The year 1981 marks the debut of the groundbreaking MTV Networks and, simultaneously, as MTV was hitting the airwaves, REO Speedwagon held the #1 album spot with their multi-platinum Hi Infidelity, making an impression that has also come to last decades. Now, marking its 30th Anniversary, the highest-selling rock LP of 1981 is being commemorated with HI INFIDELITY: 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION, with special, never-before-released demos and more. The double-CD set will be released at all physical and digital retail outlets on July 19th through Epic/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
Hi Infidelity was a career-changing album for REO Speedwagon, achieving a staggering number of accolades, chart positions and sales, among them:
Highest-selling rock LP of 1981
Has sold close to 10 million copies in the US
February 21, 1981; the album hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and remained at #1 for 15 weeks straight; taking over John Lennon & Yoko Ono's "Double Fantasy," which previously held the spot for eight weeks
Remained on Billboard 200 album chart for 101 weeks, unprecedented for an American rock band at the time
Album certified RIAA Gold and Platinum on February 2, 1981; since been 10x Platinum certified
Single "Keep on Loving You," certified RIAA gold on March 4th, replaced Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love a Rainy Night" at #1 on Billboard Hot 100 on March 21, 1981
March 21st, 1981, the first week of Billboard's then new "Top Tracks" chart (now known as the Mainstream Rock Chart) boasted four songs from Hi Infidelity: "Keep on Loving You" and "Take It On the Run," which both hit the top 10; and "Don't Let Him Go"(#11) and "Tough Guys" (#25); "Out of Season," joined those four a week later
"Take It On the Run" was the 9th music video ever to be played on MTV
HI INFIDELITY: 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION will pair the original album with a second CD of previously unreleased 'Crystal Demos' of nine of the album's 10 songs. Additionally, the album packaging will include new liner notes by lead singer Kevin Cronin, as well as original lead guitarist Gary Richrath. Cronin's essay takes the reader on a trip behind the curtain to the roots of many of the songs: "I remember writing the verses to piano, after sleepwalking into my home studio around 4:00 a.m.... A long simmering response to the bullies of my youth came in the form of 'Tough Guys'... Bruce wrote and sang 'Someone Tonight,' which is one of the gems from the Crystal Demos... 'I wish You Were There' [was] a little gospel thing that I had written in the house where I grew up in suburban Chicago."
Originally formed in Champaign, Illinois, REO Speedwagon is still led today by keyboardist Neal Doughty (founding member since 1967), Kevin Cronin (who has fronted the band since 1972 on lead vocals and guitar), and bassist Bruce Hall (who joined in 1977) - along with lead guitarist Dave Amato (member since 1989) and drummer Bryan Hitt (since 1990). Together, REO continues to define the essence of two enduring genres, arena rock on the performance side, and classic rock on the audio and video side. Summer tour dates begin at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre on June 4th and take the band through more than 40 shows where they'll showcase the best of Hi Infidelity with the live performances that audiences have grown to love over the last three decades and continue to sell out time and time again.