This Friday night on the Lebrain Train at 7pm we will be talking to book author Robert Lawson who has written the ultimate recording history of Cheap Trick titled “Still Competition”.
Needless to say we will be doing a deep dive into the Cheap Trick albums as well as focusing on Roberts other two books, Razama-Snaz which details the recorded output of Nazareth and Robert’s recently released book “Wheatfield Empire”: Listeners Guide to The Guess Who.
Over the course of the book’s 261 pages, Robert digs deep going way back to 1967 when the band with various Trick members started as the “Grim Reapers”.
22 Trick albums are fully written about as well as Robin Zander’s two solo albums that came and went without notice as well as compilations that former drummer Bun E Carlos has put together over the years are examined thoroughly.
Each album is broken down into four sections. Background, Videos, Release And Reception, Reissues- Remasters and Re-Recordings.
Such a great breakdown of each album. No stone is left unturned as I even discovered things that Robert put in this book that I had no idea about and I’ve been listening to Cheap Trick since 1979!
Robert did his homework here folks, and one of the best things I can say about “Still Competition” is when Cheap Trick had an album that was iffy at best Robert says so.
From a personal standpoint I look forward to yacking with the guys about “The Doctor” release from 86!
It’s going to be a great chat Friday night with Robert and you can pick up his books at Amazon for a very good price!
A few days ago blogging Pal Joe ( MR 1537) and moi had a discussion and we were talking about Queen albums and Joe mentioned that his first 6 albums that he ever purchased with his own money were Queen albums.
I thought that was awesome and Joe as well named off his Top 10 Queen albums which was wicked as well! ( I would have bumped up The Game a few spots myself on the Top Queen album list but Joe’s List. Joe’s Rules)
Still Though it was a great conversation and it’s always fun to read and see what other people have picked out when it comes to music!
Now this timeline I just kept from early 1979 to the end of 1979 (the year I began buying albums) So here it goes.
Feel free to comment about your First ever purchased album whether its 1 album or 100 albums..it doesn’t matter let’s have some fun folks!
The only album I can recall in order of my first ever purchased album was from no surprise here folks…..
That’s right KISS has the distinction of being my first ever album purchase and that wasn’t even in Canada but in the U.S.A. That honour would go to Mikey Ladano’s fav U.S City that being Duluth Minnesota! As some of you readers know growing up my pal John Young first discovered KISS as he had The Originals. I was blown away I had to get KISS.I needed KISS and once in Duluth at Miller Hill Mall I spent my allowance on KISS ALIVE 2. Talk about impacting a 11 going on 12-year-old at the time!
KISS delivered a Double Album, Three Sides Live! Fourth Side Studio! Double Gatefold Sleeve! Booklet! Tattoos! Super Loud Crowd! Gene Simmons on the cover looking like some Kabuki Satanic Warrior with that blood like crap spewing from his bottom lip! I was sold and enlisted in the KISS Army!
The rest of these albums are not in any order of my purchase but they are what I owned in 1979!
New England and that would be no doubt reading in some Rock Mag in 1979 that Paul Stanley produced this band from Boston called New England. New England never achieved super stardom but in my own little world they kicked me in the ASS as these four Fella’s played with a huge style of their own! Loud Guitars/Cranked up Hammond/Great Lead and Backing Vocals all wrapped up in a tight little 40 minute package…
While reading away feverishly in whatever Rock Magazine I could get a fix on I came across an article on a band from Rockford Illinois called Cheap Trick who were getting a ton of play and sales on a live album called Live at the Budokan. Course in the magazine there is a KISS connection and that would be that Cheap Trick opened a ton of shows for KISS. That was enough for me. Sold …. and amongst all these shrieking Japanese girls hollering for Drummer Bun E Carlos the Tricksters still packed a wallop but with finesse .Easy loveable catchy like songs delivered with a great rhythm yet sloppy lead guitarist named Rick Nielsen who was the main writer as well who had a lead singer named Robin Zander who could sing the headlines on the front page of your newspaper and make it sound cool! Rounding out the quartet is Bassist Tom Petersson who looked cool. Played it cool and blew my mind at that young age that he only played 8 & 12 String Basses!!! Must also mention like KISS, Cheap Trick taught me about Gimmicks. Trick had their own Gimmick with Two Cool Looking Guys and Two Dorks. They made it work!
KISS in 1979 was huge in my world. Even though looking back People were tiring of them and they were tiring of themselves! I had no idea so when KISS delivered their new studio album Dynasty I was all over it, Kiss could do no harm in my world! They still looked bad ass. No one knew what they looked like. The Lead Guitarist Ace Frehley realized he had a ton of talent and that Gene and Paul were holding him back musically while Peter Criss from his disaster of a solo album was partying it up in 1979 like it was 1999 and only drummed on one track on Dynasty(Dirty Livin) Kiss was in shambles yet when they released this album it still delivered a hit between my eyes!
As you have read here a few times before KISS was my first ever Live Show in Duluth back in October of 1979. Support act was Judas Priest except they no showed! Still it didn’t matter as shortly after the KISS show I sauntered into our local Sam The Record Man and the there it was in the New Release Racks! Unleashed in the East! When I dropped my needle on the grooves of this album it blew my mind! I had never heard dudes do twin lead guitar solos before. Glenn Tipton/KK Downing just soar out of the gates at the beginning of Exciter and their riffage together and apart is so unbelievably tight! I never heard guitars played with such furiousity! Course you have a Lead Singer named Rob Halford who sings in all kinds of crazy octaves throughout and the pace is tighter than the running of the bulls and that’s thanks to Drummer Les Binks who plays the drums right on this (ahem) live release unlike later live Priest albums where Scott Travis overplay’s everything but still man….
So after KISS ALIVE 2 in the summer of 1979 out on a family trip somewhere in Southern Ontario I purchased KISS Double Platinum which is my first dabble with a Greatest Hits set! Since I didn’t own any other KISS than Alive 2 this was a no brainer plus KISS had all there classic tracks up till 1978 on it. 21 tracks in all. Actually the running order of the album featured some good stuff which a lot of it I had never heard before which was basically the material from the first three KISS studio records. Still have no idea what the deal was behind Strutter 78 but whatever KISS had to sell product so the Army would buy. Come to think of maybe Stanley should do a Strutter 18???! Speaking of which I looked at the tracks on Double Platinum and you know what? Out of the 1,776 different KISS Greatest Hits that are available to buy. I will go on record as saying that this is the best one….
The success of Cheap Tricks Budokan album got me all hyped for the new CT record and that would be the fantastic Dream Police album that proved to me that the Tricksters could deliver a studio album on par with a classic live album as a followup! Course Trick in the mid 80’s for a period skidded right off the tracks but let’s not go there shall we??! Dream Police was chalked full of lyrical quirkiness and a real slick sounding Hard Rock sound. Dream Police also used strings on a few tracks and it worked and it did not make me gag! Back in 79 the Dream Police were stuck inside my head!
And what would fall under the WHAT THE F**K WAS I THINKING category would be the Gene Simmons 1978 solo album! Gene I guess you could say was my early go to guy in KISS. He looked ugly. Spat Fire. Spewed Blood. Wrote cool tunes like Ladies Room/Calling Dr Love/Christine 16 so when I had a chance to buy another KISS album I bought this when I could have bought another KISS studio album! Yeah bizarre huh? Egocentric was this album. 500 Guest musicians and a ton of name drops on the back of the album cover. Some cool rock tracks like Radioactive/See you in your Dreams some sap,like the cover of Wish You Upon A Star. Some bizarre stuff like Living in Sin in which during the song you hear a phone ring as Cher works on giving The Demon a phoner boner. Some Horndog filler in Tunnel of Love. Some would call this diversity. Looking back on it. Mean Gene recorded an album of chaos that would come to my mind now.
Thanks for reading as I thought this was going to be a short snap shot of my early music dabbling so I appreciate it if you made it through my ramble!
A few months back I had a great conversation with Scott (HMO) about all things Cheap Trick. We discussed at great length our fav albums of Cheap Trick(basically the whole 70’s output) and the not so good stuff (basically the whole 80’s output except for the very underrated 1982 album One On One) and the soon to be released We’re All Alright (which has been out since June 16th)
Scott said he was going to wait this one out before taking the plunge as Scott did indeed take the plunge on Tricks studio release from last year Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello. Let’s just say Scott was a tad little disappointed to say the least and I will leave it at that! Bug Scott if you want more info….
I almost joined Scott’s line of thinking. A few weeks back I was in our local record store “Sunrise Records” and I actually held the physical copy of the disc in hand. I hemmed/hawed/more hem/more haw and then put it in my pocket and walked out! HAHAHA….no I did not lift it I put it back in the Cheap Trick section and walked out. I could not pull the trigger purchase on it…..
Jon from Sweden posted a quick little blurb on Facecrack that he was loving the new CT album. I sent Jon a message saying “really?” Jon said it was a great album…
Than….another fella named….
John over at his fantastic written Blog 2loud2oldmusic site reviewed We’re All Alright and John loved it…Check it out for yourselves… Click the link below folks’
John’s review sold me on it so off to iTunes and I downloaded the deluxe edition and as an added bonus the Trick included the digital booklet!
Upon first listen I was hooked! It’s an amazing album and it’s as CT dug back to their roots and decided to rock it out and if were keeping score this is my first new studio Trick purchase since the brilliant 1997 self titled release! 20 years it has been….
Robin Zander/Tom Pettersson/Rick Nielsen and Daxx Nielsen need to be saluted here for all intents and purposes may have in my mind made the best Rock album of 2017!
Right out of the gate Trick fires on all four cylinders on the song You Got It Going On. Zander still has one of the best sets of pipes in the biz. Listening to his voice you wouldn’t know it was 1977/1987/1997/2007 or 2017! 40 years man! What a vocal run. Rick Neilsen looking today more like a creepy old Uncle than the Geeky College nerd of 1977 still has a ton of classic riff’s up his sleeve!
First single Long Time Runnin is a great track. Straight forward hard rock done Trick style! Cool lyrics and of course a real good lead vocal by Zander. Must also mention about the production by Julian Raymond as he has produced this album brilliantly. Not too much polish on this album yet still keeping it a little rough around the edges.
The next two tracks Nowhere and Radio Lover ( Radio Lover was a demo from 97)are brilliant tracks and man I just love Tom’s 12 String Hamer Bass and Daxx’s drum workout’s on these tracks. Nowhere and Radio Lover could have easily fit right on the debut Trick album back in 76! Basically a pissed of Trick dumped into a blender with some punky attitude rock.
Brand New Name on a Old Tattoo has Robin wailing like it’s Auf Wiedersehen time. Can’t believe Zander is still rocking the throat like this in 2017. This is another hard rock track. Love the groove.
Basically let’s put it this way. 5 tracks in so far! 5 Brilliant well written Hard Rock Nuggets!
Oh oh here it comes….The ballad……oh man ….wait for it! Floating Down is ballad like for about a minute and then shift gears to a tempo that I’m comfy with! That’s thanks to Daxx on the drums. The Flame from 1988 has been extinguished!
She’s Alright has the band picking up the pace with some roots like rock action. Love the opening bass and drum groove to start the tune. Cool laid back musical vibe with a cool laid back vocal vibe.
Listen To Me is another throwback 70’s workout and Tom and Rick lock horns and stomp all over the verse’s while Robin just flat-out takes over which will come as no surprise!
The Rest of My Life ends the regular album with a mid tempo like tune. Another sure-fire winner with a real sweet Trick like chorus!
The Deluxe Version features three more tracks…!
Trick does a cover of The Move’s song BlackBerry Way with Cheap Trick’s gives it a Beatle’s like stamp. No lagging on the bonus tracks even with a cover included! Like the all the swirling like action going on in the background.
The Fly gets things back to rock with some Rick feed backing off of his amp. The Fly is a great hard rock tune with Tom playing a bunch of solid bass licks under the drums and guitar.
Everyone is saying that the final track If You Still Want My Love is the followup up 1982’s If You Want My Love. Perhaps but like the 82 classic this 2017 song is a great track. If I had it my way I would have ended this album with The Fly as I always like to go out Rockin but still since the Tricks did a solid album I can forgive em for this . Bottom line is a great track is a great track and this is well….you get the picture!
Well what can I tell ya!? Cheap Trick have dug deep into there 1970’s vibe and in the year of 2017 have totally blown me out of the water on how good of an album this is. You know my deal with these guys through this blog. Loved all that 70’s into the early 80’s output than their collective wheels came off on the various 80’s albums(The Doctor/Lap of Luxury/Busted/Woke Up With A Monster) yet I still purchased their output as Cheap Trick was one of those earliest bands that I had discovered on my own!
I must also mention that in all the rocked up glory on this album I like how Trick uses some strings throughout the album(the track Nowhere being one). For myself these kinds of things remind me of way Trick did things back on the classic Dream Police.
Hell,even the front and back covers look throwback.
So good to see these guys ramp it up with a 13 song album that flies by with one catchy hook after another…
Hip Hip Hooray! Cheap Trick back in 2001 were celebrating there 25th year in the Music Biz and what better way to acknowledge that feat than to release a 31 song Double Bubble(double album) recorded live in there hometown of Rockford Illinois!
A few month’s back I tossed Tricks Lap Of Luxury under the Bus but when it comes to live Trick this is where they excel!
Silver is the title of the album(geddit!) and the Cheap Tricks as in Robin Zander,Tom Petersson,Rick Nielsen & Bun E Carlos leave no musical stone unturned in there vast catalogue of Awesome Rock!
Trick pulls out tracks from every single album! You want Hits Yep they are all here!
Check Out This Track List…..
“Ain’t That A Shame”
“I Want You To Want Me”
“That 70’s Song”
“If You Want My Love”
“Can’t Stop Fallin’ Into Love”
“Gonna Raise Hell”
“I Can’t Take It” (Acoustic)
“Take Me to the Top” (Acoustic)
“It All Comes Back to You” (Acoustic)
“Tonight It’s You” (Acoustic)
“Time Will Let You Know”
“World’s Greatest Lover”
“Stop This Game”
“I Know What I Want”
“Woke Up with a Monster”
“Never Had a Lot to Lose”
“You’re All Talk”
“I’m Losin’ You”
“Hard to Tell”
“Just Got Back”
Kinda cool as some guest players drop in like former band member (bassist) Jon Brandt takes over on bass for the two tracks that are featured from the great One On One album(If You Want My Love and She’s Tight)
Slash riffs n rolls on Your All Talk! Billy Corgan jams Just Got Back while various members of the bands family show up and help out on various tracks.
Some of my faves are She’s Tight,Gonna Raise Hell (with Tom’s 12 string Hamer Bass distortin and locked in with Bun E on the drums). A boozed up late late night run in with the Dream Police, Hard To Tell is a great written piece of power pop from the classic self titled 1997 release Cheap Trick. Actually I could go on it’s all good even the two songs from the Lap Of Luxury album The Flame and Never Had A lot To Lose are a little more amped up (especially NHALTL).
What can you say about Robin Zander’s voice! Whether it’s 1976,1986,1996,2006 or 2016 Zander’s voice is still in top form and he is easily one of my fav vocalists out there no dip in quality whatsoever.
Tom Petersson and his 4,6 &12 string Hamer Basses holds down the fort sonically.
Bun E Carlos is a great rock drummer for this band and plays with a almost like Jazz Rock Swing kinda like Bill Ward on those 1970s Sabbath albums.
Rick Nielsen wrote a ton of Cheap Trick songs and is a great rhythm guitar player who dabbles in leads. He’s one of the few dudes who write tunes to feature the singer(Zander) than to feature himself guitar wanking off during solo’s….
So a few weeks back I tossed out to some folks via FaceCrack to throw down what they would consider their favourite Top 20 Albums.
Some of my Peep’s got right into it( I thank you all who participated) and submitted their picks which I laid down a few rules being that you could not duplicate artists and not to include Live Albums!
Some people are just plain old Rule Breakers and one of them is Muc (I have known for close to 36 years! ) Ha! But I was glad he submitted his Top 20 and most of the stuff I have heard but there are a few submitted I had never heard!
With Muc’s Top 20 I thought I would talk about all his Top 20 albums with just one or two sentences explaining them to you all……(Muc’s Top 20 is pictured below)
Muc….grow back that Mullet Dude……
Lets Do This…
AC/DC’s “BACK IN BLACK’ – Yup with titles like Given The Dog A Bone,Shake A Leg and the greatest song ever written about Hookers(What You Do For Money Honey) we all learned life lessons from Jonno,Angus and the rest of the DC’ers!
RUSH’s “MOVING PICTURES”-What happens when you get three virtuosos(Lee/Lifeson and Peart) locked up at Le Studio in Quebec back in 1981? A bona fide all time great piece of Kinda Prog Rock that is relentless in the chops of the musicians and the songs just explode and after one spin of Moving Pictures we all became Air Drummers thanks to Mr Peart!
BLACK SABBATH’s ” HEAVEN AND HELL- 1980 ushers in Ronnie James Dio as the new Sabbath vocalist and Iommi/Butler and Ward shift gears and deliver a rock solid masterpiece! Neon Knights leads off the charge and if you want your Sabbath Sludged like how it was with Ozzy you came to the wrong house…..
JUDAS PRIEST’s “Unleashed In The East- What a rule breaker that Muc fellow is. Unleashed is live so I can forgive him as this is Priest on fire before they became Turbo Lovers. Unleashed is when Priest sang songs about Genocide and toss in a Green Manaleshi With The Two Pronged Crown while we’re at it!
THE KILLER’s ” SAM’S TOWN”-Don’t know too much about these guys but I will say that the tune When We Were Young is a great piece of written rock. Muc moves into the present time pretty much with this one…
KISS “ALIVE 2”- I will say that Kiss Alive 2( not counting the actual studio portion of it) is the second best Kiss studio album next to the first Kiss Alive album! Money Bags Simmons and Stanley along with Piss Tanks Criss and Frehley deliver a Sonic Juggernaut to our young minds back than and delivered of course the marketing with Alive 2 which included that real cool Live Pic in the gatefold along with booklet and washable Tatoo’s??
MATTHEW GOOD “White Light Rock N Roll Review”-Too be honest I only own a couple of Good albums but the guy still makes it to Tbay now and then to play and still puts out albums so Kudos to him for that!
PEARL JAM “10”-When I think of 1992 ,this album is at the top of that heap as it did lend a helping hand( along with Nirvana and others) to demolish Bret Michael’s into the foothills of his L.A Mansion crying into his Bandanna! Mr Vedder! I thank you for that!
THE CLASH “LONDON CALLING”- Even though Muc was full-out 100% Hard Rocker you can see that by some of his picks he could listen outside the musical box and give The Clash credit as they were one of the first bands I knew of to deliver a double studio album. Train In Vain is still a real good track…..
HONEYMOON SUITE “BIG PRIZE”- Surprised to see this one here! These guys were the deal here in Canada back in 1986 and thanks to the production of the late Bruce Fairbairn, Honeymoon delivered a blistering set of Rock Tracks that even featured Mike Ladano’s Homeboy Ian Anderson(Jethro Tull) playing some cranked up flute on All Along You Knew!
FOO FIGHTER”s “THE COLOUR AND SHAPE” – Dave Grohl before he became Mr Everywhere delivered a real good album and had a good knack(no pun,keep reading) for writing real cool big rock riffs that even an Old Geezer like me could relate too! Case in point,Monkey Wrench and Hey Johnny Park…
DEF LEPPARD “On Through The Night”- Yes! Classic Lepp and when Muc bought this back in 1981 I purchased at the same time Iron Maiden’s Killer’s! On Through The Night is Lepp going for the throat with nothing to lose and no signs of pouring any kind of sugar at all!
THE KNACK “Get The Knack”-Muc I think mentioned that this is his all time favourite album! Fair enough as it was jammed pack with simple rock and real catchy tunes and a song about Sharona!
CHEAP TRICK “DREAM POLICE”- This album landed in my Top 20 as well. It’s a Sonic Boom of Epic Proportions in song structure and string selection along with Rick Nielsen’s quirkiness with a singer in Robin Zander who could belt it out made this a win win..
FLEETWOOD MAC “RUMOURS”- How many copies did this sell? 20 mill and counting? Who knows but man I think Mick Fleetwood has the coolest Skullet ever! Well Kim Mitchell pre 1990 had a good Skullet as well….
THE TRAGICALLY HIP ” FULLY COMPLETELY”-You can’t really go wrong in my estimation with the first 4 Hip albums! This is a dud free album and man The Wherewithal is an absolute blast of genius!
IRON MAIDEN “PIECE OF MIND” –Atta Boy ! Maiden deliver a Bombastic Slab O Metal that just blew us all away! Dickinson soars vocally while the rest of the Maiden’s lay down the British Metal Law Musically! Epic comes to mind!
SEVEN MARY THREE “DIS/LOCATION- Can’t really comment here but if Muc says so ……well its his Top 20 ….
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN “BORN TO RUN”- I can see this one here as Muc always dug the Boss! The title track sez it all doesn’t it??
SEX PISTOLS “NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS”- Ha!Muc being different but fair enough.Amazing how much a game changer this was for many people yet it sold peanuts but every rock fan knows of its existence! Bizarre….
posted on his FaceBook Page his Top 20 which Jon also said you could have easily done a Top 40 Fav Album List! True That!
Jon had some real cool albums such as Whitesnake(Slide It In) Y&T (Meanstreak) Motley Crue(Shout At The Devil) and KISS Alive amongst others!
It got me thinking about my Top 20 (a few months ago we did a Top 15 list with fellow WordPress Bloggers which was a ton of fun to see people’s tastes in music and books etc). So via Jon’s page I clicked the link and voila right to the page to enter my Top 20!
It was easy to do and entered in my Top 20. So I linked it right to Facebook went my list and first order of business was issuing a bit of a fun challenge to others as what your favourite 20 albums would be! Only could be studio releases(no live albums) and one album per artist as I would have loaded up on VH, old Aero,old Kiss,Maiden,AC /DC and that would have been it….hahaha…No Cheatin!
Tbone(whom I have known for 4 Decades!) right away came through in the clutch as he posted right away his list ( T’s list is at the top of the page) and it was great to compare! A buddy of mind Tony also posted his Top 20 but he broke the rules with as Tbone typed “19 Anvil compilations and High N Dry don’t count!” Hahaha….Seriously though thanks for participating Tony and how about a shout out to Blackie Lawless!
My Top 20 you can see posted just below……
It’s cool to see and compare lists with Tbone….I thought a post about Tbones Top 20 along with my usual smart ass comments would be a fun thing to talk about ….Shall we…?!
We are on the same page with The Cults Electric and Guns N Destruction albums and it’s kinda cool to see that back in the year that both of these albums were released (1987) myself and Tbone turned 20 years young and that Guns had opened up for The Cult on the Electric Tour! Yup groundbreaking info here! Hahaha…..
Of course Rush would be there as Tbone tossed in Moving Pictures which was basically our introduction to Rush that year of 1981 when we started at Lakeview High School and quickly learned that Rush had played at our very own School back in 1973!
I was very surprised and glad to see Maidens Number Of The Beast (1982)on there! Ha….Tbones parents at the time probably thought he was gonna burn down a church after they could hear the Air Raid Sirens wails of “6-6-6 The One For You And Me!” resonating from his bedroom. I’m sure his parents were relieved when they heard Bryan Adams Reckless(1984) which itself is a solid pick T! It is indeed an all time slab of great CanRock that even to this day does not sound dated! Another great call is Tom Pettys solo album Full Moon Fever and its 40 minutes of an Ass Kicker Album!
Speaking of Maiden a few sentences back I went with Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son! Moonchild is one of the best opening tracks on any Maiden album….EVER!
I take full Blame and responsibility on Tbone hoping aboard the HALEN Tour Bus Sonically that is and it didn’t surprise me in the least to see Fair Warning (1981) on his list! I mean any of those first 6 Dave Roth Albums could easily be in The Top 20 no problem! Speaking of Roth. Bam! Here comes Eat Em And Smile (1986 ) and with that kick ass musical combo Dave had behind him(Vai,Sheehan,Bisonette and Tuggle) we spent many an hour chatting up songs like Bump And Grind,Big Trouble and Elephant Gun and wishing we were Dave(1980s Dave that is)….Another great pick T!
U2 with Achtung Baby we both could have had on our list easily and perhaps I should have as well but man Bono annoys me …..Achtung though what a brilliant album and along with the production angle of Lanois/Eno is so groundbreaking and to this day to my ears is still one of the best sounding studio albums! Not as good as Rick Rubin’s produced Cult Electric Album mind you but Achtung holds it own..
Great call on ZZ Tops Eliminator Tbone! Man how could I miss that one? I could have easily bumped out Cheap Tricks Dream Police for that It goes without saying that Tbone dug deep into this list and pulled out some Gems! After which Tbone drank deep into his Scotch! Haha…
Safe to say Standing Hampton(1981) by Sammy Hagar is the Ultimate Shock A Roo! What a fantastic add! I just about spilled or was it spit out my coffee at that pick… Like I said earlier T did his homework and stepped up! Course this album features Heavy Metal and One Way To Rock but how about I’ll Fall In Love Again and Baby’s On Fire….easy peasy pickins! It’s a great album as it has a good sound as Sam I Am hadn’t fallen Into those 80s trappings of whiney synths!
Nice to see Tbone select Stone Temple Pilots (1994) as well here with the Purple album and this was when we saw STP open for The Stones in Toronto on the Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour! Not to be outdone I selected Superunknown(1994) by Soundgarden! Man I love Cornell’s voice! Limo Wreck is a classic ! The Stones both made our lists with Tbone selecting Sticky Fingers and me going with Some Girls! Another band match was Zep with Tbone tossing down Zep 4 and Ol DeKEs dialing up Physical Graffiti!
Tbone rolling with Aerosmiths Toys In The Attic and myself choosing Rocks are actually no brainers as it proves without a doubt that me and Tbone like our Aero slopped up when Steve n Joe were loaded up on party treats (special mention must be given to Done With Mirrors) and wrote real cool songs before they became that AeroSap Band doing soundtracks and wanting to become something they weren’t ….
Another Shock A Roo pick from T would be Mr Books favourite band Sloan with Navy Blues! How can you go wrong with She Says What She Means,Izzy and Angus and the classic DC stolen riff of Money City Maniacs! Exactly you can’t! Did not see this one coming as well but a real good pick!
I went with another Canadian Band and that’s The Tragically Hip with Road Apples (1991) actually any of their first four albums I could have picked! I love Road Apples as it reeks Canadiana,smells of Weed and Cold Canadian Beer! ” You Just Hit Me Where It Hurts,I Guess It Felt Quite Primitive!” Bellows lead singer Gord Downie during Twist My Arm! Great track!
Bon Jovi with New Jersey(1988) made Tbones cut and fair enough as it was a strong album (the tour for it was a real good show)and still holds up well by today’s standard! Too bad Jon has currently disintegrated a once great act into a big pile of Music Poop!
Tbone sneaks In Collective Soul’s (1985) self titled second album which is a great rock record. Ross Childress plays some real supped up leads while Ed Roland is a talented singer songwriter! My only knock are the drums sound programmed but still great songs especially the opener “Simple!”
Before I let you all get back to reality(thanks for reading) how could we not talk about AC/DC pre Axl Rose era! T says Highway To Hell(1979). DeKEs says Flick Of The Switch(1983)Can’t go wrong with either! Tons of salty lyrics (Rising Power and Beating Around The Bush) Lotsa Angus! What more do you need?
Def Leppard with its mega zillion selling album Hysteria (1987) made TBones Grade while I prefer the hard rock stylings of High N Dry(1981). Both are classics and like I have said in every Lep review I have done that once Steve Clark died lots of creativity in the riff department went to heaven with him…..
Holeeeee Shatz! This kinda went on but it was fun to go down memory lane sonically with my pal of 40+ years! (WHUT?) Thanks for reading and well….
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……https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/34s-filler-cheap-trickthe-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 Uphas 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.
It’s gotta suck when you put a real almost classic like record and no one knows about it! Well I’m gonna frigging take matters into my own hands here and teach you all a little Rock 101 in what you need for your collection ….
Shall I begin …??!
Cheap Trick the self titled album from the Tricksters came and went without a whimper in 1997 and what was it down to? Was it the fact that people didn’t care..mmmm,maybe I mean this was a full 10 years (1988)after the Tricks rode a payday with the album Lap Of Luxury that featured The Sap…oops I mean The Flame! Along with the Elvis cover of Don’t Be Cruel! I thought Lap Of Luxury was not a good album. I bought it of course but give me Tricks One On One from 1982,Dream Police from 1979 or Heaven Tonight from 1978! Those are Trick records. Perhaps it was the music climate that was snuffed out in 1997 by Creed and others that did this album in. I think why a lot of peeps didn’t hear this was due to the fact that the record label that this was on went belly up shortly after its release! (3 weeks after this album came out!)I’m going with that one( Record Company Tanking) CUZ this album Rocks……
Not to be confused with there debut album they called this one uncredited the 1997 album….
Let me explain it to Ya!
Same cast of characters as was back in 79 for the Dream Police! That would be Robin Zander,Tom Petersson,Bun E Carlos and Rick Nielsen…..
ANYTIME-as I stated in my Dream Police post! Trick has two cool guys and two nerds! By 1997 this image that was put forth back in the 70s was finished by 1997! Fair enough! Anytime starts the 97 Trick Party and Bun E opens the album with a real cool beat on the drums. The 70s image of Bun E smoking and playing drums and looking like some washed up real estate agent which was friggin funny as hell but It kinda took away the fact that the cat could drum! Anytime proves that Bun E drives the song forward! Like the little snippets of Nielsens melodic playing while Petersson still Bassing those 12 stringer Hamer basses. The money shot though is Zander’s voice! Smooth during the verses and he basically goes real heavy during the chorus! Anytime is Cheap Trick Heavy Rock circa 1997 and I’m glad as there’s not a keyboard in site! Crank the video posted! See I’m not fooling ya’s!
HARD TO TELL- Cheap Trick are the power pop hard rock champs! Hard To Tell is that track! This song is so damn catchy as the song is driven by a real cool opening followed by a killer bass line to keep us all amused ! The Tricks pulled out all the stops on this song and it should have been released as a single but when your label bails what do you do? Still though this is a great well written performed tune executed how we like it at Arena Rock! The Tricks always have real Gems up there sleeves even when they put out 3/4s Filler like the Doctor album from 1986! I reviewed it and basically said it was a complete Diaster except for Its Only Love which is the last tune on the album! It’s Only Love is gold man and the video is classic! Hard To Tell is another in the long line of classic CT tunes except Hard To Tell is on a real good record! I posted the studio track of Hard To Tell and Yep that’s the cover of the album with Bun E’s drums and Nielsens 6 neck guitar.
CARNIVAL GAME- a mid tempo tune with a quirky keyboard and yeppers I’m ok with this as Trick has always done these kinds of tunes on every album. Carnival keeps the pace going with some nice acoustic woven with some chill electric. Not a bad song at all.
SHELTER-a Synthy driven ballad that is so out of place on here it must have been a leftover from the 80s…eeeck! Me not like! I call this song the Skipper …meaning skip…..
YOU LET A LOTTA PEOPLE DOWN- now we’re cookin! Thank gosh after the musical massacre that was Shelter this song is a throwback to 70s Trick! Big sound from the bass and drums and guitars and its a heavy tune not in a metal sense but just heavy in the production end of things. Super cool chorus and just a great tune! Wall of sound this one!
BABY NO MORE-is simple Trick! A real quick tune with Bun E smashing the sheeeit out of his hi hat,cymabals and snare drum! The bass and drums are locked in and this picks up the pace! We’ll call it Speed Trick!
YEAH YEAH-this is almost a post grungey mash up of Cheap Trick colliding with a Seattle Grunger bar band circa 1993! Zander and the boys slam it straight ahead with this tune and a ton of Yeahs prevail throughout the song! This is a great track and it features that wall of quirky sound that we all love from the Trick!
SAY GOODBYE-before the record company went boobs up this was the lead single. A little more on the lighter side but a prety good tune never the less. Trick at times had to play the game and well who didn’t play the game(insert Queen reference here!)
WRONG ALL ALONG-a gem friends! This is simple Trick with drums,bass and one guitar recorded live off the floor! Carlos shuffles the beat along and quirky Rick plays the tune chill while Zander tells us we have Been Wrong All Along! The tune is a quick little number and its over in under 2 minutes 30 seconds! Great solo with Tom driving the bus with his bass with some cool changes and Bun E holds down the fort! Crank the video posted ..its live!
EIGHT MILES LOW-Trick lays it hard n heavy devy style with 8 Miles Low! This song is another late album Gem folks! Nielsen slams the guitar hard on this one along with Carlos on the drums and Zander delivers a keeper vocal! The pre chorus is slick man Trick always had a real good knack for writing simple pop ditties but running them through a Marshall cranked at 10!
IT ALL COMES BACK TO YOU-Trick totally eases off the pedal here. That’s ok and they end the album with a real slower tune! Not bad and waaaaaaay better than Shelter! Amen to that!
IN CONCLUSION- Cheap Trick deliver a scorcher of a album that’s right up on par with there 70s output! I wasn’t expecting much but Wowzers these dudes delivered a solid ball of classic rock! Nielsen being the main guy who wrote all the tunes totally stepped up and wrote a bunch of great tracks! Zander as always has never taken a dip vocally the guy sounds the same today as he did back in 76! It’s also real cool that the original lineup was still intact when they did this as well…..
As many of you now know late 1979 and heading into 1980 Kiss and Cheap Trick were my super duper fav acts! While we all know (except for me at the time)that Kiss’ career was starting to downward spiral Cheap Trick on the other hand were on top of the world so to speak!
Tricks Live At The Budokan blew the doors off many a stereo speaker in many a household back in 1979 so much so that the record company suits had to sit on Dream Police for a year as it was finished but as Budokan was selling zillions of copies Dream Police was not released until the Budokan album slowed down. It must have been a good feeling for those wacky Tricksters to know they had a completely finished album in the can and didn’t have to worry about anything other than playing I Want You To Want Me to screaming chicks while cashing some big paycheques along the way….
Dream Police when it was released i was onboard and this was my first Trick studio album and second owned Trick(Budokan of course being the first!) album.
I loved Cheap Tricks deal i mean you had the two cool rock guys out front! That being Robin Zander(lead vocals and guitar) and Tom Petersson (bass)…
Than you had the two geeks in the dressed up nerd Rick Nielsen(guitar) and chain Smokin drummer who looks like he’s selling real estate Bun E Carlos(drums)…
Say what Ya want but the 2 geeks and the 2 cool dudes could play and write real catchy hard rock pop ditties…
Dream Police is that album….a well written slab of hard rock tunes crafted and performed well and to this day this album is still a solid ball of rock! Love the gatefold sleeve and lyrics included! These guys knew how to package a rock record!
DREAM POLICE-well even if your not a ol school Tricker you know this tune and it’s the title and lead off track and the Tricks lay down the law! Big sweeping driving tune mixed with the synth that propels the song along at a nice clip! Rick Neilsen the dorkie looking guitarist could write great songs and up to this point he was doing just that! Of course having a great vocalist in Robin Zander also helps! Zander for me is the reason I have always liked Trick! Dream Police the song here has that middle part with just Nielsen yapping and playing the creepy part of a creeper while Tom drives the bass and well poor Nielsen he gets persecuted by the judge an jury and before he’s hauled off to the clink he wobbles out a classic guitar solo. The song ends with big bombastic symphony like sounds while Bun E plows the song forward on his drums! Watch the clip I posted of the Tricks playing Dream Police live on there 1980 Tour! The sound is raw,loud and it’s real cool it’s filmed in black n white! Crank it! Bonus points for Bun E sporting a double bass kit and smoking ..hahahaha…
WAY OF THE WORLD-It’s The Way Of The World! This is a great song with real good verses and a real good chorus! They even have symphonic like strings weaving in and out to enhance the sound! Driving tempo keeps the album moving on all cylinders!
THE HOUSE IS ROCKIN(Domestic Disturbance)-“He Said…She Said” The House is Rockin indeed! The guitar drives this tune along with the drums while the bass jives up and down the neck! It’s a good rocking number! Straight ahead late night rock romper with all the trimmings of a hard rockers delight with a great chorus and vocal by Zander!
GONNA RAISE HELL-9 minutes of Tom Peterssons 4 or is 8 or is it 12 string Hamer Bass that he fuzzes the vinyl grooves out at the beginning of the song when he’s locked in tight with Bun E on the drums! I think when i got this album back in 79 I had never heard a studio song so long before in my life! Of course later on in life thru the help of my old friend John Young I learnt that Zep,Floyd and Skynryd and others did do over 9 minutes tunes but hey folks at the time I was (age 13)subscribing to the Kiss Army where the direct order was tunes no longer than 3.5 minutes and they could only be done long if they were in a live album entailing a drunk guitar solo(Shock Me/Kiss Alive 2) or a coked induced drum solo(100,000 Years/Kiss Alive or God Of Thunder/Kiss Alive 2) take Yer pick! Gonna Raise Heeeeeeeell sings Robin and he sings it in different tones and man i dig the bass on this song! Tom Weman produced this album and of course he did those Crue albums in the 80s that sound like crap but man on Dream Police,Tommys cooking the sonics nicely….
I’LL BE WITH YOU TONIGHT-this is a great never talked about track than again these guys have a ton of these songs as everyone always focuses on I Want You To Want Me all the time fair enough but dig deeper into then archives of the Cheap and that’s no Trick!
VOICES-a smattering of Voices start well Voices! Slow strummer of a song and this is where Zander pulls off the double duty of not only singing straight ahead rockers but mid tempoish tunes! Voices has a nice blend of acoustic,electric,pedal steel mixed in the back,strings and the song is not wimpy as Bun E floats the boat with his drums!
WRITING ON THE WALL-Trick ramps it up and this is a ass kicker of a track! Wowzers even Trick name drop Canada in the tune along with the Midwest and well of course Tokyo and lookie lookie they even sample there opening of the Budokan album during the middle of the tune! Snappy tune many a time change and toss in some percussion at the end!
I KNOW WHAT I WANT-Bass guy Tom takes the lead vocal on this track and it ramps up in the chorus when Robin joins in and hey we got some handclaps going on in them sonics! This is a good song. Tom has a different kinda vocal while Rick peels off a nice solo…
NEED YOUR LOVE- this tune made its debut on the Budokan album. This song builds off of Buns drums and the guitars along with Toms fuzzed up 12 string Hamer bass and Zander delivers a real great vocal! Need your love……looooooooooooove! The song as I had mentioned builds up to a huge jam out rock n sock em jam out! Ricks out of control at the end while the rest of the guys hold it down …song ramps up..chills out Ramps up….a classic!
IN CONCLUSION-Dream Police just flat out rocks! Too many people got hooked on the opening tune man get past it as there are many a Gems on here! Trick delivers all the goods here and check back on Friday when I spitball in words out another Trick album that is soooooooo good that many don’t know of it’s existence!
Now I’m getting a little ahead here. First of all shall we talk about Found All The Parts first?
Ok,so 1980 rolls around and Cheap Trick releases this 4 song sampler that features on Side 1 Day Tripper and Can’t Hold On both live versions or so they say. What I read years ago was that Cheap Trick just slapped a live audience on there Day Tripper track that’s here? Why? Who the hell knows where as Can’t Hold On which was actually recorded live and was released on the deluxe reissues of The Budokan album.
Now here’s where it gets real wierd and lets talk about A Conspiracy (Crowes anyone?) Trick Theory!
Side 2 features studio versions of two tracks one from 1976 called Such A Good Girl and another track called Take Me I’m Yours recorded in 1977.
What I did read was that these two studio tracks were recorded along with other unreleased Trick songs(that were shelved)in late 1979 -80 not 1976 -77 as advertised so who knows and why? Did the record company suits decline what was Cheap Trick submitted? Who knows man but that’s Whacked!
A Trick Conspiracy?
FYI Check out the live vid for Day Tripper posted. It features 3 Drummers hahahaha and by this point Tom Petersson on bass had left Trick and had been replaced by Pete Comita who kinda looks like Petersson hahaha…more Trick Conspiracy!