Friday, November 21, 1980

REO Speedwagon’s Hi Infidelity was released: November 21, 1980

Hi Infidelity

REO Speedwagon

Released: November 21, 1980

Peak: 115 US, 6 UK, 2 CN, 6 AU, 14 DF

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 0.06 UK, 13.40 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: arena rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Don’t Let Him Go (3/21/81, 24 BB, 11 AR)
  2. Keep on Loving You (11/29/80, 1 BB, 9 AR, 7 UK, platinum)
  3. Follow My Heart
  4. In Your Letter (8/8/81, 20 BB, 26 AC)
  5. Take It on the Run (3/21/81, 5 BB, 6 AR, 19 UK, gold)
  6. Tough Guys (3/21/81, 25 AR)
  7. Out of Season (3/28/81, 59 AR)
  8. Shakin’ It Loose
  9. Someone Tonight
  10. I Wish You Were There

Total Running Time: 34:55

The Players:

  • Kevin Cronin (vocals, guitar, piano)
  • Gary Richrath (guitar)
  • Neal Doughty (keyboards)
  • Bruce Hall (bass)
  • Alan Gratzer (drums)


3.893 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)


“If you need proof why arena rock was giant, this is it…This is really arena rock’s Blood on the Tracks.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“If you need proof why arena rock was giant, this is it.” AMG REO Speedwagon could arguably be credited with bringing arena rock to its pinnacle. They “had been slogging it out in the arenas of the U.S.” AMG for nearly a decade, “building up a sizeable audience because they could deliver live.” AMG This was much the same story for the band’s peers like Styx, Journey, and Foreigner. The difference is that all those bands had landed a couple top ten albums. The highest REO ever previously reached was #29.

Then, in 1981, all four bands topped the album charts. However, REO got their first “with this incredibly mainstream collection of power ballads and economic hard rock.” RO They did it with a fifteen-week chart-topper which sold more than 9 million copies in the U.S. This was “a record that not just summarized their strengths, but captured everything that was good about arena rock. This is the sound of the stadiums in that netherworld between giants like Zeppelin and MTV’s slick, video-ready anthems.” AMG

“The band’s strongest attribute is its inconspicuous nature. You never see it coming. Kevin Cronin has a serviceable voice and Gary Richrath is a solid if unspectacular lead player” RO “but there’s a real urgency to the songs and the performances.” AMG Keep on Loving You set “the pattern for the power ballads that would take many a hard rock band to the top of the charts throughout the ‘80s.” RO That song “and the surging Take It on the Run…define their era.” AMG There’s also “the Bo Diddley-inspired opener, Don’t Let Him GoAMG and other radio-friendly songs like “the sun-kissed ‘60s homage In Your Letter, and Tough Guys.” AMG

“What’s really great about these songs is not just the sheen of professionalism that makes them addictive to listen to, but there’s a real strain of pathos that runs through these songs – the album’s title isn't just a clever pun, but a description of the tortured romantic relationships that populate this record’s songs. This is really arena rock’s Blood on the Tracks, albeit by a group of guys instead of a singular vision, but that makes it more affecting, as well as a killer slice of ear candy.” AMG

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First posted 10/6/2010; last updated 11/17/2023.

Saturday, November 15, 1980

Kenny Rogers topped the pop charts with “Lady”


Kenny Rogers

Writer(s): Lionel Richie (see lyrics here)

Released: September 29, 1980

First Charted: September 26, 1980

Peak: 16 US, 14 CB, 15 HR, 15 RR, 14 AC, 11 CW, 12 UK, 2 CN, 16 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 16.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 93.1 video, 63.33 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

In 1980, Kenny Rogers was the biggest draw in country music. To capitalize on his status – and a year which had already seen three top five hits on the country charts – his record label wanted a Greatest Hits package to ring in the Christmas season. Rogers had just ended his five-year relationship with producer Larry Butler and was seeking new blood to spark his creativity.

He turned to Lionel Richie, who wasn’t yet the solo superstar he was to become within a few years. At the time, he still fronted the Motown group The Commodores. Like Rogers, Richie had experienced major crossover success. The 1978 hit “Three Times a Lady” had topped the pop, R&B, adult contemporary, and UK charts. The country-tinged “Easy” (1977) was a hit on all four formats as well.

The pair of songs caught Rogers’ attention. Rogers contacted Motown founder Berry Gordy about working with the Commodores. Because of a motorcycle accident to drummer Walter Orange, the group had delayed a concert tour and Richie and Co. had time on their hands. Lionel flew to Las Vegas to meet with Rogers. Richie played demos of “Lady” and “Goin’ Back to Alabama”, songs he’d written two years earlier. FB Rogers cut both in an 8 ½ hour session; the former included some lyrical tweaking to reference Rogers’ relationship with his wife. TR As Rogers said, “The idea was that Lionel would come from R&B and I’d come from country, and we’d meet somewhere in the middle.” FB

The song became Rogers’ fourth million-selling single and his first #1 on the pop charts. BB It was also the biggest pop song of 1980 WHC and the first song of the decade to hit all four of the major Billboard charts (pop, country, adult contemporary, R&B). FB It hit #1 on the first three of those.


  • BB Billboard (9/08). “All-Time Hot 100
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 533.
  • TR Tom Roland (1991). The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 272.
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 109.

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First posted 11/15/2011; last updated 10/29/2022.

Saturday, November 8, 1980

Willie Nelson “On the Road Again” hit #1 on the country chart

On the Road Again

Willie Nelson

Writer(s): Willie Nelson (see lyrics here)

First Charted: August 30, 1980

Peak: 20 US, 22 CB, 11 GR, 16 HR, 16 RR, 7 AC, 11 CW, 64 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 35.31 video, 123.67 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Willie Nelson was born in Texas in 1933. He started his career as a songwriter, writing such classics as Faron Young’s “Hello Walls” and Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” He charted on his own for the first time in 1962 on the country charts, but it wouldn’t be until 1975 that he landed his first of 25 country chart toppers, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” The song was also his first entry on the pop charts, hitting #21. It would be another five years before he’d land another top 40 hit – this time with 1980’s “On the Road Again” (#20).

Fellow outlaw country artist Waylon Jennings said Nelson “will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest songwriter ever in country music…He can write the most complex song…that will shoot over most people’s heads, and then he will turn around and write a little song like ‘On the Road Again’ that everyone can appreciate.” TR

Nelson wrote the song for the movie Honeysuckle Rose. He was tapped to star as “an aging musician who fails to achieve national fame.” WK Nelson was asked to write a song for the movie about touring. TR Bob Dylan called it “a song of a traveling bandit” BD which captured the life of a touring musician. He said, “this song feels like the movement of the road. The way it feels on a bus…when you’re on the road, you’re living the life you love. Making music with your friends, and earning a living…The thing about being on the road is that you’re not bogged down by anything. Not even bad news. You give pleasure to other people and you keep your grief to yourself.” BD

“On the Road Again” won a Grammy for Best Country Song and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. It also won the American Music Award for country song of the year.


  • BD Bob Dylan (2022). The Philosophy of Modern Song. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Pages 91-92.
  • TR Tom Roland (1991). The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Pages 270-1.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

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First posted 11/2/2022; last updated 2/3/2023.

Friday, November 7, 1980

Eagles released first live album

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 9/20/2020.

Eagles Live


Released: November 7, 1980

Recorded: live October 1976 and July 1980

Peak: 6 US, 24 UK, 25 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, -- UK, 10.6 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Hotel California
  2. Heartache Tonight
  3. I Can’t Tell You Why
  4. The Long Run
  5. New Kid in Town
  6. Life’s Been Good (Joe Walsh solo song) (6/10/78, 12 US)
  7. Seven Bridges Road (12/20/80, 21 US, 17 AC, 55 CW)
  8. Wasted Time
  9. Take It to the Limit
  10. Doolin’-Dalton (Reprise II)
  11. Desperado
  12. Saturday Night
  13. All Night Long (Joe Walsh solo song) (5/17/80, 19 US)
  14. Life in the Fast Lane
  15. Take It Easy

Chart figures are only for songs not previously featured on any Eagles’ albums.

Total Running Time: 77:10

The Players:

  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Don Henley (vocals, drums)
  • Don Felder (guitar, vocals)
  • Randy Meisner (bass, vocals: 1976)
  • Timothy B. Schmit (bass, vocals: 1980)
  • Joe Walsh (guitar, keyboards, vocals)


3.368 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Quotable: “The most heavily overdubbed [live album] in history” - Rolling Stone Record Guide (1983)


About the Album:

Eagles Live is the first live album by the…Eagles, a two-LP set released in 1980. The Eagles broke up on July 31, 1980 after their concert at Long Beach. However, the band still owed Warners a live record from the tour. Eagles Live (released that November) was mixed by Glenn Frey and Don Henley on opposite coasts – the two decided they couldn’t bear to be in the same state, let alone the same studio, and as Bill Szymczyk put it, the record’s perfect three-part harmonies were fixed ‘courtesy of Federal Express.’ The 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide said it is ‘perhaps the most heavily overdubbed [live album] in history.’ After the credits that list no fewer than five attorneys, the album's liner notes simply say, ‘Thank you and goodnight.’” WK

Eagles Live includes…tracks recorded in the fall of 1976 (thus allowing for the inclusion of departed singer Randy Meisner on Take It to the Limit).” AMG Also from 1976, are New Kid in Town, Wasted Time, Doolin-Dalton (Reprise II), and Desperado. WK

However, “the bulk of the album comes from the end of the Eagles’ 1980 tour, just before they broke up, and it reflects their late concert repertoire, largely drawn from Hotel California and The Long Run.” AMG

“The occasional early song such as ‘Desperado’ and Take It Easy turn up, but many of the major hits from the middle of the band's career – ‘The Best of My Love,’ ‘One of These Nights,’ ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ – are missing, replaced by such curiosities as two extended selections from Joe Walsh’s solo career, Life’s Been Good and All Night Long.” AMG

“At least Walsh introduces some live variations to his material; the rest of the Eagles seem determined to recreate the studio versions of their songs in concert, which may work for them live but almost makes a live recording superfluous. The previously unrecorded rendition of Steve Young’s Seven Bridges Road is welcome, and the album would have benefited from more surprises as well as a livelier approach to a live recording.” AMG

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