REO Speedwagon - Good Trouble (rewrite)

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited March 2021 in Year-1982

ARTIST: REO Speedwagon
ALBUM: Good Trouble
SERIAL: FE 38100
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1988, Epic, EK 38100 * 2013, Rock Candy Records, CANDY208

LINEUP: Kevin Cronin - vocals, piano, acoustic guitars * Gary Richrath - electric guitars * Neal Doughty - organ, synthesizer, piano * Alan Gratzer - drums, tambourine * Bruce Hall - bass, vocals

Guest Musicians: Tom Kelly, Richard Page - backing vocals * Steve Forman - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Keep The Fire Burnin' * 02 Sweet Time * 03 Girl With 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

WEBLINK: Site Link


It's always a tough ask for a band to release a follow-up album after its previous effort went multi-platinum and was a mega-hit worldwide. So it was the case of Illinois band REO Speedwagon who had the daunting task of coming up with something to surpass 1980's breakout LP 'Hi-Infidelity.

Personally, I thought the band were on a hiding to nothing, and at the time during 1982 I really didn't give this album much chance and hence, I didn't actually listen to it nor did I buy it. Even as early as 1982 I saw the writing on the wall.

The Songs

Is this album that bad? Of course not, that prize went to the 1987 album nadir 'Life As We Know It', where the wall had completely disappeared and was converted into a vacant car park lot.

Having a hit single on this album definitely kept the bean counters at bay at least for a few more years anyway. 'Keep The Fire Burnin' was that song, an anthem for all those patriotic mid-westerners which made it to #2 on the Billboard Single Charts. Great track.

I've been giving this album a few repeat plays though I'll admit I need to be in the right mood to listen to it, so sunny fine days always helps. Tracks like 'Girl With The Heart Of Gold' was great, though the chorus sounded like 'girl with the heart of a gun'!

Other highlights included 'Every Now And Then' which is a doppelganger for 'Take It On Run' from their previous album. The sweeping acoustic/electric hybrid 'Stillness Of The Night' sounds like something the Henry Paul Band could've undertaken.

In Summary

The band members decided upon producing 'Good Trouble' by themselves. The end result would've pleased the aforementioned bean counters as the bottom line was impacted in a positive way due to a reduction in costs.

This album along with the following 'Wheels Are Turnin' we're both considered successes for their respective timeframes, each reaching #7 on the Billboard Album Charts, 'Good Trouble' eventually going US double platinum for sales.

The only disconcerting thing for me was the silly album cover. I'm thinking this was the main reason for not buying it back in 1982.


Keep The Fire Burnin'

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  • This review has been completely rewritten from scratch and republished.
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