Often derided because that its ludicrous title and also album cover, You can Tune a Piano, however You Can’t Tuna Fish was nonetheless the most crucial benchmark for REO Speedwagon. Exit in 1978, this was the seventh studio album by the Illinois-based rock band that had functioned relentlessly throughout the te but, prior to this record, fail to make the height 40. You deserve to Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish peaked in ~ number 29 and also went on come achieve double platinum condition in the US.

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Named after ~ a standard flat bed truck, REO Speedwagon was created in 1967 in ~ the college of Illinois in Champaign through keyboardist Neal Doughty and drummer Alan Gratzer together a cover band playing in campus bars, fraternity parties, and university events. After numerous lineup shifts, guitarist Gary Richrath joined in so late 1970 and the local popularity the the band prospered tremendously, resulting in a resolve Epic Records and the band’s self-titled debut album in 1971. The group twice replaced lead singers before Kevin Cronin permanently joined the team in January 1976. The following year, the team released a live album and also relocated to Los Angeles.

Recording of You can Tune a Piano yet You Can’t Tuna Fish took ar in Illinois and California in so late 1977 and early 1978. This album to be the very first to attribute bassist Bruce Hall and also it to be co-produced through Cronin and also Richrath along with Paul Grupp and also John Boylan.

You have the right to Tune a Piano yet You Can’t Tuna Fish by REO SpeedwagonSide OneSide TwoGroup Musicians
Released: march 16, 1978 (Epic)Produced by: Kevin Cronin, Gary Richrath, Paul Grupp, & man BoylanRecorded: document Plant Studios, Los Angeles & example Recording Studios, Chicago, 1977-1978
Roll through the ChangesTime because that Me to FlyRunnin’ BlindBlazin’ Your own Trail AgainSing to MeLucky because that YouDo You understand Where your Woman Is Tonight?The Unidentified flying Tuna TrotSay friend Love Me or say Goodnight
Kevin Cronin – command Vocals, Guitars, KeyboardsGary Richrath – GuitarsNeal Doughty – KeyboardsBruce Hall – Bass, VocalsAlan Gratzer – Drums, Vocals

The album launches through “Roll v the Changes”, a piano-based rocker through Cronin which would soon go top top to come to be a standard rock staple. Richrath’s heavy, whining guitar is accented throughout through Dougherty acquisition his revolve with a Hammond body organ lead and a wealthy backing chorus belting the end the catchy counter hook. The album’s other anchor comes following with “Time for Me come Fly”, a standard breakup track that is developed like very early prototype for few of the better eighties strength ballads which would come later. Developed on the pleasant musical combo the Cronin’s 12-string acoustic and also Dougherty’s Moog synthesizer along with fine melodic, vocals and a harmonized double bridge, which bookmarks the slight guitar lead. While both of these tracks would certainly go on to it is in classics, they go not receive initial popular music notoriety together both fail to graph in the height 40.

Richrath’s very first composition, “Runnin’ Blind”, to be co-written by Debbie Mackron and is emphasize by a pure, thick etc sound. “Blazin’ Your own Trail Again” is an additional acoustic ballad through some heavier elements added on peak for a harder rock effect and also high popular music accessibility. The original an initial side concludes through Richrath’s quick but hefty “Sing come Me”.


Side two is to fill with hard rock material and is anchored by a couple of monitor with expanded jams. Although lyrically weak, “Lucky because that You”is musically supreme with some great bass through Hall as well as later harmonized lead guitars which sheppard in the extended jams that the second half of track. After ~ the southerly rock tinged “Do You recognize Where her Woman Is Tonight?” and the filler crucial “The Unidentified flying Tuna Trot”, come the closer “Say friend Love Me or say Goodnight” a strong, pure rocker emphasize by Dougherty’s piano lead and guest Lon Price‘s intermittent saxophone licks.

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You deserve to Tune a Piano but You Can’t Tuna Fish set the stage for super-stardom throughout the 1980s, starting with Hi Infidelity in so late 1980. REO Speedwagon also started come morph from tough rock to more pop-oriented and ballad-centric material as the brand-new decade unfolded.


Part of classic Rock Review’s solemn event of 1978 albums.


Author classic Rock ReviewPosted on march 14, 2018December 8, 2020Categories Album ReviewsTags 1978 Albums, Album reviews by Ric Albano, American Artists, Midwest Artists, REO Speedwagon