Reo Speedwagon - You Get You Play For

REO Speedwagon – You Get What You Play For (Live)

88 / 100

Despite the dodgy audio in parts, REO Speedwagon deliver a hot live album from a band who at the time were ridin’ both sides of the prairie fence as a sturdy support act as well as a proven headliner.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: REO Speedwagon
ALBUM: You Get What You Play For (Live)
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Kevin Cronin – vocals, guitars * Gary Richrath – guitars, vocals * Greg Philbin – bass * Neal Doughty – keyboards, piano * Alan Gratzer – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Like You Do * 02 Lay Me Down * 03 Any Kind Of Love * 04 Being Kind (Can Hurt Someone Sometimes) * 05 Keep Pushin’ * 06 (Only A) Summer Love * 07 Son Of A Poor Man * 08 (I Believe) Our Time Is Gonna Come * 09 Flying Turkey Trot * 10 Gary’s Guitar Solo * 11 157 Riverside Ave * 12 Ridin’ The Storm Out * 13 Music Man * 14 Little Queenie * 15 Golden Country



Recorded in the ‘Bible belt’ towns of Atlanta, Indianapolis, St Louis and Kansas City, traditional REO Speedwagon strongholds, ‘You Get What You Play For’ primarily consists of material from the first two albums. This double live set is better known as the ‘cow’ album, and more noticeably just two tracks from ‘Ridin’ The Storm Out’ whilst cutting out the ‘Lost In A Dream’ and ‘This Time We Mean It’ Mike Murphy era recordings completely. This would also be the last recording with bassist Greg Philbin, who was replaced by Bruce Hall for the follow up studio album ‘You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish’.

The Songs

First of all, the sound delivered by REO Speedwagon is not the best and there are several spots throughout the set that will frankly leave you scratching your head wondering what the heck is going on? Yeah it was the 70’s after all but surely that’s no excuse. With that minor quibble aside, this is a hot live album from a band who at the time were ridin’ both sides of the prairie fence as a sturdy support act as well as a proven headliner.

And again, as with all early REO Speedwagon barn burners, guitarist Gary Richrath sizzles and burns like a red hot branding iron, especially on the lengthy but excellent ‘Golden Country’, proving once again he was one of the most under rated guitarists of the 1970’s. ‘Ridin’ The Storm’ is by far superior to the studio version with Neal Doughty’s trademark air raid siren at the beginning and of the track and ‘157 Riverside Avenue’ kicks harder than any version I have heard from the band in the years before and after, and it remains a true REO Speedwagon classic.

In Summary

REO Speedwagon in their early days were as American Midwest as Tornadoes, Drive-in Theaters and Buffalo burgers. By 1981, ‘Hi-Infidelity’ brought them much deserved success, but also a loss of musical as well as regional identity and with 1987’s abysmal ‘Life As We Know It’ album, REO Speedwagon sealed their fate with one of the worst albums of that particular year. With that said, for an introduction to the band at their best and most original ‘Live: You Get What You Play For’ is as fine a place to start as any.

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