Wednesday, September 19, 2012

REO Speedwagon - "Keep On Loving You"

Keep On Loving You - Hi Infidelity

(Debuted November 29, 1980, Peaked #1, 28 Weeks on the Chart)

While this is another song that was included in the soundtrack for the film The Last American Virgin, it is better known on its own terms. In 1981, it hit #1 on the pop chart and solidified REO Speedwagon's stature as much more than a live band. Adding the power ballad to their arsenal, it helped gather them more fans than their vaunted live sets ever could.

A listen to the lyrics reveals that the protagonist of the song is borderline possessive. His girl is beginning to look for other men and has begun to act on those impulses. It isn't really said in the song if their relationship has ended or not (though I'm guessing it has), but this poor guy isn't ready to let go of something that once seemed so right. Seen through that lens, the lines "when I said that I loved you, I meant that I love you forever" can be ominous rather than resilient. Dude...she's moving on, you need to let her go. For your own good.

In any case, "Keep On Loving You" was the first #1 hit for a band that was poised to become one of the biggest acts of the 1980s. The song was everywhere in 1981, and soon it seemed that all of their music was pulled out of the vaults because of it. That's good, because certain songs like "Ridin' the Storm Out" were too good to merely be brushed off only when a hurricane or tornado were in the area.

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