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View Full Version : Finally getting around to Cheap Trick


Daddypants
03-07-2016, 02:47 PM
I'm 40 years late. So?

I've always really liked the Cheap Trick songs I heard on the radio, up to and including The Flame. I know a lot of hard rock bands consider CT to be an influence, so I thought I'd give it a go.

1. Cheap Trick - really enjoyed it. Pretty darn good for a first album.
2. In Color - not nearly as good. Southern Girls is definitely the standout. Now I know why you never hear the studio version of I Want You To Want Me on the radio. :eek:
3. Just starting Heaven Tonight. Sure Surrender is overplayed on classic rock radio, but man, such a good song.

Snowboarder Bo
03-07-2016, 02:55 PM
A great Cheap Trick song rocks so hard and is so full of hooks that other bands can only sit on the sidelines and weep at their own incompetence.

Unfortunately, most Cheap Songs aren't great; they're merely adequate.

BUT... as a live band, they were once better, louder and more fun than almost anyone else on the planet. At Budokan remains one of the seminal live rock albums and is a perfect 10/10 example of what arena rock should be all about.

Smapti
03-07-2016, 03:12 PM
I've got a ticket to a show in August where they're playing alongside Heart and Joan Jett, and I've gotta admit I don't know any of their songs besides "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me".

What're the essential cuts I should familiarize myself with?

scabpicker
03-07-2016, 03:27 PM
Yep, Cheap Trick were a band that was hindered by the heavy control the labels placed on the studio back in the day. At Budokan redeems the previous couple of records by being pretty much a perfect rock record.

It's another one of those "what if" questions where we're left to wonder what might have become of that band if they weren't pressured by the people who they needed to make a living.

SykoSkotty
03-07-2016, 03:52 PM
I've got a ticket to a show in August where they're playing alongside Heart and Joan Jett, and I've gotta admit I don't know any of their songs besides "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me".

What're the essential cuts I should familiarize myself with?

Ain't That A Shame (live cover - fantastic version)

Gonna Raise Hell

Hello There

Dream Police

She's Tight

If You Want My Love

California Man

Tonight It's You

Laggard
03-07-2016, 03:59 PM
Budokan is the greatest live record ever recorded and one of my favorite things ever. I wore the grooves off it in 79.

nearwildheaven
03-07-2016, 04:05 PM
I had their first few albums; their debut and "Budokan" were the only ones where the songs you heard on the radio were great and the rest of the songs were filler. BTW, the studio version of "Surrender" isn't that great either.

And the one time I saw them - let's just say it wasn't their night. :(

Orwell
03-07-2016, 05:00 PM
Budokan is the greatest live record ever recorded and one of my favorite things ever. I wore the grooves off it in 79.

Yep. Absolutely great album. Dream Police and She's Tight are two of my favorite non-Budokan songs. Also, their covers of Beatles songs are great:

Magical Mystery Tour (https://youtube.com/watch?v=oWq6K-_RwgE)

Day Tripper (https://youtube.com/watch?v=mueDB3KyP_s)

And on the other side of the coin, Dwight Yoakam's cover of Cheap Trick's I Want You To Want Me (https://youtube.com/watch?v=D_lSJfUHu8A) is sublime.

Typo Negative
03-07-2016, 06:43 PM
"Hello There" was one of the first songs to make me go 'WOW'.

In Color is a classic album.

Rhiannon8404
03-07-2016, 07:03 PM
We saw them a couple of years ago. What a great show! I would totally see them again.

nearwildheaven
03-07-2016, 07:26 PM
I had their first few albums; their debut and "Budokan" were the only ones where the songs you heard on the radio were great and the rest of the songs were filler. BTW, the studio version of "Surrender" isn't that great either.

And the one time I saw them - let's just say it wasn't their night. :(

Let me clarify that. They WEREN'T the only albums with 2 good songs and the rest was filler.

:smack:

Thudlow Boink
03-07-2016, 07:48 PM
IMHO some of their more recent albums (Woke Up With a Monster, Cheap Trick '97, Rockford) are well worth a listen.

Gatopescado
03-07-2016, 07:53 PM
It's special if you go to a Cheap Trick show and don't get a guitar pick.

Great band!

Biffster
03-08-2016, 12:34 AM
I saw Cheap Trick in '76 when they were a warm up band for KISS. Great show! I mostly remember Rick Neilson with like 17 guitars around his neck.

Superdude
03-08-2016, 01:23 AM
I've got a ticket to a show in August where they're playing alongside Heart and Joan Jett, and I've gotta admit I don't know any of their songs besides "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me".

What're the essential cuts I should familiarize myself with?
The time that I saw Cheap Trick, Joan Jett was one of the opening acts (this was 1990 or so. The other band, who I'm sure no one else remembers, was House of Lords). One of the best concerts I've seen.

Is Bun E. Carlos back with the band? I heard there's been a huge falling-out between them where he doesn't play/write/record with them, but still has a stake in ownership.

Guest-starring: Id!
03-08-2016, 02:49 AM
I saw Cheap Trick in '76 when they were a warm up band for KISS. Great show! I mostly remember Rick Neilson with like 17 guitars around his neck.

In "Surrender", they mention "losers of the year", and then a couple lines later "got my Kiss records out", which always made me speculate hmmm methinks the two bands probably didn't hang out a whole lot on the road.

I also always wondered if Rick's axes went out of tune getting stacked together like that.

aw man........."The Flame"..........they must have been haaaard up (and possibly spent) by then.

always liked "He's a Whore" (and there's a nifty Big Black version) and "Auf Wiedersehen"..........("SUI-CIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-DUH!!!")

Mr. Greenjeans
03-08-2016, 07:44 AM
Also, their covers of Beatles songs are great:

Magical Mystery Tour (https://youtube.com/watch?v=oWq6K-_RwgE)

Day Tripper (https://youtube.com/watch?v=mueDB3KyP_s)

And on the other side of the coin, Dwight Yoakam's cover of Cheap Trick's I Want You To Want Me (https://youtube.com/watch?v=D_lSJfUHu8A) is sublime.

A few years ago, Cheap Trick performed (and released a CD of) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that sounded great, giving a pulse to some great old songs. If you like the Beatles and are just discovering Cheap Trick, you won't be disappointed.

Gordon Urquhart
03-08-2016, 08:20 AM
As far as their more recent work goes, Cheap Trick's 2009 album The Latest is really good -- some very Beatles-esque songs, along with a terrific cover of Slade's When the Lights Are Out (https://youtube.com/watch?v=ikLBEJtK6PM) (YouTube video featuring old footage of the band).

A few of their albums, including The Latest and Authorized Greatest Hits (which, of course, has many of the songs mentioned in this thread, including the absolutely fantastic live version of Ain't That A Shame mentioned by SykoSkotty), are available for streaming for those of you with Amazon Prime. A great many Cheap Trick fans might argue with the songs included (or not) on Authorized ..., but it does have some great tunes.

I like Cheap Trick a lot -- their original songs are a ton of fun, but they can sure do killer cover songs.

pulykamell
03-08-2016, 09:21 AM
In "Surrender", they mention "losers of the year", and then a couple lines later "got my Kiss records out", which always made me speculate hmmm methinks the two bands probably didn't hang out a whole lot on the road.

I also always wondered if Rick's axes went out of tune getting stacked together like that.


The Kiss reference in that song was a positive one. He wakes up to find his square, by the book parents having sex, smoking weed, and listening to his Kiss records. That's certainly not a diss of Kiss.

SykoSkotty
03-08-2016, 09:22 AM
The time that I saw Cheap Trick, Joan Jett was one of the opening acts (this was 1990 or so. The other band, who I'm sure no one else remembers, was House of Lords). One of the best concerts I've seen.

Is Bun E. Carlos back with the band? I heard there's been a huge falling-out between them where he doesn't play/write/record with them, but still has a stake in ownership.

Bun in not back with the band; there are lawsuits pending. The current drummer (his name eludes me at the moment) is none other than Rick Nielsen's nephew.

Daddypants
03-08-2016, 09:31 AM
Decided to skip around some instead of listening discographical ;) order. Lots of good album cuts to be heard. Rick Nielson must have been quite a Chuck Berry fan. A lot of his riff and solos sound like they were pulled from the 50s, only heavier.

cjepson
03-08-2016, 09:59 AM
I also just recently started having a greater appreciation of Cheap Trick, because I realized that they were (among other things) trying to be the Move, a band I really like. "Surrender" is a total Move tribute... and of course they actually covered one Move song ("California Man").

Channing Idaho Banks
03-08-2016, 10:09 AM
The only Cheap Trick tracks I ever owned were:
Reach Out
I Must Be Dreamin'
From the Heavy Metal movie soundtrack!

Guest-starring: Id!
03-08-2016, 10:45 AM
That's certainly not a diss of Kiss.

Then still gets me wondering who the losers of the year might be.

MAJOR disappointment - have yet to find any current Bun E. photos with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

Hopefully he quit. :)

Great Lennon tune - "Losing You", that had Cheap Trick members playing in it, but after JL's death Yoko apparently put the kibosh on it because she thought they were grandstanding him, if I recall correctly.

WordMan
03-08-2016, 10:49 AM
Decided to skip around some instead of listening discographical ;) order. Lots of good album cuts to be heard. Rick Nielson must have been quite a Chuck Berry fan. A lot of his riff and solos sound like they were pulled from the 50s, only heavier.

His family owned a music store while Rick was growing up in Rockford, IL in the '50's. So, yeah ;). I will briefly mention something most Cheap Trick-adjacent folks know, which is that Rick Nielsen is one of the most-respected guitar collectors around, with a massive museum-quality collection. He knew from his experience growing up with guitars, and was one of the first guys to really scout pawn shops for $50 Tele's.

pulykamell
03-08-2016, 10:50 AM
Then still gets me wondering who the losers of the year might be.

MAJOR disappointment - have yet to find any current Bun E. photos with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

Hopefully he quit. :)

Great Lennon tune - "Losing You", that had Cheap Trick members playing in it, but after JL's death Yoko apparently put the kibosh on it because she thought they were grandstanding him, if I recall correctly.

Yeah, Cheap Trick without Bun E is not worth seeing, in my opinion. He's one of my favorite rock drummers. The "losers of the year" line is a bit ambiguous to me. I'm not sure if it just generally refers to people the singer finds uncool, his parents, or what. But the Kiss reference is a shout out to them.

Count Blucher
03-08-2016, 10:57 AM
We saw them a couple of years ago. What a great show! I would totally see them again.

They ARE a great show.

Saw them at the WMMR-BQ few years back & they (for me) were still pretty damn fun to see & listen to!

wguy123
03-08-2016, 10:57 AM
His family owned a music store while Rick was growing up in Rockford, IL in the '50's. So, yeah ;). I will briefly mention something most Cheap Trick-adjacent folks know, which is that Rick Nielsen is one of the most-respected guitar collectors around, with a massive museum-quality collection. He knew from his experience growing up with guitars, and was one of the first guys to really scout pawn shops for $50 Tele's.

Did you see the video of him showing off some of it on Reverb? Right before he sold a bunch...I kept reaching for my wallet.

Dinsdale
03-08-2016, 11:08 AM
In college in the late 70s, one of my best buddies was a good friend of theirs. Saw/met them many times. CT is as good as it gets - not a bad cut on the album. IC and HT are also about as good as power pop gets. But I lost interest after there w/ Budokan (all that screaming!), Dream Police...

You think they sound fun? You shoulda seen them in a bar.

WordMan
03-08-2016, 11:47 AM
Did you see the video of him showing off some of it on Reverb? Right before he sold a bunch...I kept reaching for my wallet.

I haven't seen that one, but I have seen stuff on his collection and flipped through a book that would put out on some of his high spots. Just incredible, one-off prototypes classic old Gibsons, Fenders, Gretsches, Ricky's....swoon.

Dinsdale
03-08-2016, 12:11 PM
I was surprised and amused when RN made an appearance on American Pickers. From the looks of things, he never threw ANYTHING out. They were buying old t-shirts, showbills, etc. And - IIRC - a set of KISS records figured prominently!

Thanks guys (I mean it) I've got a crazy jumbled earworm of bits an pieces of their 1st 3 records going thru my brain. I know what I'll be listening to tonite! My record player is in the basement, so I can give it the volume it deserves! :D

Little Nemo
03-08-2016, 12:20 PM
Is Bun E. Carlos back with the band? I heard there's been a huge falling-out between them where he doesn't play/write/record with them, but still has a stake in ownership.It's somewhat strange. Carlson (his real name) says he's been kicked out of the band against his will. But the rest of the band says he's still a member, albeit one who isn't asked to participate in any activities related to the band.

Reading between the lines, I'm assuming there is some contractual point somewhere which explains why the band doesn't want to officially say Carlson's no longer in the band even though he clearly is.

SykoSkotty
03-08-2016, 12:23 PM
Then still gets me wondering who the losers of the year might be.

Well, here's my take on the lyrics and the meaning of the song. It starts out with (probably) a young teen talking to a girl, then getting advice from his parents, then realizing that they're actually kind of hip & cool.

So, the last verse, "Whatever happened to all this season's Losers of the Year? Ev'rytime I got to thinking, where'd they disappear?"

To me that means his attitude towards his parents is changing - they're not losers anymore. Where'd those old folks that I hated go? These new hip parents ain't so bad after all.....in fact, they're on the couch getting it on, smoking weed and having sex!

"Then I woke up - Mom & Dad were rollin' on the couch!

Rollin' numbers rocking rolling

Got my KISS records out!"

Just Asking Questions
03-08-2016, 12:40 PM
Historical perspective, central Wisconsin, 1977-1979:

At the time, KISS wasn't cool. They had their fans and all, but in the mainstream opinion, liking KISS made you a bit of an outcast. Almost as bad as liking disco.

Despite the fact that they were "my KISS records", I'm not entirely sure if the singer thought his parents were cool or pathetic for listening to them.

In the concert I was at, at that lyric Zander threw a KISS album into the crowd. Don't know which one, if it had anything special, or even if the vinyl was still inside. And, despite being pretty close to the stage, I never got a pick!

Orwell
03-08-2016, 01:52 PM
Historical perspective, central Wisconsin, 1977-1979:

At the time, KISS wasn't cool. They had their fans and all, but in the mainstream opinion, liking KISS made you a bit of an outcast. Almost as bad as liking disco.

Despite the fact that they were "my KISS records", I'm not entirely sure if the singer thought his parents were cool or pathetic for listening to them.

Yeah, KISS was considered lame from the get-go, even by people who liked a bit of theatricality in their rock music, as in Alice Cooper, David Bowie and Queen. KISS was liked by adolescent boys and hardly anyone else, due to their simple songs and lack of musicianship. I realize Cheap Trick opened for them, and so did Rush, but I doubt these two bands thought much of KISS. Rush has never outright dissed KISS, but they have commented on how the KISS members never practiced on tour, while Rush was rehearsing and writing all of the time.

More typical KISS opening bands were Ted Nugent, ACDC, Motley Crue, Scorpions, Winger, Sammy Hagar, Loverboy, Iron Maiden, Night Ranger, Great White, Queensryche, Krokus, Dokken, White Lion, Trixter, Loverboy, Slaughter and Skid Row (copied from wikipedia).

As you can probably guess, I'm more of a Cheap Trick, Bowie, Alice Cooper and Queen fan than I am of the bands in the last sentence.

pulykamell
03-08-2016, 01:55 PM
Well, here's my take on the lyrics and the meaning of the song. It starts out with (probably) a young teen talking to a girl, then getting advice from his parents, then realizing that they're actually kind of hip & cool.

So, the last verse, "Whatever happened to all this season's Losers of the Year? Ev'rytime I got to thinking, where'd they disappear?"

To me that means his attitude towards his parents is changing - they're not losers anymore. Where'd those old folks that I hated go? These new hip parents ain't so bad after all.....in fact, they're on the couch getting it on, smoking weed and having sex!

"Then I woke up - Mom & Dad were rollin' on the couch!

Rollin' numbers rocking rolling

Got my KISS records out!"

That sounds about right to me!

pulykamell
03-08-2016, 02:02 PM
Also, given that Rick Nielsen co-produced and appeared on Gene Simmons's solo album, I suspect they had a perfectly amicable relationship.

Jack Burden
03-11-2016, 01:56 PM
Came in to add the standard response about Budokan, but since that's been done 20 times will note how cool it was to see Rick Neilsen on the Chicago episode of Sonic Highways. Grohl and the rest of the Foos clearly revered him, but he just wanted to show up and jam. And that crazy guitar...

RealityChuck
03-11-2016, 02:23 PM
I saw them live about ten years ago. Just a great show; Nielsen played a different guitar for each song, and he had some pretty wild ones.

nearwildheaven
03-11-2016, 06:49 PM
He has quite a sweater collection too. :cool:

Miss Mapp
03-25-2016, 01:13 PM
Well, here's my take on the lyrics and the meaning of the song. It starts out with (probably) a young teen talking to a girl, then getting advice from his parents, then realizing that they're actually kind of hip & cool.

So, the last verse, "Whatever happened to all this season's Losers of the Year? Ev'rytime I got to thinking, where'd they disappear?"

To me that means his attitude towards his parents is changing - they're not losers anymore. Where'd those old folks that I hated go? These new hip parents ain't so bad after all.....in fact, they're on the couch getting it on, smoking weed and having sex!

"Then I woke up - Mom & Dad were rollin' on the couch!

Rollin' numbers rocking rolling

Got my KISS records out!"

For years, I had misheard the line as "my kids' records" and thought that considerable time had passed between the first two verses and the last one, so that the singer was now a grown man with teenish-aged children of his own and his formerly square parents had really loosened up and gotten much more cool with old age. I still like that interpretation even if the actual lyrics don't support it. :)

Also, I have not heard Cheap Trick's cover of "Don't Be Cruel" enough times.

Stratocaster
03-26-2016, 03:29 PM
Historical perspective, central Wisconsin, 1977-1979:

At the time, KISS wasn't cool. They had their fans and all, but in the mainstream opinion, liking KISS made you a bit of an outcast. Almost as bad as liking disco.

Despite the fact that they were "my KISS records", I'm not entirely sure if the singer thought his parents were cool or pathetic for listening to them.

In the concert I was at, at that lyric Zander threw a KISS album into the crowd. Don't know which one, if it had anything special, or even if the vinyl was still inside. And, despite being pretty close to the stage, I never got a pick!I saw them on the Dream Police tour, and in Philly, he threw Destroyer into the crowd. Saw them open for Aerosmith years later. Both were great, fun shows.

I'd also add "Top of the World" to the must listen list.

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