REO Speedwagon: Kevin Cronin (vocals, guitar, piano); Mike Murphy (vocals); Gary Richrath (guitar); Bruce Hall (bass guitar).
Audio Mixer: Andy Manganello.
Liner Note Author: Kevin Cronin.
Recording information: 1971-1999.
Named after an early pickup truck, this band from Champaign, Illinois recorded some of America's most popular arena rock. THE ESSENTIAL REO SPEEDWAGON charts the group's progress from 1971 to 1999, from the early riff-rockers on which the act built its fanbase to the juggernaut hits of the early 1980s to a handful of later recordings. Kevin Cronin and company certainly know their way around an anthemic ballad, as evidenced on the guitar-driven "Keep on Loving You," the powerfully catchy "Take It on the Run," and keyboard-laden "Can't Fight This Feeling." The earlier collection THE HITS places all of REO Speedwagon's radio-friendly singles in a more concise, single-disc package for casual fans, but, for those wishing to delve further into the band's catalog, this double-CD compilation is indeed essential.