CD Box Set Review: “REO Speedwagon: The Early Years 1971 – 1977”

Pat FrancisAlbum Review, MusicLeave a Comment

REO Speedwagon fans rejoice as Cherry Red Records have pulled out all the stops with their just released “REO Speedwagon: The Early Years 1971 – 1977” boxset.

Back in the 70’s record labels were much more forgiving when their newly signed acts took a little longer to catch fire on radio. That was definitely the case for the Illinois’ bar band known as REO Speedwagon. In fact it would take the band 6 albums and 3 lead singers (Terry Luttrell, Kevin Cronin, Mike Murphy and then Kevin Cronin again!) before they would eventually break big in the 80’s!

This 8 disc boxset includes all of REO’s albums that predate their 80’s era heyday and includes an abundance of bonus tracks most in glorious mono. Cherry Red Records has once again given the diehard music fan something special with a collection of 82 tracks that includes with 15 of those being hard to find and never before available on CD. Those 15 tracks alone are worth the price but there so much more.

The mini sleeve albums are all housed in a hard clamshell case that includes a full color booklet of newly created liner notes. The booklet also includes full page reproductions of the original album covers artwork with all the original album elements throughout plus all of the credits too.

Bonus Tracks include:

157 Riverside Avenue (Mono Single)
Lay Me Down (Mono Single)
Sophisticated Lady (Mono Single)
Little Queenie (Mono Single)
Ridin’ The Storm Out (Mono Single)
Open Up (Mono Single)
Ridin’ The Storm Out (Feat. Kevin Cronin)
Son Of A Poor Man (Feat. Kevin Cronin)
Throw The Chains Away (Mono Single)
Reelin’ (Mono Single)
Out Of Control (Mono Single)
Keep Pushin’ (Mono Single)
Keep Pushin’ (LIVE)

Plus “Gary’s Guitar Solo” and the Chuck Berry classic “Little Queen” which were removed from the original CD release of “You Get What You Play For” are now back in the original vinyl LP line-up.

The package is stellar but wait until you hear the audio because these albums have never sounded this good in any format before. If you already own these albums it’s definitely time for an upgrade. If you’ve never owned them before then now is the time to get stunning audio and quality packaging at a price that won’t break the bank.





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Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.

Pat FrancisCD Box Set Review: “REO Speedwagon: The Early Years 1971 – 1977”