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CSX Classic Cuts

REO Speedwagon took the stage last!

WCSX Classic Cuts

REO Speedwagon: “Take It on the Run”

The Hook: Guitarist Gary Richrath wrote it, but singer Kevin Cronin suggested that they change the title from “Don’t Let Me Down,” which The Beatles had already used, to “Take It on the Run.”

Year: 1980

Album: Hi Infidelity

Writer: Gary Richrath

Stats: Peaked at number-five on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-six on Billboard’s Top Rock Tracks chart.

Background: REO frontman Kevin Cronin says the band’s late guitarist Gary Richrath wrote a lot of songs, but had trouble choosing which ones were actually good enough for the band to record. Cronin found the song that would become “Take It on the Run” while listening to a few of Richrath’s tunes, and because it originally had the same title as a Beatles cut, suggested they make a few adjustments.

REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin on what the band’s late guitarist Gary Richrath played for him that led to their hit “Take It on the Run.” OC:…me so. :25

It’s a song called ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and I thought, ‘Wait, haven’t I heard the title “Don’t Let Me Down” before?’ type of thing. And it’s, like, ‘OK, play it for me anyway.’ So sure enough it was ‘Take It on the Run’ and just a couple of minor lyric changes and juxtaposing a couple of the lines in the chorus to make the title line be ‘Take It On The Run,’ once we made those couple of changes, it sounded like a hit song to me. A lot of people didn’t want to release that as a single and I just thought, ‘Man, this is definitely a hit.’ And sure enough, we were right.”