CHEAP TRICK – Cheap Trick +10 [Japan BluSpecCD2 remastered miniLP]
Finishing with the excellent CHEAP TRICK Japanese BluSpec CD2 remastered versions – mini-LP paper sleeve collection – with loads of bonus tracks, here’s the band debut “Cheap Trick“, on this reissue almost featuring a bonus album ‘cos we have no less than 10 bonus tracks, including rare alternate versions, outtakes, etc.
In February of 1977, Cheap Trick unleashed its self titled debut on an unsuspecting public. Like most of Cheap Trick’s history, the facts are uncertain; there’s no exact release date to be found, but anyone who was there suggests that it was around the first week of February. This is very on brand for the band: the album liner notes explain that Cheap Trick is a band without a past.
With its first record, Cheap Trick created something truly unique, which has been both a blessing and a curse for the band over the past four+ decades.
Cheap Trick has always been a quintessentially Midwestern band: too cynical for the glamour of Los Angeles, and too down to earth for New York City. Elvis Costello told Creem in 1981 you have your entire life to write your first album, and Cheap Trick was the result of vigorous playing and constant touring out on the Midwest bar-band circuit.
The result is a rock ’n’ roll record like no other, equal parts poppy, powerful, angsty, funny, scary, sweet, and — to paraphrase a future hit for the band — just a little weird.
Producer Jack Douglas, who is credited with signing the band, aimed to capture the raucous live sound that the band had perfected in clubs back home.
The LP kicks off with the blistering and lusty come on “Hot Love,” followed by what would become a live showcase for Petersson’s 12-string bass playing (he played a 4-string on the recording) cover of Terry Reid’s “Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace.”
Next up, “He’s A Whore” is two minutes and forty three seconds of fury, then “Mandocello” is the closest thing to a ballad featured on Cheap Trick, but still features heavy bass groove and drives almost as hard as anything else on the record.
“The Ballad Of T.V. Violence (I’m Not The Only Boy)” — decidedly not a ballad — was a favorite of the band’s live sets. Originally titled “The Ballad Of Richard Speck”, the heavy number finds Zander singing from the point of view of the infamous serial killer who, in July of 1966, brutally tortured, raped, and murdered eight student nurses in Chicago. “I’m not the only boy,” Zander wails like a madman.
“ELO Kiddies” is a rock ’n’ roll rumination on getting older from a band barely out of its twenties, an alarm clock in the mix subtly telling listeners to wake up. With a pitch black sense of humor, “Kiddies” seamlessly transitions into “Daddy Should Have Stayed In High School,” where lead singer Robin Zander takes on the role of a character proclaiming that he’s been “waiting every night after school,” fantasizing in falsetto about being ”your daddy.”
The cynical “Taxman, Mr. Thief” riffs on money, greed, and The Beatles while emulating the feel of a wood-paneled Midwest basement that reeks of low-grade grass and stale Point beer. “Cry, Cry” is closer to a traditional pop song, full of bluesy swagger as Zander cribs from Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” asserting that “he’s been so lonely, baby.”
“Oh, Candy” — arguably the most traditional “power pop” tune on the record — at first appears to be a lovelorn song of romance gone sour, but it is in fact about the band’s photographer, nicknamed M & M, who had died by suicide.
With their first album, Cheap Trick set the stage for a long career with ups and downs, never truly gaining the stadium success of their contemporaries, but never truly selling out, either.
Cheap Trick — like most debut albums — is the band at its most honest: schizophrenic, darkly comic, and just a little bit weird. And kick ass rocking
ＳＯＮＹ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＪＡＰＡＮ 【SICP～31061】
01 – Hot Love
02 – Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace
03 – He’s A Whore
04 – Mandocello
05 – The Ballad Of TV Violence (I’m Not The Only Boy)
06 – Elo Kiddies
07 – Daddy Should Have Stayed In High School
08 – Taxman, Mr Thief
09 – Cry, Cry
10 – Oh, Candy
11 – Waitin’ For The Man / Heroin (Live at the Brewery – Tom vocal)
12 – Taxman, Mr. Thief (Ardent Studios demo)
13 – Fan Club (Ardent Studios demo)
14 – Elo Kiddies (Single version)
15 – Lovin’ Money (‘Cheap Trick’ outtake)
16 – I Want You To Want Me (Early studio version)
17 – Lookout (Studio version)
18 – I Did Go-Go Girls (Outtake)
19 – Oh, Candy (Single version)
20 – ‘Cheap Trick’ Radio Spot
Robin Zander – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Rick Nielsen – lead guitar, mandocello, vocals
Tom Petersson – bass guitar, vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums