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Good Trouble

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Album Review

Good Trouble disappointed the bean counters and the snob critics who always hated this Champaign quintet anyway. Sure it's no Hi Infidelity, but Good Trouble shoots out some golden shards. Where Hi Infidelity perfectly balanced the muscle of REO's '70s stuff with wads of bankable bubblegum, here, lead single "Keep the Fire Burning" signals a decent into generic; but much of Good Trouble plays out a rocking and rollicking good time, fighting off mediocrity. First off, bassist Bruce Hall comes to the fore twice (usually once) and delivers two knockouts: "Girl With the Heart of Gold" and "Let's Be-Bop." As always, Neal Doughty's keys spruce up the works; "I'll Follow You" features his sublime touch as well as sizzling Richrath axe-kicking behind a dusty, lusty Texas café tale. Coup de grâce "The Key" unlocks a commercial paradox: a transcendent tapestry housed in a homogenized humdinger, as Kev Cronin bellows questions about what he knows and sees, yearning for the answer locked within himself. But only he can set it free; only he has the key. Brilliant.


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. After graduation,...
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Good Trouble, REO Speedwagon
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