Keep On Loving You

Album: Hi Infidelity (1980)
Charted: 7 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is lead singer Kevin Cronin's response after he found out his wife Denise had been cheating on him before they were married. Instead of leaving her, he decided that he would keep on loving her no matter what, as he made that promise:

    When I said that I loved you I meant that I loved you forever
    And I'm gonna keep on lovin' you


    Cronin called it, "The most painful song I ever wrote."
  • An anthem of fidelity, "Keep On Loving You" is often cited as one of the more romantic songs ever written - VH1 included it on their Top 40 Love Songs show. It didn't work out for Kevin Cronin though, as he and his wife split up a few years after the album was released. He re-married in 1992.

    In a Songfacts interview with Cronin, he said: "That song is a yin-yang thing, where there is obviously trouble in paradise in the verses, but I always believed that people are capable of changing, and that if your life runs into a tough spot, it doesn't mean that you necessarily have to run from it. You can also look it in the eye, and if there is enough worthwhile in the relationship to keep it going, then you give it all you've got, and that's what I did. Even in giving it all I got, at some point, we realized that it just wasn't going to work. So when I wrote that line, I meant it. I tried my best, but it just didn't happen."
  • REO Speedwagon was one of the first rock bands to score big with power ballads in the '80s. They had the good fortune of being one of the hottest bands in America when MTV launched on August 1, 1981, so the network played their videos, even though they were low-budget affairs. With director Bruce Gowers, they shot four videos in one day, including the clip for "Keep On Loving You," which lead singer Kevin Cronin said "made us look like even bigger dorks than we were."

    The video shows Cronin with a hot female psychiatrist. He explained in the book I Want My MTV: "Someone figured out that you had to have a hot chick in the video. The psychiatrist was this gorgeous model with librarian glasses. She was out of our league, big-time."

    Most of the band's videos were dominated by performance footage, and they weren't photogenic enough to compete on the network with the likes of Duran Duran, Van Halen and other acts who did a better job matching a picture to the sound. A few years into MTV's existence, REO was out.
  • The title suggests a blissful love free from complications, leading some people to use it at weddings. Bad idea, says Kevin Cronin. "a lot of people over the years have told me how they played that song at their wedding and it was the first dance at their wedding, or it's "their song" with their boyfriend or girlfriend," he told Songfacts. "My first thought is always, 'Wait. Did you listen to the verses of the song?!'"
  • Before REO Speedwagon recorded this, they were known as a hard rock band. Keyboardist Neal Doughty initially had concerns about recording this love ballad, but his fears were allayed when this proved to be a breakthrough hit for the band. He recalled to Noisecreep in a 2011 interview: "During the making of the Hi Infidelity album, most of REO Speedwagon was going through some kind of personal turmoil. I'm talking about divorces and all sorts of crazy stuff. I remember when Kevin played me 'Keep on Loving You' for the first time I was a bit apprehensive about recording it. You have to remember, up to that point we were known as a rock band and here was this soft song.

    I wasn't sure how our hardcore fans would react to a ballad. But then Gary Richrath pulled out his guitar, cranked his amplifier to 11 and started playing along with Kevin. From that point, it felt right. Gary and Kevin had such different writing and playing styles and it worked so great on 'Keep on Loving You.' Once that song hit radio, it exploded. We finally had the hit that our label and we had wanted for years. It changed our lives forever."
  • This heart-tugging love song has been covered by a wide array of artists including The Donnas, Evan Dando and Lisa Loeb and been featured in numerous films, beginning with the 1982 movie The Last American Virgin.
  • This was #1 for one week in March 1981 on the US Billboard Hot 100, the 500th song to top the chart.
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Comments: 11

  • Chris from ArizonaThis song as mentioned may have been #1 for 1 week in March but the Album it was featured on "Hi infidelity stayed at #1 for 14 weeks in 1981 and was the #1 selling album of all albums for 1981. This says a lot as the album was certified "Diamond"
  • Jaypatmac from Northern OntarioDid AT&T begin in guitar player Gary Rickrath's pants? Because that's where the phone cord started from! They could of at least dropped the cord behind the couch to make it appear to be attached to a phone and not his penis! Or maybe she was talking to the Trojan horse!
    Another observation is that Kevin could really use acting skills! Lol!
    I do like the song though!
  • Maksis from UsREO Speedwagon one of the best Chicago bands ever, Keep on Loving You - this is one of the best romantic lyrics.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhThere are a few reasons why this song was such a big hit and has remained popular over the years. First, the lyrics are universal enough that many people, both men and women of any age, have felt this way towards someone in their life at one point. And if you haven't felt it yet, it's the kind of love you want to find and feel this deeply about. The chorus is extremely fun and easy to sing along to. The piano and electric guitar add layers to the emotional content of the tune. But the clincher here is that we are listening to an autobiographical story of a rock star, a guy who has fame, fortune, talent and female groupies falling at his feet willing to do anything for him, yet he is deeply in love with a woman who CHEATED on him! The average woman is thinking, what kind of woman cheats on her rock star boyfriend and has enough mojo that he's gonna keep on lovin' her? Here's a guy who has everything and is willing to forgive the woman he loves because she means that much to him. It's the ultimate opposite of a break up song.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaThis is REO's best; Well-written, well-played -- truly definitive.
    This tells the story of that rarest of fools: a man who loves COMPLETELY & unrequitedly!
    Been there, but couldn't keep up with the requirements. . . Love NEEDS return. . .
  • Zzzzz from Manila, Philippines"...and i meant every word i said,when i said i love you, i meant that i'll love you forever...." -this line knocked me off my feet
  • Brenda from Idaho Falls, IdUnconditional love, sincerity, and committment...these are the themes of this song. The reason why people still like this song is because so few poets, song writers, and playwrights been able to deliver on these human topics with the same intensity as Crorin. Superb writing not to mention the piano instrumentals!
  • John from Fort Worth, TxI'm 47 and I have loved the sound of this song since it was first released. Lately, I made an attempt to understand the verses better so I could sing along with the whole song when I hear it. I understood just a bit to realize that this was a song about true devoted love and that's what it's all about. It's the story of my life. I'm glad for songfacts.com as a resource for gaining more and better knowlege about a song that means something to us. John Martin
  • Joe from Cornwall, NyGary Richrath was the guitarist - I thought he was pretty good.
  • Fatty from Fu, CaI love it. Makes me want to pull out my acid wash jeans one more time
  • Don from San Antonio, TxEven though this is not hard rock, the video made me go nuts over the guitar solo and sent me down a road that eventually ended with hardcore punk and Death Metal! I'd never seen anyone scratch the pick down the strings, and I went totally ballistic. I was 12.
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