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You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish

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Album Review

You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish was a breakthrough album for REO Speedwagon in a sense, gelling the guitar craft of Gary Richrath and the vocals of Kevin Cronin with songs that rambled and rolled and never stopped for air. Richrath's style finally formed some catchy hooks, and Cronin's songwriting is solid, while his voice sounds rejuvenated and downright fiery. "Roll with the Changes" and "Time for Me to Fly" only made it to number 58 and number 56 on the charts, but the album's sales trumped all of the chart statistics, giving REO its second platinum-selling album. Songs like "Do You Know Where Your Woman Is Tonight" and "Blazin' Your Own Trail Again" are well groomed around the edges, sounding smoother and more established than the band's earlier material. The harmonies on most of the songs stick to the guitar chords, and even the frantic "Unidentified Flying Tuna Trot," a wild and flighty guitar piece, is unraveled with tornado-like power. With the guitars sounding louder, the songs running quicker, and the culmination of both being well maintained, Tuna Fish proved that the members of REO Speedwagon could play rock & roll when they had to.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in Champaign, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Three bands were the undisputed arena rock kings of the early '80s — Styx, Journey, and REO Speedwagon — yet all weren't overnight success stories (in fact, each group began pursuing different musical styles originally — prog rock, fusion, and straight-ahead hard rock, respectively, before transforming slowly into chart-topping mainstream rockers). REO Speedwagon first formed in 1968, via a pair of University of Illinois students, keyboardist Neal Doughty and drummer Alan Gratzer....
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You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish, REO Speedwagon
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