Cheap Trick:Cheap Trick(1977)

 

Blasting out of the gate in Feburary 77 was Rockford Illinois very own “Cheap Trick” which released a pretty widely at the time ignored debut album which is a shame as it only got only to #207 on the Billboard charts.

Epic Records signed Cheap Trick sent them to the Record Plant in  NYC and better yet hired Jack Douglas (Aerosmith) to man the ship at the production desk.

For some, this debut is the best Cheap Trick period.

A valid case is made for this album as it’s ten songs of Hard Rock Power Pop!

Now check out these two pics below. Here’s a little quiz for you fine folks out there. There is a pic of the songs on the record but something is different. Can you spot the difference?

The answer lies at the end of this review.

Before I go any further I have to thank a good pal of mine JohnB who seen my post on Facecrack a few weeks back about the recently released live album. (come back this Friday). Here is the actual conversation in which how I never owned this on vinyl until well, read on…

JohnB-I picked up this one on vinyl back in the ’80s at Records On Wheels along with “In Color” and “Heaven Tonight.” Still have this vinyl, but nothing to play them on anymore … but I do have them in digital form!

deKE-JohnB that’s awesome. I need to get a copy of the debut. My CT collection is coming along fine on viny. Have “In Color” Heaven Tonight “Dream Police” “Budokan” Wouldn’t mind a few others but not the syrupy stuff.. ie ‘The Flame” kinda was a miss for me but I was glad to see them get back in the spotlight. Their 70s output is some of the best Power Hard Pop Rock created.

JohnB-I lost interest after “The Flame”. I also have Dream Police on vinyl and Budokan on 8-track. I know you are into vinyl and CT, so hold tight. I don’t have a turntable anymore, so you can have my CT debut. I can’t remember the condition of the vinyl, but the jacket is in near-mint shape. Once I find a way to get it to you, it’s yours – Merry Christmas! Maybe PM me your address and I’ll drop it off at the door or in your mailbox next time I’m in town.

Hell’s Yes! Two days later waiting for me on my kitchen table when I got home from work was this record!

Thank You, Mr. B!

Now back to business…

Rick Nielsen (guitar) wrote eight of the records ten tracks and in describing the sound Cheap Trick was after you could say back in 1977 they liked it a little noisy.

“Hot Love” begins the Trick festivities which is my case is a hard-driving opener that should have been the first single from this album. “Oh Candy” was the single that was released and ironically enough  “Oh Candy” is the last song on the album.

Nielsen had the knack of writing Beatlesque like songs over the years like “Taxman, Mr. Thief” which is a Fab Four like tune cranked through a Marshall!

I will add my two cents worth and say that two tracks on this album are two of the best Cheap Trick tunes in the catalog.

“Ello Kiddies” has Drummer Bun E Stomping a straight beat while mucking about on his Ludwig drums as Bass fella Tom Petersson was already making a statement about playing those 8 and 12 string Hamer Basses which sounded huge and we’re talking 77.

Robin Zander the man with the golden throat delivers a stellar vocal basically telling kiddies to quit school as school is for fools and get into crime as it pays off! What a killer track. period!

He’s a whore
(I’d do anything for money)
He’s a whore
(Look at the things that I write)
He’s a whore
(Ooh, the stories I can tell)
He’s a whore
(And my body really smells)

 

Rick had the skill of writing great hooky-like tunes with at times quirky lyrics but underneath it all when you peel back the layer there’s the message of the tune.

1977 get into crime kids as Ricky and Robin told ya to do!

The second one which when I listen to it in 2020 is musically a tune Poison could have ripped off ten years later on their debut album. That tune is.

“He’s A Whore”. What a great tune as it gets right out of the gate with catchy chord changes and a great chorus.

He’s a whore
(I’d do anything for money)
He’s a whore
(Look at the things that I write)
He’s a whore
(Ooh, the stories I can tell)
He’s a whore
(And my body really smells)

You know that’s the thing I love about these guys to this day (been a fan since early 1979) is this band wrote their first four albums (Cheap Trick, In Colour, Heaven Tonight, and Dream Police) that I can honestly say can stand toe to toe with any other recording acts first four albums.

If you look closely there is a Side A and a Side 1. Interesting no Side B and that was the Trick Guy’s said there was no B Side like material on this album. How many of you figured that out? If you did, fantastic your a star if not your still a star also as that’s the best I could do for a prize!

 

 

 

22 thoughts on “Cheap Trick:Cheap Trick(1977)”

  1. Mr. B. FTW! That’s awesome, man! I’m more of a Hits guy with this band, though we do have Budokan and Dream Police here , as my lovely wife is a fan. Did I ever tell you I saw them in concert, and wasn’t even supposed to? It was a 6-band festival day, and the two headliners were Iggy Pop and Pearl Jam. Iggy couldn’t make it, so at the last minute Cheap Trick filled in and they just killed it with a hits set on short notice. The boys in PJ were super-stoked to have them there, McCready even got to play with a special guest, the double-neck guitar, in their set!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great story. They are such a great act. The 80s and well into the 90s there music was patchy but recently they have regained their form and are cooking as the last record was very good.

      Like

  2. That is awfully nice of JohnB. I don’t have the first on either, but I do have a ton of theirs. I will probably end up with all of them by the time the collecting is done. I did not see the Side 1 and A thing as it is too early in the morning to catch it (ha!). Great write-up sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is John B. Ha! Sorry, but deKE has the only copy I have! This was probably my favourite album of theirs, probably because it was the most obscure – self titled, black and white cover, very low key. But when you play it, it is pure raw Cheap Trick!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Awesome write up Deke… I had this album many many moons ago. ELO Kiddies I remember standing out. “What ya gonna do when your head’s exploding?”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. looking at the track listing, I guess I don’t know this album, but I was really into them in the Budokan and Dream Police era. Fun, hardworking band… glad they’re still at it. I saw Daryl Hall on some show of his singing with them not long back, they still sound quite good even if they looked grandfatherly.

    Liked by 1 person

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