to what you missed the first time.

So it's basically a mixed bag. It doesn't help much when, near the middle of the disc, the live songs and studio songs start to interchange killing any continuity. It also doesn't help when their biggest song ever, Keep On Lovin' You is performed here in some half-ass reggae version that's just plain idiotic.

There was, thankfully, no "third decade" compilation.

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