4.7 7
by Cheap Trick

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Rockford, Illinois, has long gone out of its way to pay homage to Cheap Trick -- without a doubt the town's most important export -- and now, more than three decades into their recording career, Rick Nielsen and company return the favor. The 12-track Rockford offers up a veritable crazy-quilt of styles that pick up the flavor of just about every pit stop the


Rockford, Illinois, has long gone out of its way to pay homage to Cheap Trick -- without a doubt the town's most important export -- and now, more than three decades into their recording career, Rick Nielsen and company return the favor. The 12-track Rockford offers up a veritable crazy-quilt of styles that pick up the flavor of just about every pit stop the quartet have made along their quirk-filled trip through pop culture history. The disc packs more of a punch than any recent Cheap Trick release, with songs like the spiraling riff-fest "Come On Come On Come On" -- which goes the Von Bondies one better in both title and energy level -- and the surprisingly brawny "Welcome to the World." That's but one side of the Rubik's cube presented here, however: "If It Takes a Lifetime" wafts along with the sort of melodic urgency that imbued classics like "Surrender," while "Oh Claire" revisits the whip-smart bubble-pop that colored the margins of much of 1977's In Color. Yes, they also dip into the power balladry that gave them a second commercial life, circa "The Flame," on the Linda Perry-penned "Perfect Stranger" -- which, if nothing else, proves that Robin Zander's croon is still as dreamy as ever. It's only the icing on Rockford's cake, however, and that confection is as multi-layered and filled with surprises as anything Cheap Trick has ever cooked up.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Cheap Trick's recorded work has been so inconsistent for so long, bouncing back and forth between belabored attempts to reach radio and self-conscious returns to their classic early work, it's kind of a shock to discover that 2006's Rockford is a good, solid Cheap Trick record. Scratch that -- it's a very, very good Cheap Trick record, glistening with Beatlesque harmonies, sugary hooks and snarling guitars, and built on a set of songs that emphasize their strengths without seeming fussy or formulaic. They also don't seem tired or juvenile, either, nor do the band try to rock too hard or heavy, the way they did on the good but occasionally stilted Steve Albini-produced 1996 self-styled comeback, Cheap Trick. Albini is back for portions of Rockford, as is Jack Douglas, the producer behind their early masterworks, and 2000 rock's flavor of the month Linda Perry drops by for a single too -- but far from being a case of too many cooks spoiling the soup, it's more that each producer/engineer/collaborator helps bring out a different aspect of Cheap Trick. Sure there are songs that serve up crunching hard rock along with a little bit of streamlined arena rock, but there are pop songs built upon the British Invasion, bittersweet ballads, even a little bit of disco-funk on "One More." When all these different sounds are put together, it does indeed add up to the most diverse album they've made in many a moon, but since there's such a strong emphasis on melody, vocal harmonies, and guitar hooks, all wrapped up in three-minute songs, it also winds up as Cheap Trick's first genuine power pop album since their heyday, and their best album since Dream Police. After all these years and all those uneven albums, it's a bit of a surprise to have the band deliver an album this good completely out of the blue but, as their catalog proves, Cheap Trick have never done things the easy way -- and it's better to finally get a very, very good Cheap Trick record unexpectedly, some 27 years after the last good one, instead of not getting one at all.
Entertainment Weekly - Brian Raferty
[Grade: B] Cheap Trick haven't sounded this good in years.
The Associated Press
The power-pop quartet from Rockford, Ill., is back to doing what it does best — crafting unforgettable melodies and slathering them in angry guitars and Beatles-esque harmonies atop a pounding rhythm section.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Jordan Oakes
[Grade: A] Easily the finest Cheap Trick album in 25 years, "Rockford" has the band revisiting the best parts of its musical travelogue and bringing it all home.
The Guardian - Dom Passantino
For a band who've been together for over three decades still to sound this a minor miracle.
Hartford Courant - Kenneth Partridge
The result: a summer rock record that's loud without being dumb and catchy without sounding manufactured - a neat trick, for certain.

Product Details

Release Date:
Big3 Records

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cheap Trick   Primary Artist
Robin Zander   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Kim Bullard   Keyboards
Bun E. Carlos   Drums,Background Vocals
Jack Douglas   Shaker
Rick Nielsen   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Tom Petersson   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Damon Fox   Keyboards
Robin Taylor Zander   Background Vocals
Rick Neilsen   Guitar,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bill Lloyd   Composer
Cheap Trick   Audio Production
Robin Zander   Composer
Steve Albini   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Bun E. Carlos   Composer
Jack Douglas   Producer,Engineer
Roger Moutenot   Engineer
Rick Nielsen   Composer
Linda Perry   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Julian Raymond   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Christopher Shaw   Producer,Engineer
Jim Beeman   Audio Production
Tom Petersson   Composer
Dave Frey   Management
Bryan Cook   Engineer
John "Woog" Johnson   Illustrations,Cover Art
Richie "Britley" Hughes   Art Direction
Tommy Jamin   Engineer
Carla Dragotti   Tour Manager
Jimmy Johnson   Engineer

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Rockford 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
CHEAP TRICK comes back STRONG! All they have to do is change their name and they would be getting some SERIOUS airplay.It sucks that such a hard working american band can't get any serious airplay despite their contributions and influence on music.The album is an AWESOME collection that you can't put down. Clean,Fresh,Harmonic,and edgy guitars.The man of a thousand voices, stands sbove the rest.Very few rock vocalists can compare to Mr. Robin Zander.You have to here it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never written or posted a review. Rockford is so good that I feel compelled to do so. This is an unbelievable effort by Cheap Trick. One of their best. Perfection. Every song better than the next. Melody and harmony that absolutely rocks! This is not only top down summer music, it is EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR music. I challenge you to sit still while listening to Rockford. I know already that this is one of my favorites of all time. They are as good as The Beatles ever were. You have to hand it to them...this band can compete 30 years later. They are more than worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They deserve it. Pure genius. I can't wait to see them live this summer... Buy this CD. You won't regret your purchase!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rick, Robin, Tom and Bun E.--- Thanks for "Rockford", your best studio album since "Heaven Tonight". Great songwriting (from Rick, Robin and Tom), Robin's voice has never sounded better, and nice to hear Rick on backing vocals again. Well Done, Boys...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just bought this album yesterday...have been listening constantly since. The boys have given us a classic. Pick this up won't be disappointed. Thanks to Little Steven for the props on his radio show...Neilsen's guitar is laden with all the hooks and textures of Dream Police, etc. and Zander is, without a doubt, a classic rock vocalist. Bun E. and Tom...rock solid as always. Thanks guys, for reminding me of what it was like to first drop the needle on "Budokan".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think "Rockford" IS a good album, however, One review said that "Perfect Stranger" has Robin crooning as he did on the song "The Flame" I disagree with that. It doesn't even come close. I think the best song on the CD is "Every night and Every day", Hands down. Followed by, "If it takes a lifetime", "This time you got it" and "Oh Claire", in which Robin does "croon"
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ahhh!!! Power pop at last. The greatest (and most underappreciated) band ever has given us another classic. I love the way Rockford slaps you awake with "Welcome to the World" It doesn't let up either. Special One was good but not as good as this. I can't wait to see them in concert again. I've seen them 6 times already! CT ROCKS!