Cheap Trick /Lap Of Luxury(1988)

Cheap Trick….always loved the quirkiness of these Rockford Illinois dudes! How could you not! You had the two cool looking Rock guys (Robin Zander & Tom Petersson) and the two looking Geeks( Rick Nielsen & Bun E Carlos)  Great marketing job and it worked for years especially with the album covers (In Color & Heaven Tonight) but say what you want about image it was the music that did the talking but with these guys with the hits came the misfires. Albums that kinda skidded by the wayside fell short in Trickville.

1986s The Doctor album I reviewed and tossed it under the bus! The first song(It’s Up To You) and the last song (It’s Only Love) which speaking of It’s Only Love which is a well written piece of Power Trick Pop are the two best tracks from The Doctor. In between was a hodge podge of lack lustre material to say the least. Here’s my link to my review of The Doctor……

I was pretty stoked to learn that after a 8 year absence Petersson was returning with his 12 String Hamer Bass replacing Jon Brandt who filled in admirably while Tom was doing whatever it was he was doing….

1988 and after the debacle which was The Doctor here comes Lap Of Luxury which to my ears is another misstep in Cheap Tricks mid 80s to early 90s commercial slide ….

Course I bought it!

The first couple of tracks are just straight ahead  syrupy power rock. Album opener Let Go could have been a great track but its  washed in keyboards and Bun E’s drums are mixed in a sterile box along with all the trappings of dudes who are floundering for any second crack at success.

No Mercy is another so so tune. Zander and his voice save the day from this song from hitting the scrap yard just like how Brad Delp salvaged Bostons Third Stage album.  Zander can sing. Wowzers even Rick drops a guitar solo in this song amidst electronic everything floating around.

Yikes! The Flame for me is a sellout track. Trick especially Nielsen hated this tune as no one in Trick had any say in the writing of it! I will say that I was glad it got Trick back in the spotlight and made them cool again and this song I’m sure people out there like it. Fair enough but not me….Cool Cheap Trick for me is stuff like She’s Tight from 1982s criminally underrated  One On One album…..

Space is like if you were to mash-up The Cars/Cheap Trick and I like this song. ‘I need some space’ belts Robin in a Ric Ocasek kinda way and toss in some female backing vocals and its Quirky Trick with an added tinge of Quirky Cars. This is a good song in a 1988 way!

Try as they may Trick tries to muster up some rock serious rock and Never Had A Lot To Lose is a great song! A driving rock track that has a real good chorus and it only took to track 5 to ramp things back up into old school respectability!

Don’t Be Cruel is the Elvis tune. Good on these guys getting another hit single off of this album but it must have been worrisome that both your big singles from this record are tunes you didn’t  write! In fairness it was a long 10 years (1978-1988) for Cheap Trick to go without a real decent seller and if I was in their boots I  would have done the same thing.

Wrong Side Of Love is decent tempo with a pretty decent chorus  but it gets drowned in a wash of late 80s keys. Holy man even Bun E is slamming that ride cymbal down on this track.

All We Need Is A Dream is pomp rock and another stab at a hit but i think this would fall under ‘NOPE!’ Nuthin fancy here folks…Next….

Unfortunately things are sliding at a rapid pace around here  as Ghost Town is a one stop order of Schlep Rock meaning MEH! Trick in the year of 2016 should sell this song to one of those wannabe New Country Hee Haw acts and they could retool this song and make it a hit. This  song is a slowly slow tune….Next…

All Wound Up has the boys trying to salvage the end of the album blahs with a  ramp up in the tempo but nada nope. It’s just the sign of a band wanting to toss a Life Preserver for any diehard to latch onto.

Cheap Trick man I still love and listen to these guys all the time but its a mix n match of stuff. Love the 70s output! Love 1982’s  One On One album and also the classic 1997 self titled album that is so good that no one knows about….

Lap Of Luxury I  was happy that Trick got another crack at success but in the general scheme of things it was a commercial bunch of mish mash.



19 thoughts on “Cheap Trick /Lap Of Luxury(1988)”

    1. Ha! The fence I shall still climb! Those early albums from the self titled to Dream Police are sure fire winners!
      Just was listening to the extended Budokan last night…man what a classic! I reviewed the single may have to do another crack at it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Think you’re pretty spot on here Deke. Only a couple of songs I care about on this one. I don’t mind The Flame and Ghost Town but I wouldn’t say they were great Cheap Trick songs. Never Had a Lot to Lose is the keeper here definitely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing that after The Doctor I would be onboard with Lap Of Luxury but I was stoked that Tom was back. So I was disappointed in Luxury as I was expecting a Heaven Tonight kinda record!
      Still I did not give up! I bought Busted…literally….


  2. I remember buying this one! When I read the title I knew it had the Flame. I was thinking to myself that the Ol’ Dekester will throw this one under the bus faster than Ace & Peter doin’ a couple of lines back in 1977. DONE and DONE!

    Never had a Lot to Lose is a great track that will be in my head at work all day today – not a bad thing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! 1977 and Cheap Trick opened for Kiss on their Alive 2 Tour! I’m sure it was snowing out at some of those shows! Thanks for chiming in Heff!


  3. When I saw Cheap Trick I wrongly thought it was the 2016 version with the the stupid title.
    I only have their early stuff and Budokan. Good to know I don’t need this one, or the album previous. If I was looking for something after Dream Police where would I start?

    I saw them about 12 years ago, and they still sounded good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bop, for 80s output One On One is a great album! The title track is almost ACDC like! Along with Shes Tight,Lookin Out For #1 it’s a solid album! Zander’s vocals are gold man!
      The self titled 1997 is another great album! Ask HMO! A Lot of people have liked their past few releases but I dunno I’m stuck on rewind all the time! Hahaha…


  4. Haven’t heard this one, Deke. Doesn’t sound like I’m missing too much, though.

    … put me in the mood to listen to Dream Police, though. That’s always a good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I still really need to dig into Budokan. I have that one lying around, but it’s missing the booklet and the LP’s got a major case of rice crispies (didn’t really notice the marks on the vinyl due to it’s colour!)


  5. You know what’s funny about the Flame? Yes, they hate it, but it’s the song that got me into Cheap Trick! As far as ballads go, it’s pretty good for the time. But what got me? That FIVE NECK GUITAR! Any band with a five neck guitar, I had to get into.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right! Great call on the Geetar Mikey! Ha! I think I watched the video once. Hahaha….
      For me my first Trick album was Budokan about 10 years earlier…and of course right before Lap was The Doctor….Aaaaaargh!
      That’s where I’m coming from….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had never even heard of Cheap Trick. But at that age, even if I knew old Cheap Trick music, I still would have liked the Flame. I was REAAAAAAAALLY into ballads at the time. I loved ballads. And let’s face facts, as far as 80’s radio ballads go, how many are better than The Flame? You got Angel by Aerosmith, you got Patience, but the Flame was more upbeat than those.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Fair point! For me though it was a continous run of mediocre albums since One On One….still bought there stuff but man it was tuff sledding sonically ….but I still bought ….


      1. Busted I remember buying it in Winnipeg I think when me and Tbone went out to see the Crue! I recall playing Busted and going …AAAAAAAAARRGGGGGGGH! …back to the Budokan for deke!


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