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10 Albums that changed Kevin Cronin's life

REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin shares the albums that have influenced him.
Kevin Cronin

Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon. Publicity photo.

Kevin Cronin is one of his generation’s most successful songwriters and frontmen. He has penned two No. 1 hits in "Keep On Loving You" and "Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore" and continues to rock REO Speedwagon across the USA, blasting out the hits "Time For Me To Fly," "Roll With The Changes," "Take It On The Run," "Ridin’ The Storm Out" and many more.

Kevin took time to give Goldmine his list of 10 Albums That Changed His Life.

Madman Across The Water

Elton John: Madman Across The Water
Singing, songwriting, arrangements, this album has it all. "Holiday Inn," which opens Side Two, is the song that got me the gig in REO.

The Beatles: Rubber Soul
This was the first album I ever owned. I am partial to the U.S. version, which opens with "I’ve Just Seen A Face," a song I still love to play. The second cut, "Norwegian Wood" has perhaps the best opening line in rock history, "I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me."

Rubber Soul

(Click here to revisit the legend of John Lennon)

Who's Next

The Who: Who’s Next
My favorite hard-rock album of all time, and the artwork broke every rule.

Crosby, Stills and Nash

Crosby, Stills and Nash: Crosby, Stills and Nash
I had been a fan of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies when an agent at Creative Artists told me about this upcoming collaboration. The first time I listened, I played the opening cut, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" 12 times in a row. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was the perfect record.

Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills: Stephen Stills
Two words: "Black Queen." You must hear this incredible record.


James Taylor: JT
I am a huge fan of all of James Taylor’s music. His version of "Handy Man" kills me every time I hear it, to this day.

Tambourine Man

The Byrds: Mr. Tambourine Man
This was the first album by The Byrds. When I heard it, I immediately sold my Gibson ES 335 guitar and bought a Rickenbacker 12-string like the one played by Jim McGuinn. I still use that guitar and love its jangly sound.

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Mahavishnu Orchestra and John McLaughlin: The Inner Mounting Flame
When I first listened to this album, I could not believe what I was hearing. The guitar had been reinvented, and jazz and rock had been fused.


Simon and Garfunkel: Bookends
I loved all of S & G’s early songs, but this album was such a cohesive piece of work. I was playing coffee houses in Chicago in a folk duo called The Late Late Show. We thought it was our originals that kept people coming to see us, but in retrospect, it was probably our Simon and Garfunkel covers, including most of the songs on this album.

The Dream Of The Blue Turtles

Sting: Dream Of The Blue Turtles
I had been a fan of all four Police albums, so I was skeptical about a Sting solo project. When I heard this record, I ditched my solo career.