Writer: Kevin Cronin
Producers: Kevin Cronin, Gary Richrath, and Kevin Beamish
Recorded: Spring and summer 1980
Released: Fall 1980
|Players:||Kevin Cronin–vocals, guitar
Bruce Hall–bass, vocals
|Album:||Hi-Infidelity (Epic, 1980)|
Coming nearly 14 years into REO Speedwagon‘s career, “Keep On Loving You” was not only the band’s first Number One on the Billboard Hot 100, but also its first top-40 hit, period. The band’s previous best showing was 1978’s “Time For Me To Fly,” which peaked at Number 56.
It also sold a million copies as a single.
REO frontman Kevin Cronin wrote “Keep On Loving You” as a valentine for his wife, in response to her dedication while he and the band kept up its heavy touring schedule.
“Keep On Loving You” was in many ways the perfection of the power-ballad style Cronin had been working on throughout his tenure in REO. “I realized that you can take a ballad and put the energy there. It doesn’t have to be fast and loud; it can still be powerful.”
REO’s Hi-Infidelity album was also the group’s most successful release, spending 16 weeks at Number One on the Billboard 200 and selling more than 10 million copies.
Cronin said at the time that Hi-Infidelity represented a very deliberate effort to improve upon REO’s previous releases, “We were never represented right on record. That’s one of the things that was different this time. We’ve gotten better in the studio and we’ve improved as writers. If we had gone to Number One with a crummy record, I’d be feeling pretty strange inside. But I love the album. It’s what was in the back of my mind all those years. It’s what kept us going.”
After such a long wait, Cronin said, “The most gratifying thing for me is the peer recognition. I always had the feeling that no other band or performer in the world knew who we were. If they did know about us, I figured they probably didn’t like us.”