Friday, April 8, 2011

REO Speedwagon -- "One Lonely Night"

One Lonely Night - Wheels Are Turnin'

(Debuted May 30, 1985, Peaked #19, 16 Weeks on the Chart)

Yesterday's blog entry featured a song from a band whose sound has aged the last three decades well. As for today...well, let's just say they're often viewed better in the perspective of their time.

I remember hearing "One Lonely Night" in 1985 and thinking it was a better song than the single it followed, "Can't Fight This Feeling." However, I felt both songs were inferior to the first single that came off the Wheels Are Turnin' album, "I Do' Wanna Know." At the time, I didn't appreciate the soft ballads and didn't understand their appeal beyond the fact that the girls liked them. Today, I've come to realize why one song is still remembered and the other isn't.

That's not to say that "One Lonely Night" should be forgotten. While its synthesizer part dates it, it features a guitar solo -- remember when every other song that played on the radio had to have a guitar solo tacked onto the middle eight? -- that probably dates it even further. Having a rock-styled guitar solo in the middle of a ballad is sometimes a tough sell, but it sure shows up in a lot of the ones that came out back then.

"One Lonely Night" was written by keyboardist Neal Doughty, a departure for the group since the hit singles mainly came from singer Kevin Cronin. What made the song memorable to me as a 12 year-old listener, however, was the video that accompanied the tune on MTV. Shown below as a YouTube video, it uses a pun on the work "night" and features a Medieval knight who searches for his true love. Like I said, I was 12 then, living in a small town and easily amused at that age.

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