Cheap Trick [Bonus Tracks]by Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick's eponymous debut is an explosive fusion of Beatlesque melodic hooks, Who-styled power, and a twisted sense of humor partially borrowed from the Move. But that only begins to scratch the surface of what makes Cheap Trick a dynamic record. Guitarist Rick Nielsen has a powerful sense of dynamics and arrangements, which gives the music an extra kick, but he also can write exceptionally melodic and subversive songs. Nothing on Cheap Trick is quite what it seems. While the songs have hooks and attitude that arena rock was sorely lacking in the late '70s, they are also informed by a bizarre sensibility, whether it's the driving "He's a Whore," the dreamy "Mandocello," or the thumping Gary Glitter perversion "ELO Kiddies." "The Ballad of TV Violence" is about mass murder, while "Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School" concerns pedophiles. All of it is told with a sense of humor, but it doesn't come off as cheap or smirking because of the group's hard-rocking drive and Robin Zander's pop-idol vocals. Even "Oh, Candy," apparently a love song on first listen, is an affecting tribute to a friend who committed suicide. In short, Cheap Trick revel in taboo subjects with abandon, devoting themselves to the power of the hook, as well as sheer volume and gut-wrenching rock & roll -- though the record is more musically accomplished than punk rock, it shares the same aesthetic. The combination of off-kilter humor, bizarre subjects, and blissful power pop made Cheap Trick one of the defining albums of its era, as well as one of the most influential.
- Release Date:
- Sbme Special Mkts.
Performance CreditsCheap Trick Primary Artist
Robin Zander Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Bun E. Carlos Drums
Rick Nielsen Guitar,Vocals
Tom Petersson Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Technical CreditsCheap Trick Producer
Bruce Dickinson Reissue Producer
Terry Reid Composer
Jack Douglas Producer
Jay Messina Engineer
Greg Kot Liner Notes
Frank Harkins Art Direction
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If you had listened to this record back in 1977, you would not have been able to see the direction the band would take later in their career, with Dream Police, Next Position Please etc. Back in the day this album could be described as cutting edge, or wait, not cutting edge, but, but... in other words, this album rocks but it's so unusual in its style that comparing it to any other band back then would have been difficult. Nowadays (especially with "The Latest", and some of their other previous releases) you can really sense the influence The Beatles had on these guys. But if you listened to this album back in 1977, you probably couldn't have said with any certainty what influenced their sound. It's just a hodge podge of different high powered guitar sounds. Why Cheap Trick veered so noticeably toward The Beatles later on only they or their producers could say, although we all know that The Beatles is a pretty reliable franchise. If you want to hear Cheap Trick before they made it big (or bigger) buy this CD, if only to help complete your collection and trace the band's development over time.