REO Speedwagon

Take It on the Run

Composed by Gary Richrath

Song Review by

After the monumental success of "Keep on Loving You," REO Speedwagon followed suit with "Take It on the Run," which made it to the number five spot on the charts three months later. This time, the emphasis came from a lonely guitar sound rather than the sweetness of the piano, but the song's love-'em-and-leave-'em lyrical caress and empathetic feel is all the same. Once again, Kevin Cronin's voice gushes out heartache and misfortune with every word, made to sound even larger amongst the song's glistening production. Lush but bright, "Take It on the Run" is beautifully overdone, but it's overdone in all the right places, and REO's full-flavored sound gives the song perfect portions of genuine soft rock charm. REO Speedwagon's bandmembers were already excellent musicians, but Hi Infidelity solidified their songwriting prowess, making it one of the biggest selling albums of the decade. While "Keep on Loving You" was more of an anthem, "Take It on the Run" is personal, even intimate, and Cronin does a splendid job of making the song pertain to him as a character rather than having it sound like a generalized breakup tune. Hi Infidelity led the band into lengthy touring, but REO knew that embarking on a warm, FM-friendly sound saved them from packing it in and calling it quits, and they had to please their fans. Two more songs from the album, "Don't Let Him Go" and "In Your Letter," became Top 30 hits during the summer of 1981. After the ascendancy of Hi Infidelity, REO Speedwagon had a hard time imitating the success of the album, failing to live up to its standards with the disappointing Good Trouble release in 1982.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Hi Infidelity 1980 Epic / Legacy / Sony Music 4:01
Best Foot Forward 1985 Epic
No Image 1986 CBS/Fox
The Hits 1988 Epic 4:02
No Image 1991 Image Entertainment
The Second Decade of Rock and Roll, 1981-1991 1991 Epic 4:16
Rock the Night 1994
Various Artists
Columbia 3:59
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:35
Greatest Hits of the Eighties, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:59
Only Rock 'N Roll 1980-1984: 20 Pop Hits 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 3:38
Sounds of the Eighties: The Early '80s 1996
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:02
18 Rock Classics, Vol. 3 1997
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels / Warner Bros.
Gold and Platinum, Vol. 4: 1980-1984 1997
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:38
Guitar Rock: Heavy Favorites 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Time/Life Music 4:02
Mega Rock Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc Corp. / Platinum Disc 4:02
The Ballads 1999 Sbme Special Mkts.
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '70s, Vol. 4-5 1999
Various Artists
Collectables 3:38
Rock Giants [Platinum] 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:01
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1981 2000
Various Artists
Buddha Records 4:00
Take It on the Run: The Best of REO Speedwagon 2000 Columbia / Sony/Columbia 4:02
Simply the Best 2001 Sony Music Distribution 4:01
Extended Versions 2001 BMG Special Products 4:18
Greatest Hits of the 80's [Sony] 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:00
Plus 2001 Sanctuary
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:01
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1980-1984 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 4:00
You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish/Hi Infidelity/Live: You Get What You Play 2001 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 4:01
Keep on Rollin' 2002 Music Mill 4:00
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 3:38
Freewheeling 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:00
The Essential REO Speedwagon 2004 Epic / Legacy / Sony Music Distribution / Epic/Legacy 4:01
Legends: For Your Love 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:03
Feel the Noize: All Time Greatest Rock Anthems 2006
Various Artists
American Beat Records 4:01
No Image 2006 Sony Music Distribution 4:00
Classic Soft Rock: More Than a Feeling 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:37
Absolute Driving Rock 2007
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:02
Mullets Rock! Too! 2007
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:59
Find Your Own Way Home 2007 Teichiku Records 3:59
Legends Informercial Set 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:03
No. 1 Rock Album 2007
Various Artists
Music Club Deluxe 4:01
Rock Classics [Sony BMG] 2007
Various Artists
Sony BMG 3:59
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:37
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection: The Flame 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 3:37
American Heartbeat: A Pulsating 80's Rock Collection 2008
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:01
No Image 2008 Commercial Canada / Sony BMG / Sony Music Distribution 4:00
Soundstage: REO Speedwagon - Live in the Heartland [DVD] 2008 Koch Vision
Playlist: The Very Best of REO Speedwagon 2008 BMG / Sony Music
Original Album Classics 2011 Sony Legacy 4:01
Pure... Guitar Legends 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:01
Rock Heroes 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:01
American Anthems: All Time Classics 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:00
Made in America, Vol. 2 [Sony] 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:01
Live at Moondance Jam 2013 Frontiers Records
The Box Set Series 2014 Epic / Legacy / Sony Legacy 4:02
No Image 2014
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:59
Driving Rock
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music TV 4:00
No Image Image / Image Entertainment
Rock!: The Album
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:01
blue highlight denotes editor's pick