Roll With The Changes

Album: You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish (1978)
Charted: 58

Songfacts®:

  • REO Speedwagon's 1971 debut album was with their original lead singer, Terry Luttrell. Kevin Cronin took over that role for their next effort, R.E.O./T.W.O. (1972), but it was rough sledding, and while they were making their third album, Ridin' the Storm Out (1973), he left over conflict with guitarist Gary Richrath and other creative tensions. Cronin returned to the band in 1976, which meant moving from Chicago to Los Angeles, where they had relocated. On that trip, he had lots of time to think about all the changes in his life, and how he was (quite literally) rolling with them.

    The song hit him in a flash: he started writing the lyrics on a brown paper bag in his Ford Pinto while he was driving. Released as the first single from their 1978 album You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish, the song became their biggest hit to that point, reaching #58.
  • The band made a music video for this song in 1978, three years before MTV went on the air. Directed by Arnold Levine, the black-and-white footage was shot at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri at their show on May 13, 1978. When MTV launched in 1981, they played the video, as REO Speedwagon were huge at the time, with a string of hits from their Hi Infidelity album.

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