Take It on the Run

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"Take It on the Run"
Take It on the Run cover.jpg
Single by REO Speedwagon
from the album Hi Infidelity
B-side "Someone Tonight"
Released January 1981
Format Vinyl
Recorded September 18, 1980
Genre Hard rock
Length 3:59
Label Epic
Songwriter(s) Gary Richrath
REO Speedwagon singles chronology
"Keep on Loving You"
"Take It on the Run"
"Don't Let Him Go"

"Keep on Loving You"
"Take It on the Run"
"Don't Let Him Go"

"Take It on the Run" is the fifth track on the REO Speedwagon album Hi Infidelity. It was released as a single in 1981 and reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1] It also reached number 19 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] The song was written by lead guitarist Gary Richrath. "Take It on the Run" was the follow-up single behind the group's number one hit, "Keep on Loving You". The single went gold on April 17, 1989. "Take It on the Run" has appeared on dozens of 'various artists' compilation albums, as well as several REO Speedwagon greatest hits albums.[3]

According to REO Speedwagon lead singer Kevin Cronin, the original title to the song was "Don't Let Me Down."[4] Cronin says that he insisted that the title should be "Take It on the Run" and that he added the line to the refrain "You’re under the gun / So you take it on the run," which he says "either makes sense or it doesn’t, but it sure sung well and it sure rhymed, and it was a spur-of-the-moment thing that when I heard the rest of the song, that’s what I felt."[4]

The song's music video was technically the ninth video played on MTV's first day, August 1, 1981. However, the video went to black just 12 seconds into the song and did not finish.[5][6]

This song was released as a downloadable add-on for the Rock Band video game franchise on April 21, 2009. The cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered this song as a punk version for their live album Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah.

The song was more recently sampled in "Messin' Around", released by American rapper Pitbull in 2016.[7]


Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl recorded a parody version called "Better Get a Gun", which made light of then Chicago mayor Jane Byrne moving into the Cabrini–Green public housing development.


REO Speedwagon



  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Top Pop Singles 1955-2012. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc. p. 703. ISBN 0-89820-205-1. 
  2. ^ "REO Speedwagon". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2017-12-09. 
  3. ^ "REO Speedwagon, Take It on the Run (Appears On)". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  4. ^ a b Wardlaw, Matt (November 21, 2017). "The History of REO Speedwagon's 'Hi Infidelity': Interview". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2017-11-25. 
  5. ^ "Random Facts: 1st Video to Ever Play on MTV". JMedinaLive.com. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Anonymous (1 May 2012). "The first fifty music videos ever played on MTV". Data Lounge. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Pitbull & Enrique Iglesias Reference "Take It On The Run" On Their New Track". reospeedwagon.com. April 15, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  9. ^ "CHART NUMBER 1271 – Saturday, May 23, 1981". Archived from the original on 7 November 2006. Retrieved 2014-05-03. . CHUM. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 34, No. 26, June 6, 1981". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. June 6, 1981. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "REO Speedwagon - Take It on the Run". officialcharts.de. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Charts. Retrieved February 18, 2015.  Note: REO Speedwagon must be searched manually.
  13. ^ "REO Speedwagon Singles". umdmusic.com. Retrieved February 18, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Take It on the Run". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  15. ^ "UK album and singles database". everyHit.com. Retrieved January 28, 2015.  Note: REO Speedwagon must be searched manually.
  16. ^ a b "Artist Chart History – REO Speedwagon". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2016-10-01. 
  17. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MAY 30, 1981". Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-03. . Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Song artist 610 - REO Speedwagon". TsorT. Retrieved February 18, 2015. 
  19. ^ REO Speedwagon
  20. ^ Charts!
  21. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 35, No. 22, December 26, 1981". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1981". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1981". Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-06. . Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  24. ^ "American single certifications – R.E.O. Speedwagon – Take It on the Run". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 19, 2015.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

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