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The members of REO Speedwagon are the guests on the latest episode of the AXS TV series The Big Interview, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Among the topics the veteran rockers discuss with host Dan Rather on the show is the band’s breakthrough album, Hi Infidelity, which spent 15 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 in 1981 and has sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S.
In a preview clip, frontman Kevin Cronin says he had no idea that the album would become as successful as it did, but he did realize “that there was a cohesiveness about the songs” that he expects made it appealing to the masses.
“We were all kind of going through similar things [relationship issues],” the singer explains. “So the songwriters were writing about those things, and it was kind of an accidental concept album.”
He adds, “All of us, we had [done] the touring-recording cycle for years, and that takes a toll on your personal life. And all of our home lives were challenged, to say the least. So…when that’s what you’re going through, that’s the songs you write.”
Meanwhile, founding REO keyboardist Neal Doughty tells Rather that Hi Infidelity was his favorite album from the day the group finished it, and he had the feeling it would do very well.
“I had that thing going in my car, [on] headphones in the tanning bed,” Doughty recalls.
Neal adds that aspects of Hi Infidelity reminded him what made Beatles albums popular.
“The songs weren’t very long, there was almost no space in between the songs.” he explains. “It just kept going in a beautiful flow.”
Hi Infidelity featured four top-40 hits, including the chart-topping “Keep On Loving You.”
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