REO SPEEDWAGON – Good Trouble [Rock Candy remaster] (2013-14)
Another of the ‘big Eighties’ classic records from chart-busters REO SPEEDWAGON has been recently reissued by Rock Candy Records in a ‘Remastered & Reloaded‘ form; “Good Trouble“.
After the über successful global success of 1980’s Hi Infidelity, REO Speedwagon had the obvious uphill battle of trying to follow this up… and “Good Trouble” was the answer.
‘Hi Infidelity’ achieved platinum status ten times over, hogging the #1 spot on the US album charts for an incredible fifteen weeks with singles becoming a mainstay of American radio play. From their hometown of Champaign, Illinois to drinking Champagne from crystal glasses, the band suddenly became the most talked about act in the country.
Following up that super seller was never going to be easy, a fact not helped by pressure from their label to deliver another album with super human speed. Internally all was not wine and roses either, frontman and prominent songwriter Kevin Cronin was dealing with a bout of writer’s block and a growing feeling of uncertainty about the band’s new found rock star notoriety.
Fortunately help was on hand from the rest of the band, including guitarist Gary Richrath and bassist Bruce Hall, stepping up to the plate and providing enough material to put the project back on the straight and narrow.
The album’s opener and big hit, “Keep The Fire Burnin”, sets the record in motion; maybe not the songwriting graft that the band might have hoped for considering the recent success the group had enjoyed but still a major hit still the same.
“Sweet Time”, another hit single follows on, a catchy rocker with all the American melodic rock essence written all over it. There’s some classic AOR moments in the shape of “Girl With The Heart Of Gold’ and the sweet and soaring “Every Now And Then”, both radio-ready staples.
“The Key” is a solid semi-ballad with classic keyboards, “Let’s Be-Bop” is vintage and good REO, while “I’ll Follow You” and “Stillness Of The Night” are the more rocking cuts in the best pedigree of the band.
The album ends with one of my favorites, title track “Good Trouble”, a muscular yet melodic rocker driven by a great riff and tight instrumentation.
REO Speedwagon’s “Good Trouble” packs a solid and strong collection of songs which although not outstanding as its predecessor, still rocks with class and melodic brim.
This was a succesful effort and a really good seller back in the day, and in the here and now, totally flourishes with this remaster by Rock Candy.
My old vinyl sounds more warm in the middle frequencies, this fresh remaster has accentuated the deep end spectrum more apt to modern CD players.
01 – Keep The Fire Burnin’
02 – Sweet Time
03 – Girl With The Heart Of Gold
04 – Every Now And Then
05 – I’ll Follow You
06 – The Key
07 – Back In My Heart Again
08 – Let’s Be-Bop
09 – Stillness Of The Night
10 – Good Trouble
Kevin Cronin – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
Gary Richrath – lead guitar
Neal Doughty – organ, synthesizer, piano, Hammond organ
Bruce Hall – bass, lead vocals on “Let’s Be-Bop”
Alan Gratzer – drums, percussion, background vocals
Steve Forman: percussion, chimes, shaker, crotales
Richard Page, Tom Kelly: backing vocals