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REO Speedwagon/Gary singing lead vocals

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Question
Hi Kathy.......I've read where Gary sings lead vocals on several songs but one in particular is "Breakaway"......I have a really hard time distinguishing his and Kevin's voices, does he in fact sing lead vocals on that song, and does Kevin join him on the chorus?  The word "jungle" in the first verse sounds so much like Kevin b/c he pronounces it jungle-luh wherein he adds an extra syllable to it as he does to many lyrics in his songs.  Just curious, I love the lyrics to this song and as always Gary's guitar playing.  Thanks KC!

Answer
Hi KC:

Gary starts out singing lead vocals on this song:

"Another day in the city
Another dancer to the music
But lately, all the music sounds so strange
Well some songs have no meaning
And some songs try too hard
Tryin' to say it all and end up sayin' nothin'.."

Kevin then sings the refrain:

"Well maybe the words ring true
What's right for them maybe wrong for you
So come out of the jungle
Of another man's dreams
And if you come to a clearing
As lonely as it seems
It's never too late to breakaway, to breakaway..."

Gary then sings:
"Another day lost in livin'
And another same old beginning
And knowing where and why we went wrong.."

Kevin & Gary then jointly sing:
"Someone says I've changed
And someone says that I've remained in the same place
For maybe just a little too long
Well maybe the words ring true
What's right for them maybe wrong for you
So come out of the jungle
Of another man's dreams
And if you come to a clearing
As lonely as it seems
It's never too late to breakaway
It's never too late to breakaway."

Neal breaks in with the piano, then KC & Gary join together to the end:

"Well maybe the words ring true
What's right for them maybe wrong for you
So come out of the jungle
Of another man's dreams
And if you come to a clearing
As lonely as it seems
It's never too late to breakaway
It's never too late to breakaway."

Talking about Gary singing, I'm reminded of an interview he did in the Feb '82 issue of Guitar Player magazine, where he talked about singing. Here's an excerpt:


Guitar Player: The production on REO/TWO seemed a bit better than the first album. Why was that?

Gary: We worked on the songs a little more, thinking we should polish things up a bit. And that was also the first time we had a hand at mixing. There I was, sitting in front of five million knobs, saying, "Hmmmmm." We struggled our way through it, and the mix suffered, because we didn't know what in the hell we were doing. Actually, the first few albums were vague as far as sitting down and trying to structure the songs. We still weren't smart enough.

Guitar Player: The wah-wah pedal....

Gary: Came into existence on the second album. You see, I don't sing, so....

Guitar Player: You do sing.

Gary: Well, Kevin Cronin, our lead singer, put an end to that [laughs]. Actually, it was mutual. We didn't want to confuse the audience; we wanted to have one singer, and not go back and forth. Also, I really don't sing that well; so, the way I sing is with the guitar. That's also why I like to do harmonics a lot -- you know, chirps and stuff. That's my way of being vocal. Along that same line, I learned to play the wah-wah pedal from Jeff Beck, because I idolize him. I hate guys that just stand there and go "wah, wah, wah." To me, the effects adds expression, a vocal quality. Listen to Jeff Beck on Truth. That's what I like to do. I'm really into tone on the guitar, and Jeff Beck was my epitome of tone."

Hope all this info helps! Thanks for a great question!

Kathy
REOFANS.com
Richrath.com

REO Speedwagon

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Kathy

Expertise

History of the band, their music, lyrics, instrumentation, touring, hits, chart activities, and just about everything else in between.

Experience

President of REO FANS, the band's largest international fan club, and REO fan for over 45 years, having attended hundreds of concerts all over the world.

Publications
Editor & Publisher of REO FANS NEWS

Education/Credentials
Washburn Law School

Awards and Honors
With a 40+ year photographic history of the band, one of her photos was selected to appear on the band's 25th anniversary t-shirts. She was also featured on VH-1's "Rock Collectors," where her rock photography was displayed.

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