CHEAP TRICK – Next Position Please +9 [Japan BluSpec CD2 remastered miniLP] (2017)
CHEAP TRICK have made an historic chart debut with their acclaimed new album, ‘In Another World’. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers’ 20th studio album enters at #1 on Billboard’s “Rock” chart — their highest first-week chart placement in the veteran band’s long, remarkable career.
Many of you asked for some of their other records, and we have the terrific Japanese BluSpec CD2 remastered versions with loads of bonus tracks.
Here’s ”Next Position Please“, on this BluSpec CD2 remastered reissue almost featuring a bonus album ‘cos we have 9 bonus tracks, including the band’s contribution to the movie ‘Up The Creek’, in two collectible different versions.
Released on August 15, 1983, Cheap Trick’s seventh studio album ”Next Position Please” is pure ’80s radio friendly power pop while as always giving nods to the band’s musical past including the album’s title going all the way back to a tune demoed for the ‘Dream Police’ album.
Tabbing Todd Rundgren (a singer / songwriter as well) as producer of albums by such artists as Badfinger, Hall & Oates, and Meat Loaf to produce, Cheap Trick set themselves up to release a more polished, sugary type of record compared to the last three, and the results worked.
Despite originally not successful in sales at its predecessors, ”Next Position Please” is a power pop platter filled with great hooks, choruses and tons of all the stuff Cheap Trick fans loved including choice guitar, great beats, and the sweet vocals of Zander.
Why the album fell short to achieve at least gold at the time still remains a mystery for many fans and that level of album success would evade the group until Petersson’s return in 1988 for smash record Lap Of Luxury.
Starting things off with eventual second single “I Can’t Take It”, the group’s return to the catchy power of its early releases found them once again as a band ahead of the curve pitching out a sound predating (and possibly influencing) similar sounding mid-’80s hit bands like The Outfield and Mr. Mister while still maintaining the classic Cheap Trick sound.
While overall, ”Next Position Please” may not be in the same league as earlier classic releases’, the band once again had a track as good and classic as any Cheap Trick track before it making it a live favorite for years to come far exceeding kickoff single “Dancing the Night Away” — a cover track pressed on the band by Epic.
Obviously, Cheap Trick were far better at picking their tunes than the suits and based on catchy rock tunes that grabbed the top ten in the next couple of years, also good at knowing which end of their spectrum would best suit the times as “I Can’t Take It” and other tracks like “Younger Girls” and “Heaven’s Falling” on Next Position Please not only take the band back to a sound closer to its second release In Color than they had explored in years, but a sound that would pop up in many hit bands in future years.
But just because they got a little sweet doesn’t mean they left behind their edgy rock side completely.
“Borderline” is not far removed from previous tracks like “Baby Loves to Rock” off of 1980 album All Shook Up and One On One single “She’s Tight” while cassette / CD only bonus track “You Talk too Much” could have fit in perfectly on All Shook Up or Dream Police.
The title track veers between Cheap Trick‘s various sides flirting with pop, new wave, and rock and then there’s the odd side of Cheap Trick in tunes like “Don’t Make Our Love A Crime” and “3-D”, that sound only like Cheap Trick can and more than likely only dug in a way a true Cheap Trick fan can.
So yeah, ”Next Position Please” may not be among the fan favorites, but it’s still unmistakably Cheap Trick and part of a forty year + catalog of studio releases far more consistent quality and song-wise than most of their contemporaries that have been around just as long.
The album has an important place in the evolution of Cheap Trick and is a part of the reason why the band can still please audiences and themselves night in and night out on stages around the world.
While artists they have influenced have either been relegated to club stages or coffins, Cheap Trick keep plugging along year after year live and in the studio never choosing to just rest on their legacy but instead to always put a checkered finger in the face of music as if to say…
…next position please!
ＳＯＮＹ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＪＡＰＡＮ 【SICP～31069】
01 – I Can’t Take It
02 – Boderline
03 – I Don’t Love Here Anymore
04 – Next Position Please
05 – Younger Girls
06 – Dancing The Night Away
07 – 3-D
08 – You Say Jump
09 – Y.O.Y.O.Y.
10 – Won’t Take No For An Answer
11 – Heaven’s Falling
12 – Invaders Of The Heart
13 – Don’t Hit Me With Love
14 – Dancing The Night Away (Rare Short version)
15 – Up The Creek (Acapella intro) (From the movie ‘Up The Creek’)
16 – Up The Creek (7” version) (From the movie ‘Up The Creek’)
17 – Don’t Make Our Love A Crime (Demo)
18 – Twisted Heart
19 – Don’t Make Our Love A Crime
20 – You Talk Too Much
21 – Get Ready
Robin Zander – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Rick Nielsen – lead guitar, backing vocals
Jon Brant – bass, backing vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums, percussion