Video Six-Pack: REO Speedwagon

I have wanted to write about the REO Speedwagon music videos for quite some time, but I am just now getting around to it. Thanks for reading!

Just as REO was getting to be well-known around the world in the 1980s, this little thing called MTV kicked off and, as they say, the rest is history.

Those who know me know that I have been an REO Speedwagon fan since I was about 15 years old. There’s always time at my house to put in a DVD of REO in concert and crank it up!

I saw my first REO concert in June of 1977 during a “Summer Jam” concert at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. There were several groups performing that day like Ted Nugent, Head East, Black Oak, etc. Overall, I have probably seen REO live about 20-25 times since then. I once said when I was younger that I would drop everything to be “security” for REO on tour. Maybe if I win the lottery, I might follow REO on tour for a whole year!

In the past decade, I was able to see REO with my son and daughter, which was very neat. In 2006, my son and I met lead singer Kevin Cronin in Three Forks, Montana, just before REO performed at Rockin’ the Rivers.

When my daughter was in the front row at a concert in Great Falls, Montana, three members of REO played for her: REO Speedwagon 080211

Back in the early 1980s, music videos took off. When “MTV” started playing music videos on August 1, 1981, “Take it on the Run” from REO was the ninth video ever played on MTV. Sadly, the video only played for a few seconds due to a technical glitch, but it was ninth, damn it!

Here are my six favorite REO Speedwagon music videos of all time and some honorable mentions. Enjoy my six-pack and by all means, turn up the volume!

Here with Me

The video for the song “Here with Me” comes from the 1988 album, “The Hits.” REO compiled a “hits” album and added some new songs to the album, which was very cool.

I like the video being shot in a warehouse and the camera angles were fun. “Here with Me” made it to #20 on Billboard and #9 on the Adult Contemporary chart. I imagine back in 1988 this song was played many times during breakups.

I Don’t Want to Lose You

The video for “I Don’t Want to Lose You” made me sad at the beginning when long-time drummer Alan Gratzer turns his drumsticks over to Graham Lear. It was also the last single to feature Gratzer and lead guitarist Gary Richrath.
“I Don’t Want to Lose You” was one of the new songs on 1988’s “The Hits” album which sold over 4 million copies in the USA.

Roll with the Changes

This video made my favorites list because it’s a core song at REO concerts. There are several different versions of the video, but this one shows the members of the band singing the same song years ago – which is way cool!

“Roll with the Changes” comes from the 1978 album, “You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish” which made it to #29 on Billboard selling two million copies in the USA.

Variety Tonight

The music video “Variety Tonight” comes from the 1987 album, “Life as We Know It.” It was written by Neal Doughty who is one the founders of REO Speedwagon.

I like the way this video begins with the camera flashing between members of the band and the audience. The far-away view of the stage is wonderful. I love the background singers and they help make this one of my favorite music videos. The beat is catchy and the ending is great. The song made it to #28 on the U.S. Rock Charts.

Live Every Moment

“Live Every Moment” was released in 1985. It’s from the Wheels Are Turnin’ album. The song was written by Kevin Cronin. The song made it to #34 on Billboard.

What makes this a favorite video? Besides the message of living every moment and loving every day, I was in the audience when they were shooting the music video. How cool is that! That’s the closest I came to being a rock star!

Let’s finish off this six-pack; here is my favorite REO Speedwagon music video!

That Ain’t Love

“That Ain’t Love” was released in 1987. It is from the “Life as We Know It” album. The song was written by Kevin Cronin. The song made it to #5 on the U.S. Rock Charts.

I like the shot of the girl listening to music with her earphones in. She then closes her eyes and dreams about attending a revival-like meeting in a tent set back a long time ago. Kevin Cronin is singing to her. Gary Richrath and the band play so hard that a storm comes up. Almost everyone attending is getting into the music as the dust flies and the wind blows.

Then she wakes up.

Honorable Mention:

Time for me to Fly (1978)

Ridin’ the Storm Out (1973)

In My Dreams (1987)

Back on the Road Again (1979)