Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 3 weeks); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

These days it’s common for a so-called rock band to record a ballad for play on more mellow radio stations. However, in 1985 such a move risked loss of credibility and, hence, sales with your core fans, plus resistance at rock-oriented stations.

So, it was no surprise that the members of REO Speedwagon initially gave a thumbs-down to lead singer Kevin Cronin’s composition, Can’t Fight This Feeling. Feeling had been lying around, unfinished, for 10 years when Kevin began work on it again during a break following the release of 1982’s Good Trouble album.

Ironically, the song’s lyrics addressed the need to change and the difficulty of doing so: exactly what REO needed to do after the disappointing sales (compared to those of Hi Infidelity) of Trouble.

Kevin’s instincts proved to be right on target as Can’t Fight This Feeling became the band’s first #1 in four years and also reached #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Kevin Cronin
  • Gary Richrath
  • Alan Gratzer

Lyrics Written by:

  • Kevin Cronin