I have found that when bands release demo editions or pull out previously unheard tracks, there is a muddy sound or texture and the songs have obvious issues or mistakes in them. Here, it sounds like REO Speedwagon is playing in a concert hall arena, a perfect sound check before the sold out show, emotionally charged and with the “Concert Live” sound that brought REO Speedwagon fans to every show it played. Listening to the two discs, it is just very subtle differences and note by note changeups that are noticed.
I enjoyed reviewing this album. Listening to it, I remember standing in line to get tickets to REO Speedwagon when it played the Nassau Coliseum in New York in 1983. Not an empty seat was in the house, and REO Speedwagon was and still is a powerhouse onstage. And the re-release of Hi Infidelity [30th Anniversary Edition], with "The Crystal Demos" is proof that rock never stops.
The album contains songs that excited a nation of fans and was one of the few albums in history to have almost every song in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 100. It also creates a new milestone in REO Speedwagon’s legacy. This fantastic double CD set will be released on July 19, 2011 to promote REO Speedwagon’s Nation Wide Tour, as it will appear in concert halls from The Greek in Los Angeles to USANA Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City, Utah.