• Cheap Trick 100: #1.

    1 Ene 2011, 20:32

    #1 - Hello There / Goodnight

    "Hello there, ladies and gentlemen. Hello there, ladies and gents.
    Are you ready to rock? Are you ready or not?

    "HELLO THERE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!" = immortal words. No other song in the Cheap Trick library gets me more excited and ready than Hello There, and no other song makes me want to end my night on a high note than Goodnight Now! I feel like I've heard Hello There at least a thousand times. It is on a fair share of Cheap Trick albums, and I'm pretty sure I've annoyed plenty of people by always choosing this song on Rock Band 2.
    That's pretty much why I can't get enough: its length. It is a case where the shortness really works in favor of its lasting appeal. Some may say it's too short, but if it was any longer then I wouldn't believe it'd be as good.
    In case you didn't know, Hello There was originally written as a warm-up song, therefore it's the ultimate warm-up song in my opinion. Guitar enters, then drums, then vocals, and finally bass. These guys are so good at what they do, it's almost mind-blowing.
    The lyrics are also perfect for the style, in which it doesn't have to be deep or anything like that; the words exist to give you a proper introduction to rock and roll. Everything about this song is so perfect that it created one of my favorite video game memories ever.
    In 2008, I was so legitimately excited to find out that Cheap Trick was going to be in a Rock Band game. Rock Band 2 was the reason why I purchased an Xbox 360, so if I remember correctly, I think Cheap Trick was part of that decision to buy a console that I can play online with. Anyways, this was fantastic news, I thought, but it wasn't what I expected at first. They chose "Hello There" which is one of the shortest songs in the Cheap Trick universe! Why would they pick a song that is over before it gets started? Why couldn't they add one that has lasting appeal? It didn't make any sense. I would have taken Surrender or I Want You To Want Me as a 'standard' track, but why Hello There? Well, the awesome revelation was that they chose this as the opening cinematic! Therefore, every time someone would put in the game, they would hear Cheap Trick. I loved it. Rock Band 2 was going to be huge anyways, so it was truly great to have this kind of exposure. Plus, it's a remastered track that most of us haven't heard before! It wasn't the standard In Color version or the lively Budokan version, but the lost track from 1998 or so. I was just in awe how cool this whole thing became. They gave us something different and fresh and it just worked so well. I just wish they could add more CT songs into the game someday, but that's enough discussion from me. Hello There is definitely one of my favorite songs to play in a music game by default.
    Long story short, I've grown to love Hello There (and Goodnight) over the years to a point where it's my favorite Cheap Trick song of all-time. It's the ultimate statement for a rock song. I thank them for creating this song, much like the others, and I thank them for being an amazing band.

    Take us home, guys. Happy new year.

  • Cheap Trick 100, week thirteen.

    26 Dic 2010, 19:32

    #2 - Auf Wiedersehen

    "Au revoir, auf wiedersehen
    You won’t see another morning, you won’t see another evening, baby

    Good night
    Buenos noches oh Señor
    Señorita, see ya later
    Buenos noches bye-bye

    There are many here among us, you feel that life is a joke
    And for you we sing this final song
    For you there is no hope. NO HOPE!


    Nothing really needs to be said here. The bass, the guitar, the drums, the vocals... EVERY member goes mad here. The first half only exists to drive you home during the second half, and what a glorious moment that is.
    This is my number two pick. Do I REALLY need to explain why it's so brilliant? I don't need to tell you how much I love this band. That can be saved for number one, haha. This particular track is just one of the greatest performances by the band ever.

    #3 - Surrender

    "Whatever happened to all this season's losers of the year?
    Every time I got to thinking, where'd they disappear?
    When I woke up, mom and dad are rolling on the couch
    Rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my Kiss records out

    Mommy's alright, daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird
    Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away

    I don't think it was ever in doubt that Surrender wouldn't be anywhere near my top selections of song picks. It was pretty much the song that got me hooked on the band, and it's been well-known how it is one of the greatest songs of all-time. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to . Somewhere between starting this list, and writing these words today, something clicked, and all of a sudden I couldn't get enough of Surrender. I loved it MORE than I ever did before, and that prompted me to place it higher. What you're seeing here now is a result of my actions. It was definitely a top five worthy tune, but I was struggling to know if it was one of my top three Cheap Trick songs. Well, I guess now I know how much I love this song, and I have no regrets. Surrender really is Cheap Trick's finest moment.

    #4 - The Ballad Of T.V. Violence
    (I'm Not The Only Boy)

    "I needed a girl to give me some love
    I need some love, gimme your love, gimme your love

    I need a knife to give me a wife
    I need a knife, gimme your life, gimme your life

    I need a gun to have me some fun
    I need a gun, gimme your love, gimme your love

    I need some rope, it's my only hope
    After twenty or so, I just don't know

    You know, in the grand scheme of things, when I initially ranked my top ten favorite Cheap Trick songs from the 1970's, it didn't even occur to me to include this song. Why is that? Well, I didn't think much of it. This track is an acquired taste, and one you have to dedicate your attention to. Most of the others are straightforward in terms of pulling your attention, but with this, you have to hear the whole song and let the feeling sink in. It's an incredible feeling once you sit down and really listen to the song. I'm sure glad I am doing this whole top 100 list because, with each repeated listen, this song becomes more and more addicting. It is a highly fascinating song and I wish people would bring it up while discussing Cheap Trick's legacy. Oh, where do I even begin to give my thoughts on this amazing track?
    If anyone, just anyone, were to think of the five most popular Cheap Trick songs ever, it's a pretty standard list. So, if the average person were to judge the band from a general perspective and think "they weren't really that good," LISTEN TO THIS SONG! Cheap Trick 1977 is an album unlike any other. It's the only Cheap Trick album that is dark and twisted and full of catchy songs about sensitive subjects. The Ballad Of TV Violence (also known as The Ballad of Richard Speck) is a song about A SERIAL MURDER with mentions of rape and stabbings and strangulation, and the band just recreates that environment into a song flawlessly.
    I just cannot believe how influential Ballad of TV Violence really is... and it was released 33 years ago! In my opinion, alongside their greatest hits, THIS is the song at the top of the reason of reasons why Cheap Trick is a hall of fame band. If anyone wanted to know why I love Cheap Trick so much, study this song. The same band that created If You Want My Love and I Want You To Want Me wrote a song about descending into madness. I just cannot believe how shocking and mad this track is sometimes. The transition is just so mesmerizing and hypnotic.
    That's really why I ranked this above ELO Kiddies... the progression of this song (leading into the second half) is just unreal. Robin SCREAMS at the top of his lungs "I'M NOT THE ONLY BOYYY!" Rick and Tom do such a fantastic job on guitars, and I can't forget Bun E. for being so great as well. The song is hard to categorize... it's just different.
    Please, if anyone out there reading this wants something darker and deeper than the usual pop-rock you hear every day, try this out. Watch the video and look at Robin's face the whole time. It's unbelievable.

    #5 - ELO Kiddies

    "ELO kiddies, ELO kiddies
    What'cha gonna do when the lights start shining?

    ELO kiddies, ELO kiddies
    What'cha gonna do when your head's exploding?

    So you missed some school, you know that school's for fools
    Today money rules and everybody steals it

    Ah yes, ELO Kiddies. One of my earliest favorite Cheap Trick tunes, once I got past the usual I Want You To Want Me's of the world. This song made me REALLY excited to be a Cheap Trick fan starting out. I listened to this song endlessly, and I still do today. What exactly is the best part? Is it the extreme nature of the lyrics? The thumping beat? The musicianship? The screaming? The fact this song starts off Cheap Trick 1977, the most daring CT album of them all? I don't really know. The whole environment surrounding this brilliant tune is just amazing. It almost seemed like a lock for the top two of my absolute favorites, but then again, I love it so much, does it really matter? The fact that I prefer four songs above this is pretty mind-blowing. In a way, THIS is my favorite Cheap Trick song. It's the ultimate reflection of my personality. "ELO Kiddies" is also one of my favorite statements to use in everyday life, so yeah, that's a fun fact to know.
    Watching live performances of this song really make me want to see the song performed 30 years ago at a place like Budokan. I mean, small clubs and moderately-sized arenas are fine, but I simply wish I could have seen this song performed in a filled stadium in the 1970's. I really do. Just listen to the excitement of the fans from the video and watch the nonstop energy displayed by the band, and you can see why Cheap Trick is really one of the greatest live bands in the world.

    #6 - I Want You To Want Me

    (The original In Color studio version of the song! It's not exciting, but it's nice to hear.)

    "I want you to want me
    I need you to need me
    I'd love you to love me
    I'm beggin' you to beg me

    I'll shine up my old brown shoes, put on a brand new shirt
    Get home early from work if you say that you love me

    Didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you cryin'
    Oh, didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you cryin'
    Feeling all alone without a friend, you know you feel like dying
    Oh, didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you cryin'

    One of the reasons why I even made a top 100 is to give my honest opinion on 100 songs. So, if I have this window to say whatever I want, it always has to be truthful. Well, to be honest, I'm not crazy about I Want You To Want Me. I almost want to be sick of this song. I am almost tired of the millions of girls (and guys, I guess) who quote it endlessly. "I need you to need me, I'd love you to love me" is SO overdone!
    I can't forget it's also the most covered CT song. This can be everywhere sometimes and that just bores me. The Live At Budokan version is so overplayed in my mind, it's ridiculous. That version is not my favorite as a result.
    But why is this at number #6, you ask? I'll tell you. That's the brilliance of I Want You To Want Me. There are so many versions out there, I can easily find another and fall in love with it, knowing its importance with me as a Cheap Trick fan. Sure, the Budokan/live version is constantly played, but dare I say the original In Color track is much more fresh? What about the In Color (Albini) 1998 version? They've played this song endlessly for over 30 years. You'll never run out of reasons to love I Want You To Want Me. I can never get sick of this song, it's only the simple human way of life of making a song overplayed.
    I really do love this song. I really do. I just wish some people would realize it's not the only Cheap Trick song that ever existed.

    #7 - Dream Police

    "The dream police, they live inside of my head
    The dream police, they come to me in my bed
    The dream police, they're coming to arrest me, oh no

    You know that talk is cheap and those rumors ain't nice
    And when I fall asleep, I don't think I'll survive the night

    'Cause they're waiting for me, they're looking for me
    Every single night they're driving me insane
    Those men inside my brain

    I try to sleep, they're wide awake, they won't let me alone
    They don't get paid to take vacations or let me alone
    They spy on me, I try to hide, they won't let me alone
    They persecute me, they're the judge and jury all in one

    Technically, I would rather hear Way Of The World than Dream Police. It's more fresh, just as classic, and is more fun of a single. So when it came time to rank these songs as my favorites, I really didn't want to place Dream Police way too high just because it is a huge song for Cheap Trick. Popularity doesn't really mean anything when you're trying to figure out if you like it that much. Well, when you factor in longevity, addictiveness, and the simplicity of never letting go of a single song, I prefer Dream Police, and I couldn't let it go from the top portion of my list. I guess I really do like it more than Way Of The World. Why? It's timeless. It's weird. It's so out there. It is a bizarre piece to the puzzle I call Cheap Trick. You cannot listen to the band without hearing Dream Police, and subsequently loving it. The song AND the album AND the music video is highly essential.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week twelve.

    20 Dic 2010, 21:38

    #8 - Way Of The World

    "It's the way of the world

    Remember you were in school and I followed you home
    I remember
    Didn't think I existed, but we're comin' together right now

    I've been runnin', I've been hidin'
    It's the way of the world
    You say it's over but the world keeps turnin' 'round

    How many melodies can you add to a song? That's all I have to ask and say. Way Of The World is CLASSIC and is probably one of the most catchy tunes of the 1970's with Cheap Trick's name attached. With many sing-worthy moments like "it's the wayyyyyyyyyyy of the worllllllllllld" and "I've been runnin', I've been hidin'" and so on. How can anyone not love Way Of The World? Seriously, it's one of the catchiest things ever. They opened their concerts over a year ago with this song. That was pretty cool to know. And it's as brilliant as any other single from Dream Police. You've got to love their efforts for being different.

    #9 - Need Your Love

    Don't forget (part two!) The simple fact that this is a two-part song is mind-blowing!

    "Need your love, need your love, need your love, need your love
    Fell apart, broke my heart, need your love, need your love
    If I could go around the world, I wouldn't find another girl, need your love
    Need your love, need your love, need your love, need your love

    You make me lonely, why should you care?
    I give you everything, that's hardly fair
    I give you loving, it's what you need
    I give you everything, everything in me
    If I surprise you, that's not the reason

    This is really a two-part song. You have the calm, smooth vocal talents of Robin Zander controlling one side, and on the other you have instrumentation at its finest. For an album like Dream Police, it's the perfect way to end the album. That second part is just mad! Both parts to the song are probably why I like Need Your Love so much, they just have this unbelievable ability to drive you towards something big, while making it all exciting. They really drive it home.
    It's funny though: in the album booklet of Dream Police, one of the guys mentioned it reminds them of a Donna Summer song. I thought the same when I heard Donna Summer! She has a great song called "I Need Love" (it's a classic tune, really) and this just made Cheap Trick seem like they were stealing more material like the Beatles. I don't think much of it either; they made this thing their own. I can't say Cheap Trick ripped her off when they even admitted to mentioning her name in the whole thing. Oh well, Need Your Love is really fantastic. Take a look at the live version and enjoy the show!

    #10 - Lookout

    "There is somewhere, someplace In this world I want to take you
    Look out little girl, little girl
    I am one boy, one boy in a thousand that wants to make you
    Look out little girl, little girl, little girl look out

    If you're hiding and I'm hiding from some bum that wants to get you
    Look out little girl, little girl
    If you're lonely and I'm lonely, and I'm near you, I can hear you
    Look out little girl, little girl, little girl look out

    The definition of power-pop. I could play this a hundred times and not get tired. It's cool that Lookout was a B-side for the first album, but it's even better that they saved it as a "new song" for Budokan. Lookout fits so well within that environment, and brings another retrospective on the track. Actually, I tend to prefer the live version and the studio version equally. Well, either way, it's 100% perfection in terms of catchiness and all that stuff. It is so incredibly addicting.

    #11 - Hot Love

    "Hot love if you want it, got the time if you need it
    Be around when you call me, I'll be around, be around for the ball

    Hot love is for sale and the time is just right
    Hot love keeps you healthy, ooh hot love
    Hot love, it's nice

    And when I see a little temperature rise, you know I wasn't surprised
    See you were smiling, ohhh
    Hot love will burn
    Hot love will burn your heart

    I always have many pondering moments of this song. Is it better than She's A Whore? Can it be considered filler? How much do I really love this? And yet, here we are nearing the top ten. This one is just so unique and full of energy. I love the compact nature of Hot Love, where it's just the perfect length. It never ever gets old as a result. Hot Love is pure rock and roll at its finest!

    #12 - Please Mrs. Henry

    (The Sex, America, Cheap Trick version)
    (Another live version, which is equally as incredible)

    "Well I'm down on my knees, I ain't got no dime
    Down on my knees, I ain't got a dime

    Well, I'm groanin' down the hardway, pretty soon I'll be made
    Please, Mrs. Henry, take me to your dad?

    I can drink like a fish, I could crawl like a snake
    Bite like a turkey, and swim like a drake

    So please, Mrs. Henry. Mrs. Henry, please!
    Please, Mrs. Henry. Mrs. Henry, please!

    My brother got married 16 months ago. A week before, our small group traveled a little bit up north towards the big city for a bachelor party. We played games, we ate together, went shopping for a quick moment, and enjoyed time in a small motel socializing and such. During our dinner at a quick fast-food restaurant, we were discussing music played during the wedding reception, and somehow it was decided that I would only play Cheap Trick and Beatles tunes since those are the two artists (at the time) that I talked most about with other people. I was slightly offended as to how close-minded they were, when I love thousands and thousands of songs!
    Well, during our quick round of shopping at the big shopping centre, I came across a used copy of Sex, America, Cheap Trick in the music store! It was the first time I had seen it in person, and immediately I had to own it. The money I had acquired for the weekend was gone without much hesitation, as I also purchased Across The Universe because I was curious to see it. I walked out of the store, and was asked "what did you get?" Ha. I put two and two together and realized it was more Cheap Trick and Beatles stuff. It was so surreal and I was ever so predictable. I didn't care though, you couldn't imagine how badly I wanted to acquire four discs of Cheap Trick material in one set.
    When I get asked, "don't you already have these songs already?" I say I purchased SACT because it had at least two discs worth of material I don't own, so regardless of how many I already do own, there are still these rare songs scattered throughout four discs of material. So, I was excited to discover a deeper side to the Cheap Trick catalogue!
    During our downtime of sitting around in the motel room, I read the SACT booklet and listened to disc 1. Well, every opportunity I got during the weekend was spent with headphones on, and to tell you the truth, I mostly played Please Mrs. Henry. When a person plays a song for the first time, they really aren't aware of the length or attitude going into the song, so I was astounded that the sheer brilliance of Cheap Trick never ended! This particular performance is over 9 minutes song. Truly amazing for fans of this music.
    It's a four disc set, and I barely made it to disc two. That's how powerful and addicting Please Mrs. Henry was upon my discovery. During my own brother's bachelor party, I was listening to Cheap Trick. Sometimes, if only you could peer into my mind to see what I see and hear what I hear, then you'd understand. I just couldn't get enough!
    Selfishly, I wish this took the place of songs like Gonna Raise Hell that feel long for the sake of being long. Why wasn't this one of the most talked-about Cheap Trick performances of the last 30 years? Why did I only find out about this last year? It's not fair sometimes. There are other long displays of musical talent in the Cheap Trick universe and this performance is AWESOME in the purest sense of the word. Then again, it would take away from the other songs featured on the standard CT albums, and I wouldn't want it to overshadow those other songs. Really though, any version I come across of Please Mrs. Henry is perfect! There's a video from Youtube I'm attaching, and regardless of the video/audio quality, it's pretty impressive. I always want to share it with everybody every time I see it. It captures the band perfectly.
    In time, I loved owning SACT because it had rare songs that not a lot of people know about, and I was addicted to this other fresh side of Cheap Trick. When you hear live albums like At Budokan, Music For Hangovers, or Silver, you think it's mostly a greatest hits affair. Well, hidden in the 1970's (in this case) are some rare gems that deserve to be heard. Just when I thought I had discovered every awesome moment in the Cheap Trick world, Please Mrs. Henry proved me wrong. That wasn't the last time, and I hope there are more undiscovered moments I come across in the future.
    It's even greater now that Please Mrs. Henry is featured on a new greatest hits live compilation released this year (I think) so now it's MORE accessible than just being on a hard-to-find 1996 four disc set.
    You could say I love this simply because it is so underrated, but when you total in the amazement of each band member in this song, I cannot rank it any lower. Rick, Tom, Bun E. and Robin are just so fantastic. I love their musical talents so much.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week eleven.

    13 Dic 2010, 18:24

    #13 - Ain't That A Shame

    "You made me cry when you said good-bye
    Ain't that a shame
    My tears fell like rain, ain't that a shame
    You're the one to blame

    You broke my heart when you said we'll part
    Ain't that a shame

    Ah yes, an absolute classic. Some people would say Ain't That A Shame is the epitome of Cheap Trick as a live band. Some would also say this is their best cover song. Time will tell if that's my opinion too, but for now, I'll get into my love for this song. Ain't That A Shame really does define them as a band, and when you compare it to the original by Fats Domino, you can tell how brilliant Cheap Trick really is. It's very powerful and shows off the band's impressive skills for creating a hook. I'd say, historically, this is one of the ten most important songs the band ever did, and is one of those examples of pin-pointing Cheap Trick's style. And the video attached could very well be my favorite performance from the band, if only for it's simplicity. I can't praise how wonderful they made this; it's only played in a live setting, and I love them for that.

    #14 - Down On The Bay

    "Ah, sweet little ladies are driving me crazy, I had to stick around a while
    Down on the bay, that's where I'll stay
    The clouds are gray down on the bay
    But that's my home
    I can't leave that woman alone

    Just so you know, Down On The Bay can only be found on Sex, America, Cheap Trick. It's pretty rare, therefore not enough people know about it. That's why a part of me loves this song so much BECAUSE it's so valuable. If it was a regular studio recording on a well-known album, then it could get mixed in with other awesome songs, and this thing might get lost in the shuffle. With this being a live song on a four disc anthology set, I want to hold onto this and love this more than the others. Cheap Trick became famous for being a great live band in the 70's, and this song was recorded in their prime. No matter how much I value Down On The Bay, it's still pretty damned impressive. Cheap Trick can cover any band flawlessly.

    #15 - So Good To See You

    "Ooh, it's so good to see you, I couldn't wait another day
    So good to see you

    Ooh, I hope everyone missed you
    I really want you to stay

    I love this song, but you probably already know that. Why? Well, it does contain my favorite "ooh" out of every song that has ever existed in the Cheap Trick catalogue, and yes, I consider that a huge compliment. Plus, the original version on the In Color album contains Robin Zander's most angelic vocals, for lack of a better term. It's bliss. I love the niceness. I love the simplicity. I love the phrase "so good to see you" in general. It's one of my favorite greetings to use, and I can thank a very pleasant song for that one. I love Cheap Trick!

    #16 - Give It Away

    "Better watch out who you trust and be careful what you say
    'cause you know you got too much to give it away

    Something clicked and you're kickin' today
    Something kicked in today
    Feels so good it feels just right
    Gotta find that fun everyday

    Total nonstop action. Give It Away IS absolutely perfect and totally lives up to Cheap Trick's reputation of being an awesome band. This song is aggressive, driven, and an instant classic all in one.

    #17 - When The Lights Are Out

    "When you gaze into a crystal ball, you'll see nothing's gonna change at all
    You'll see nothing's gonna happen over night, so please

    When the lights are out
    When I hear you sigh
    Let me feel your warm breath on my neck
    It makes me hit the sky

    When The Lights Are Out was the first new Cheap Trick single released during my time as a fan. I became a fan during the Rockford era, but The Latest ended up being the first upcoming Cheap Trick release for me. This song was just placed on the website by itself with no details whatsoever, which I later found out was like an Australian exclusive or whatever. So I would always listen to this song because it was a new, and awesome, Cheap Trick song that feels just like the old days. Just look at the video! It all became so clear when I learned Lights Out is a cover song. Everything was so retro, and it was my first exposure to the "Night Gallery" videos. Soon it was announced for The Latest, and I couldn't wait! This song had me excited to hear a new album, and to this day I still consider Lights Out to be my favorite Cheap Trick single of the decade. I am addicted to this song.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week ten.

    6 Dic 2010, 14:49

    #18 - I Can't Take It

    "Well I saw you today and realized how I missed my peace of mind
    I feel your breath in my ear, but late at night it's you I always think about
    That little girl inside of you I once knew
    I should have known better
    Still the smell of you was on my face, but you were too busy to notice me last night

    Now I can't take it alone
    I can't make it alone
    I can't take it, I can't make it alone, oh no

    If Robin Zander is the only person credited for writing this song, then it is his greatest contribution to the band besides the vocals, occasional songwriter, and being in the group for over 35 years. In a perfect world, this song would be a number one single, and it still bothers me how The Flame gets more attention than this masterpiece. Plus the music video is pretty entertaining, then and now. I don't understand the world sometimes.

    #19 - Transformers: The Fallen Remix

    "There's nothing you can do
    They're coming from the sky above, there's no place you can hide
    Strong enough to break the strongest heart
    We cannot stay, we're worlds apart
    Divided we will fall

    Go Autobots

    Transformers, more than meets the eye!

    Haha, there are many reasons why I love this song.

    1. First of all, because it's awesome! This is like a modern, updated hybrid of the band's best songs created for a modern audience. That in itself makes this a pretty cool song. And regardless of the source, Cheap Trick is awesome at every major project they take on. Mighty Wings in the 80's already proved how iconic of a soundtrack song the band can create, and since Transformers is an 80's franchise, who better to do the theme music than this band? I wouldn't exactly call it better than the Lion track from the first Transformers movie but it's definitely on the same level. Hearing this retro band from this retro series is fun all over again, and is strangely one of the better Cheap Trick (non-written) songs out there. I don't care where it came from, it's great.

    2. Cheap Trick outperforms every other band on that soundtrack, and that's because they're the only classic band a part of the movie. Transformers 2 represents everything now and big. Big action, big rock songs by modern bands. You could have had any popular band today on that soundtrack to be a part of that moment, and for the most part they did. Take a look at the soundtrack: see how out of place Cheap Trick really are! It's like they relied on this classic this band for an epic theme song. Is it because they wanted a quality track from a quality band? Most likely. They wanted to bridge the Transformers of old with the new film with this song. It's really really nice knowing Cheap Trick performed on an internationally successful movie and got this much attention with the process.

    3. I think this is more of a testament to how much I don't care about Transformers at all than how much I love Cheap Trick. This song is one of the few reasons why I even care about Transformers, even for a little while. I did see the first film out of curiosity, and was surprised, but it didn't make me any more than a casual fan. I passed altogether on the second film because it didn't gather my interest, AND the reviews proved how dumb the film became. That's why I don't like really Michael Bay films, he has to dumb everything down. Anybody reading this who saw the second movie can probably tell me how average or okay the movie was, but I can guarantee you one of the highlights is knowing this major movie had Cheap Trick on the soundtrack. Every time I hear song, I feel young again, and I am almost in love with the series than who performed this song. Since I'm not a Transformers fan, I pretend I am during every listen. I prefer to listen to Cheap Trick!

    #20 - Say Goodbye

    "How does it feel to be better?
    How does it feel to be on your own?
    Oh tell me why did you take the time to tell me that you came to say goodbye?

    When you think about songs like The Flame being a comeback for the band, that doesn't mean they are a reflection of Cheap Trick. The Flame definitely brought them great success and a new fanbase, but it wasn't their best song of the 1980's. They weren't really the same band at this point. Busted was more of the same, but it did sound a little MORE like Cheap Trick. Woke Up With A Monster didn't do them any favors trying to re-invent themselves (just take a look at the cover) I suppose. It took them ten years to hit a comfortable spot in their career where they weren't making mainstream hits or rehashed material. In case you aren't aware, Say Goodbye IS the crown jewel of the 90's catalogue. It's 100% perfect in every way as a comeback single. It's a breath of fresh air from a band that has been struggling to be themselves and sound completely new and fun again after 20 years of being together. Cheap Trick 1997 was a really good album in retrospect that would be the precursor to Special One and Rockford and The Latest. I mean, you could say Rockford, in particular, IS that comeback album to original awesome form, but Cheap Trick 1997 was that perfect modern return-to-greatness album the band could possibly have at that point in their careers. There are many hidden gems to be found, but really, Say Goodbye is a real surprise. The quality is unbelievable. Starting from the line "how does it feel to be better?" they guide you through an incredible piece of melody so effortlessly. It's a special little song in the band's history that doesn't get enough attention. That must be why I love it so much. This should be on every greatest hits/anthology album from now on. The music video is really nice, too. It's all just so ultimately enjoyable in every way.

    #21 - He's A Whore

    "Have you seen her face?
    She's got a face that would stop a clock
    And with that face I surely won't stop
    To look her in the eyes

    And so the story goes
    I think I'll take her for a ride
    With this moneybag by my side
    A gigolo is the only way to go

    This whole song is like one big laugh out loud moment. You've got lyrics about whores and gigolos, and then you have Robin Zander is singing "I'm a whore!" over and over. That's really all that I need to say. This song is a million times brilliant and influential.

    #22 - Time Time You Got It

    "If I knew, wish I knew
    I could have seen what I'm going through
    When I first laid my eyes on you, you blew me away

    If the times are so right, I'd feel for you every night
    It blew me away

    Ah this song is so fantastic, and features some of the greatest lyrics in the Cheap Trick universe, like my favorite quote "thought I'd lost the key to you looking for notes in the song." So good.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week nine.

    29 Nov 2010, 13:03

    #23 - Oh Candy

    "Oh Candy, why did you do it, you should've called me on the telephone
    I didn't expect for you to call but I didn't think that you were alone, so alone

    Oh Candy worked so hard at doing what he thought was right
    It really really doesn't mean a thing

    Oh Candy, why did you do it, you didn't stick a needle in your veins
    You just got so damned depressed, we all liked you, except yourself
    Oh no

    Yeah you won't be coming around no more

    Oh Candy why did you do it
    I didn't think you heard a word that I said

    Oh my goodness. First of all, I would never think I would place Oh Candy so high up as one of my absolute top favorites, but with each repeated listen it just doesn't go away. On the surface it appears to be a sensitive breakup song, but if you really knew what it's about, the song just hits you hard sometimes. Like, wow. A sensitive, catchy song about suicide. That's really why Cheap Trick were, and continue to be, brilliant. I bet this isn't one of those songs where people sing or read the lyrics without feeling affected somehow. The hits are catchy to sing along with, and tracks like these (the deep cuts) fill in the whole thing with something alternative. That first album really covered a lot of important material, lyrically. I am posting the words to the entire song to get the point across. Plus, take a look at the video to see why Oh Candy is unique, and why Cheap Trick is ever so powerful live.

    #24 - Clock Strikes Ten

    "Clock strikes ten, it's a Saturday night
    Got money in my pocket and it feels all right
    Not stayin' home, gonna stay out light
    Gotta hear some rockin' music, it feels just great
    Clock strikes twelve on a Saturday night
    All the creeps are sleepin', all the cools in sight
    All the kings and queens, they're out tonight

    Imagine what we're doin' tonight
    You really got me goin' tonight
    Imagine what we're doin' tonight
    I'm crazy for some action tonight

    Here's a fun little story. My grandparents have the Westminster chimes as their doorbell ringer. As a youngster, I would love ringing the doorbell to hear the tune because it was fun and I loved the tune. Then I became a Cheap Trick fan, heard Clock Strikes Ten, put the pieces together, and suddenly everything made sense. Cheap Trick borrowed from that same classic source. Things would never be the same. Every time I hear Clock Strikes Ten I am reminded of that intro, but it also expanded into rock and roll territory, and that's why I am fond of this song. It's the best of both worlds. As of this track in particular, they are just so great at descending down the musical scale (those initial notes after the intro) and it rocks so hard. These lyrics also describe my ideal Saturday night. When it's the weekend, this is the first song that comes to mind. It also helps that the Japanese fanbase made this a HUGE hit overseas. Therefore, this song is a beast live. Good stuff all around.

    #25 - Mandocello

    "Look at me like I look at you
    Think of me like I think of you
    Speak to me like I speak to you
    Dream of me like I dream of you

    I can hear you thinking
    You're a million thoughts away

    In every sense of the word this should be an absolute classic. When most people hear and listen and remember the enjoyable ballads and "classic rock" favorites of today, this should be among them. It's perfect and fits well into the era. Just as it says in the Authorized Greatest Hits booklet, how many hit songs feature a mandocello? Yet another reason why Cheap Trick is so unique. The bass in this song stands out too, as well as the incredible guitar solo near the end, and fits effortlessly into the atmosphere. Wow, what an atmosphere. This is easily one of the more peaceful tunes in the band's catalogue. Mandocello happens to be featured on the FIRST Cheap Trick album, and in that context has to be much more brilliant. What a way to begin a career.

    #26 - Writing On The Wall

    "In the midwest and in the east
    Canada, southwest, around the world
    L.A., Tokyo, sounds so sweet
    Come on honey, get on your feet

    Here is a band who already released three wonderful rock albums, and then proceeded to release a live album that gave their existing songs a larger than life feel. Cheap Trick became superstars overnight thanks to giving their hits a deeper feel. You would think their following album would continue this trend of raw pop/rock songs that continued the style of Budokan. Well, Dream Police wasn't a product of their days at Budokan. It was really their most experiential album up to that point. The production was more experimental and pop-flavored, neither harder edged nor simple like their other works. It's hard to explain, really. Dream Police is a classic, but it's so unlike the others of the era. It does its own thing, and it's brilliant, but deep down I wonder what their career would have been like if they made similar albums like In Color and Heaven Tonight after Budokan took off. Honestly, I see Dream Police being the precursor All Shook Up, and look how that turned out. How do you get from At Budokan to All Shook Up in two albums? That's what Dream Police marked: the end of the 70's. Most fans of music think they can pinpoint that one album in a band's career where everything went downhill, and in Cheap Trick's world you could probably say Dream Police was that last truly classic album. Say what you will if you think the band ever stopped being great, but Dream Police was fantastic.
    Haha, I forgot to mention anything about this particular song. I love how Writing On The Wall recalls that raw live setting in which the band thrives, when it's on such an experimental record and surrounded by all these elaborate pop pieces. They just had this amazing success with Budokan, and this song captures that spirit. Awesome, right? In some sense you could say it's underrated. I mean, I couldn't even find ONE Youtube video! How? Why? I don't know. Dream Police has a great wide selection of songs, and yet Writing On The Wall is their best rocker on it. Most of the songs on the album are indeed rock songs, but this one rocks harder than any of them, and it features another brilliant take on a line: "the words were oh so clear." I love the way Robin sings this. (In context to the vocal delivery,) what a wonderful lyric.

    #27 - Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

    "Yesterday feels like running away
    Feels like giving the child
    Getting lost, losing mind
    I'm feeling low and I got no place to go
    Getting all tied up, feeling all tied up

    The whole reason why I changed this entire list's eligibility to every Cheap Trick performed track is because of this song. Before I even heard the Terry Reid version, this always felt like a Cheap Trick original, and I would keep forgetting they didn't write it. Now I can't help but notice during every listen how much it does sound like a cover tune. The original IS just as good (if not better) and I recommend it to anyone who loves Cheap Trick to hear it. To clarify why I love Speak Now, it's simply because I am in love with the studio recording of this song, as I consider the live version (preferably At Budokan) to not have the same power. Yes, the live setting is always good, but I almost always go to Cheap Trick '77 when I want to hear Speak Now. The album version is "it" and should be the first place other people need to go, too. This is definitely one of the best cover tunes the band ever did. For a while, you start to believe they wrote and performed it, which is always a good sign. This fits perfectly in 1977.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week eight.

    22 Nov 2010, 15:29

    #28 - Come On, Come On

    "Ooh I'm feelin' good, oh so good
    Don't you ruin it tonight, tonight
    It's been so long since I don't know when
    Ooh treat me, treat me, treat me right

    Don't be like sheep and follow the flock
    Show me you really want to be mine

    (Come on, come on) I know you can do it
    (Come on, come on) there ain't nothing to it
    (Yeah yeah, yeah yeah) I know you believe me
    (Yeah yeah, yeah yeah) you can see the real me
    Every day, every day, I need you, I want you
    Come a little closer to my face, oh little girl
    I need you now

    Just a really enjoyable song here, obviously since In Color is the home of well-crafted pop songs. Those backup vocals of "come on, come on" and "yeah yeah, yeah yeah" are so simple and yet so efficient. I love it.

    #29 - Gonna Raise Hell

    "Ambition? Ha!
    If all I've heard is true, there's nothin' much I can do to change the world
    It's irreversible
    But in what it lacks, it's got a taste that smacks of somethin' irresistable

    Submission? Yes!
    Now I won't name names, and a secret's a secret
    But a hint's a hint or a clue
    You really wanna know, you really wanna go
    There's only two things you got to do

    Gonna raise hell, gonna raise hell, gonna raise hell
    Gonna raise hell, gonna raise hell, gonna raise hell

    Gonna Raise Hell is probably the longest studio recorded song from Cheap Trick. Is that why I love it so much? Because it's long? I have a thing where I say I don't care how short or how long a track is, as long as it gets the job done within the time allotted. This song sometimes feels long for the sake of being long, so in a way that makes this a little unique. How many times can you say Cheap Trick needs to make a song shorter? Hey, this track's great anyways. The studio version does feel a little directionless, but it's a song where each member gets their own little creative freedom to show off. Robin gets to scream, Bun E. gets to pound on the drums, Tom gets to throw in a bass line or two, and Rick just takes over from there with some nice solos. That's exactly what this song is: nice. Yes, ironic since you basically hear nothing but the line "gonna raise hell" yet the studio version feels too tame. It is not the whole story. Gonna Raise Hell THRIVES in a live setting. The accompanying video from Music For Hangovers is another case of the 'greatest thing ever' in the Cheap Trick universe. Rick, on the DVD commentary, swears the room moved that night. This quote always gets stuck in the head every time I watch the performance. This song was actually the closing track on the DVD, and I certainly got chills too the first time I saw it. This was before Youtube took over, by the way, and I saw with my own eyes how beastly the album tracks sounded live. Gonna Raise Hell is even more INCREDIBLE, and I wish I could show it to everyone I know. It's quite a jam.

    #30 - Can't Hold On

    "You've been coming, you've made it easy
    You've said just the thing
    Now I can't hold on to these words, don't mean that much to me
    Feel out in the cold, no one to turn to
    It's my sunset
    My sun's set

    Never thought it's come to this
    Now it seems the only way to do it right
    Never thought it'd come to this, just can't hold on
    Feel out in the cold, no one to turn to
    There's no way out, just can't hold on

    I've been gone, gone, gone
    Can't hold on

    Here we are at #30 and I am going to talk about a song I want to place at #1. Can't Hold On is an incredible experience, and if it wasn't for the other 29 songs, I would say this song is my favorite. Haha, anyways, that's exactly what this song is: an experience. Cheap Trick is so good at creating environments in a live setting, whether by hard rocking epics or feel-good ballads for example. What I mean by "environment" is that, from front-to-end, you cannot join this song in progress to get the whole feel to the song. You play the song from the beginning, hear it until the end, and feel the music take over you. It's amazing how ON FIRE Rick is throughout, and I hear Tom's bass is pretty powerful, but I just love how "into it" Robin gets. His vocal expressions and visual emotions are always something to behold. Actually, except for the In Color 1998 version, they've only played this song in a live setting, so most likely if you hear this song it's a really good live version.
    I do have one little thing to say though. Why did it take upwards of 15-20 years for the complete Budokan performance to be released? I understand they wanted to make the original At Budokan disc to be as simple as possible and right to the point. Giving away the entire full-length concert would have been overkill in gathering new Cheap Trick fans. I guess it was too much of a good thing at the time, eh? I suppose that's why the 10-song At Budokan is perfect the way it is. However, I really love (as a beloved Cheap Trick fan) how "The Complete Concert" fills in the missing gaps, gives us (the fans) access to the ENTIRE concert of Cheap Trick's most popular performances, and revisits a historic concert for the first time for a new generation. Here I am sitting over 30 years when the entire concert was just released on video, and I consider Can't Hold On to be one of the more essential Cheap Trick songs ever. I don't think I could have gone on 30 years without seeing them perform this with my own eyes. In retrospect I like how this song was released on Found All The Parts, but I think it's a little absurd how it took so long for the entire concert to be released in its proper setting, and also how long it took for the concert to be released on video. Thank goodness for Youtube, giving us MORE performances of Can't Hold On. I think by now it's become a little more well-known and popular enough to be a beloved tune for many. It has to be. How can you not like a song such as Can't Hold On? Listen to it and embrace it. The song's wonderful.

    #31 - Violins

    "I saw your crying, I caught you lying
    I know you cheated, inside you're laughing

    You got me running, you got me hiding
    No sympathy for your symphony of lying

    Violins, they'll be playing on your grave
    They'll be playing

    From Sex, America, Cheap Trick:

    "Well, we had to do between 2 and 5 sets per night, soooo Violins has a tape at the end of my father's church choir singing Stabat Mater by Dvorak" - Rick Nielsen

    My attraction probably comes from the fact this song is so rare and so obscure. Some might call this song the oddball of the Cheap Trick library. It is unlike ANY other Cheap Trick song (seriously) with the attitude and delivery and musical structure. It has classical influences, degrading lyrics, and a KILLER drum technique by Bun E. Carlos. Robin does his job perfectly (like my favorite line "no sympathy for your symphony of lying") and Bun E. takes you home. It can be intimidating to see how different and 'out there' this band tries to be. Ah, if only this song was recorded in a studio somewhere. Violins is oddly brilliant. That little section at the end of Eight Miles High (from Cheap Trick '97) is all we have.

    #32 - Too Much

    "Don't wanna see you my friend
    You've taken a little too much
    Maybe it's my fault, okay
    You've taken away too much

    I couldn't be you my friend
    'Cause none of your riches mean much
    I couldn't stand to pretend
    You're makin' a lie of our love
    My love, come on, come on
    You're takin' a little too much, too much

    Haha, I can thank a very good person for turning me onto this great tune. For that, I am eternally grateful and I wish I could thank her in person.
    Anyways, Too Much is a forgotten tune, even though it came out seven years ago and has too much (lol) of a modern sound. How? This was on Special One... Special One came was three albums ago. It can't be forgotten. Well, I consider (once you factor in the average person's perception of good Cheap Trick tunes) that most people will never get to hear this. That's kind of a shame, and I hate to bring this up so much, but there is a huge section in Cheap Trick's library full of underrated classics and hidden gems. A song like Too Much could easily match up with their most popular tunes. I am a pretty big Cheap Trick fan, and it took me forever to forever to even find a song like Too Much. It would have happened eventually, but I was in the right place and was encouraged by someone special to hear it. Ah yes, the power of music and good friendships. Totally wonderful feeling to have.
    It's a little hard to explain why it took me forever to hear albums like Special One. For the longest time, I was primarily focused on ANYTHING 70's, with a fair amount amount of tunes from the 80's, virtually nothing from the 90's, and only cared about stuff from Rockford and now onto The Latest. So there was a 20+ year span that I wasn't ready for because I was afraid that material wouldn't be as good as the songs I already love. I just had no effort whatsoever to go deeper into the catalogue to see what I could find. Luckily, I was guided in the right direction mostly because of this song, and this track really surprised me. You can tell from how much I'm praising and almost talking nonstop about how much people need to hear this. If the common Cheap Trick fan will only hear a handful of songs in their lifetime (and nevertheless love them as well) why not include a song like this into the conversation?
    In 2003 this was the best Cheap Trick song from Special One, like The Flame from Lap Of Luxury and Tonight It's You from Standing On The Edge. So why isn't this more popular? Who knows. It's brilliant nevertheless.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week seven.

    15 Nov 2010, 16:48

    #33 - Every Night And Every Day

    "I could be waiting for an hour, I could be waiting half a day
    I really need you more than want you, but you really know that anyway
    Some days I love you more than others, yeah
    Some others I just want a day

    Every night I can play it
    Every day I can say it
    Oh, if I cry I won't delay it
    Every night and every day

    You know, one time when I was asked about my favorite track from Rockford, the first answer I blurt out without thinking is Every Night And Every Day. Why? Even I don't know. There's something about this song that just begs me to love it more than any other from the album. Whether or not it's my absolute favorite from Rockford, time will tell via the rest of my list, but for now I will definitely rank it up there with their best tunes of the decade. Perfect lyrics, perfect tempo, perfect harmonies. Everything about this song just works and everything completely flows together.

    #34 - The House Is Rockin'
    (With Domestic Problems)

    "Can't find the words 'cause they're so damned tough
    Actin' like fools that can't get enough troubles, yeah
    I can't explain what I can't see

    The title sums it all up for me. This song rocks so hard. It's loud, it's fun, it's Cheap Trick.

    #35 - Southern Girls

    "I’ve been up, I’ve been down, I’ve been weak, I’ve been strong
    But I never met someone like you
    And you’ll never run away when you find why I wanted to find you
    You say hump and I’ll jump, you say go and I’ll know
    Waste no time getting so close to you
    All you southern girls got a way with your words and you show it

    Ooh baby need some brand new shoes
    Get out on the street, you got nothing to lose
    You rock me and you're crazy and everyone says it, yeah yeah
    Southern girls, you got nothing to lose

    Southern Girls, from In Color. There is something about this song that made me rank it so much higher for some reason. You have to understand that I either keep raising a song or keep lowering a song, yet Southern Girls remained where it's at. Maybe it's the ridiculously catchy chorus? Or maybe it's the fantastic piano work? Or maybe the musicianship amidst the whole thing? This is Cheap Trick during their prime years, so they couldn't go wrong. It's been pretty well known that In Color (from 1978) sounds like it was recorded in a cardboard box. I tend to like this album's production; first because it's a nice thing to have, and secondly because the live material sounds much more fulfilling. Southern Girls happens to be this amazing song in between nine other amazing songs. So, yeah, this song is great.

    #36 - Perfect Stranger

    "I woke up kinda sick
    The air is getting kind of thick and I’m tired of everyone
    Like a book on a rainy day, I’m the one left off the page
    Well it’s too much time in the sun

    Have you ever wanted to try when everything’s going right by?

    Don’t need another perfect stranger driving me insane
    Constantly saying it's time for you to change
    I don’t need another perfect stranger to shout out frome the sky
    Explaining the reasons, the meaning of my life

    Let me take you back in time, to 2006(?) as I try to remember my history with this song. I was slowly becoming a Cheap Trick fan through their most popular hits of the 1970's, without any knowledge whatsoever on their work during the new millennium. I probably knew they were still around but it didn't matter. During one of my phases of staying up late and watching late-night talk shows on TV, I see them on a special 'live from Chicago' week to great enthusiasm, and they performed this song to a nice ovation. That made me feel good about this group. And that's how I became a fan of Cheap Trick. They were still making good music when I was in love with their work from decades prior. And by that fact, I thought this song should have been more popular. Now that I'm a fan of the band's ENTIRE catalogue, I find Perfect Stranger to be vastly underrated. How? This was THE leadoff single from Rockford. It's the perfect Cheap Trick song for airplay. In retrospect I guess I was getting ahead of myself thinking Perfect Stranger would revitalize Cheap Trick's glory days of mega popular songs, but this definitely seems to be forgotten sometimes. Then again it happens to be the first single released during my time as a Cheap Trick fan, so I love this song. It has a special place to me unlike any other.

    #37 - I Know What I Want

    "I know you feel it, there's no doubt about it
    It's gettin' stronger every day
    It's a one in a million, I was shootin' for the stars
    You're the world's greatest lover and you're mine

    Also known as Tom's moment to shine on vocals. I simply believe if Mr. Tom Peterrson didn't do the vocals to I Know What I Want, then this one could get lost somewhere and wouldn't be so significant or unique. I think a Robin version is floating out there someplace but I'm not talking about that one. No matter what, this is a strong tune. This version has nice lyrics, nice solos, a nice outro... and you get a song that doesn't feature Robin on lead vocals. How many times does one get to say that? I mean, what more could you ask for in such a simple song? They only did it one time on record with Tom doing the forefront vocal duty. I tend to like it because of that uniqueness. It's a special thing on Dream Police.

    #38 - Everyday You Make Me Crazy

    "It’s your choice, time it right
    Kiss comes first, feels so right
    In this life, in my world
    You amaze me

    Everyday you make me crazy

    Fun fact: this song was originally created as a Pepsi jingle. Wow, good thing the commercialized version didn't get far because this song is a million times more meaningful with these reworked lyrics. I am so in love with the simple phrase of "you amaze me" and the title of Everyday You Make Me Crazy. When it's over, I play it again. Simple as that. This is definitely one of the most powerful "short songs" in the band's career. The band is UNSTOPPABLE at creating a fast-paced hard-rock tune. I really can't get enough.
    (Please, no more Pepsi references.)

    #39 - Welcome To The World

    "Welcome to this world, it's a brand new day
    Welcome to my world, it's a better place
    Welcome to the world hoping you can stay
    You can change the place color anyway

    If you pick apart what I said about One More, you'll find a bit about creating modern day classics with an old feel. Welcome To The World is the epitome of a fresh, retro-feel song created for a new generation. It's a perfect introductory song for an album that matches up there with anything from the late-70's. Just picking apart the lyrics makes you wonder how good the band was feeling when they recorded this. The glorious words of "welcome to the world, it's a brand new day" must have been a special event to inspire such a song. And is it just me, or does this song give off a Christmas vibe? For some strange reason, I think if you re-tweak the lyrics a little, it would be a perfect holiday tune. It must be from a lot of rock bands having similar styles during holiday-themed tunes. Oh well, either way, Welcome To The World is a fantastic way to start up Rockford!

    #40 - Oh Claire

    "Whoa, ohhhhh

    Haha, this song doesn't even last a minute, yet I consider this one of the better live cuts the band ever did. Of course, I do have to point out Oh Claire is indeed criminally short. This isn't a mindless jam that goes nowhere; it actually has a significant meaning. I guess I'm saying: WHAT A WONDERFUL TUNE! That riff. Oh boy, what a guitar sample. Even Rick, on the Music For Hangovers DVD commentary describes Oh Claire as "that riff." There is so much positive energy from the band, especially Mr. Bun E. Carlos who is pretty incredible all throughout the entire Heaven Tonight record. This may be a live cut but it still counts as a Heaven Tonight tune. This one piece of brilliance can also close a wonderful album like Heaven Tonight, and it can open concerts to high energy and excitement. That one minute is so amazing. Ah, what a jam.

    #41 - One More

    "All I need is one more day, one more hour, one more way
    I'll be in sunshine and here I'm gonna lay
    Please let me stay
    I'm askin' one more time, just one more day

    All I hear is no no no, one more hour and then I'll go
    Deep inside you'll never find me again, find me again
    I'm never comin' back, comin' back again

    These guys are just unbelievable at creating the perfect pop hook. This chorus is ridiculous. The rest of the song (you know, the verses) are fine and dandy, but the main chorus of this song is what I love about Cheap Trick. The solo break is pretty unreal too alongside the cleverly crafted lyrics because they are truly amazing at arranging these catchy tunes. I consider the chorus to be part of the definitive Cheap Trick sound for the new millennium. They redefined themselves musically with songs like One More. I'm talking about pop hooks, not deep meaningful lyrics or modern absolute-perfect classics. This whole album is really the greatest collection of Cheap Trick songs since the Dream Police days. As a fan I would add Next Position Please and Cheap Trick '77 to the discussion, but seriously, Dream Police was that last perfect album, and Rockford is on that level. AMG ( said it best: it's better to finally get a very, very good Cheap Trick record some 27 years after the last good one, instead of not getting one at all. I like having these guys around at the top of their game. It's nice being a fan of a classic group that's still around creating unreal rock songs.

    #42 - Just Got Back

    "Well I just got back
    Been gone too long
    Wasn't my idea, didn't pull the trigger
    Oh, but I'm just so glad
    I'm just so glad to be back home, yeah

    Just Got Back is definitely one of the top highlights from the under-appreciated All Shook Up album. Let's pick out the best moments:

    -This song is at a mere two minutes, much like other great Cheap Trick offerings that get the job done in such a short amount of time. Just Got Back isn't 100% perfect but within those two minutes it's definitely a lot of fun. Any longer and it wouldn't have the same impact.

    -Robin and Bun E. thrive here together. Robin's "I'm just so glaaaddd" and Bun E.'s constant, pounding drums throughout work so well. You really get the sense of being back home (obviously) with the lyrics.

    -Especially in a live setting, this song is a lot of fun. They break the boundaries of the studio recording to a new level. It may not be my favorite Cheap Trick song, and it may not be one of the better Cheap Trick songs that have ever existed but I would group this amongst their best short songs. I consider that a compliment since they have way too many good songs that seem to be finishing right when they get started.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week six.

    8 Nov 2010, 16:06

    #43 - Voices

    "Hey, it's me again
    I'm so in love with you again
    Please, can I see you every day?

    Ah yes, the "slow" song on Dream Police, and what is probably their most popular ballad of all time. I'm not really sure if I know how popular this song is amongst common classic rock fans, or how popular it should be today. If you hear it, you could claim it to be an essential song of the late-70's. I certainly agree. This song is on quite a lot of their greatest hits, the music video was from the most popular era of the band, and I'm one to think it's a song that anyone could love. I think Voices for the most part; you should have seen the look on my face when I was listening to The Beatles' You Never Give Me Your Money (on Abbey Road) and realized Cheap Trick borrowed the exact same guitar work throughout parts of this song! I first thought "wow, how unoriginal" because now I'm going to say Cheap Trick isn't perfect. Yes, it's identical to the Beatles, but in the context of the song it's 100% perfect. Everyone knows how much of an influence The Beatles have on popular music, so everybody in the music world pretty much borrowed something from them anyways. Cheap Trick (or perhaps just Rick) is known to be Beatles fans and has been compared them too many times to count. I'll definitely be reminded of Cheap Trick when I hear Abbey Road, and I'll always have that in mind when I hear Voices from now on. I mostly can't complain because the guys are brilliant with what they do with their influences.

    #44 - Dream The Night Away

    "How can I help but hate the way I feel?
    Make sense of memories that won't make them real?

    More continued praise for Rockford: feel good lyrics, fantastic song on an even greater album, and a perfectly simple and brilliant guitar solo. Been there done that, and this happens to be one of the better ones.

    #45 - A Place In France

    "Your mama won't let you out tonight
    Your mama won't let you out of sight
    Mama won't let you rock and roll
    Mama won't let you 'cause she's got control

    She can't change if she wanted to
    She'll be the same at 72
    All I care about is me and you
    So let's do it!

    In short, A Place In France is incredible, but most people don't know about it. It's almost criminal that this is so forgotten and unknown. I, as a Cheap Trick fan, didn't discover this track until last year when I bought the Sex, America, Cheap Trick set, and even then it's a four-disc set, so only the converted and dedicated fan would be interested. There were a fair share of tracks I loved from SACT, mostly live songs, but this (on the 4th disc!) was such a gem. Just imagine how many fans there are in the world who have never heard this song! How did this never get released until 1996? A Place In France, to me, feels like the origin of Cheap Trick's style between 1997 and now. You can hear it in the delivery that "this" type of song would be a turning point in the band's work. In my opinion, A Place In France is 80% awesome, with 20% needing more work; yet all of it grouped together is still pretty impressive. I know this is an outtake but I always didn't care to remember the year it was made, and I liked knowing that. Sometimes I considered this a brand new song created before the CD release. Well, earlier this morning I believe, I was looking up the Standing On The Edge album credits, and underneath the track listing I saw "A Place In France" as an outtake. THIS WAS CREATED IN 1985? Wow. No wonder it's a hidden highlight. It sounds like it could have been made today, you know, except with Robin's matured voice. SOTE should have had more songs like these with better production if this was in their arsenal! The song, known as an "unreleased track" is unbelievably good, and with a little polish, could have been an instant classic in the Cheap Trick universe, alongside their more popular rock & roll tunes. It should have been up there with the best. Dare I say, this is the most impressive outtake in the band's career? And seriously, if my life depended on the question "what is your favorite guitar solo from any Cheap Trick song?" it would be the solo found here. It is insanely brilliant. Oh. My. Goodness. Most of the reasons to hear A Place In France is to get to that one moment where you build to the solo. Well, the moment the song hits, you're waiting for that solo. Oh, and every single person on this track is so inspired and amazing all at once. It's mind-blowing. How many reasons do I need to admit this band is amazing? I just wish more people besides me knew about it, so my goal is to spread the word every chance I get.

    #46 - Tonight It's You

    "Time's not sleeping and time won't lose
    You can't win 'cause time can't lose
    So stop what you're doin', start on something new
    Don't be hypnotized, don't start thinkin' with your eyes

    I don't know why you mean that much to me
    You don't know what it feels like lovin' you
    We all know a change is good for you
    That's all right, gotta do what you gotta do anyway

    All I want is a place in your heart to fall into
    All I need is someone to love
    And tonight it's you

    Alright, a few notes on Tonight It's You:

    -Many people claim that this is Robin's greatest performance as a singer. This isn't a list of greatest vocal performances, but I could very well agree that this is one of his unbelievably long list of highlights. I really like that every time he sings (mostly in the chorus) HE NEVER STOPS SINGING SO INCREDIBLY. That always-present chorus is so addicting, and it's because Robin Zander is a fantastic vocalist. Yeah, there's a band behind him, but to acknowledge it just one time: it's 100% Robin to me on this track. That guitar sound, the drum work, even the bass... but the vocals are the reason I keep coming back.

    -Tonight It's You was on Standing On The Edge. Without this song, the album would have been nothing. I mean, yes, there are other underrated tracks I seem to love from the album, but Tonight It's You was the ANCHOR of Standing On The Edge. It carried that album's success, or whatever success the album received. I don't know how much it sold. It's the top reason why anyone should even listen to the mid-80's era of original Cheap Trick tunes. You'll get to hear nice little tracks like Little Sister and Love Comes, but this one song should be "it" to get you hooked.

    -Again, without a huge hit like Tonight It's You, I wonder where the band would have been. The Flame was a few years away, and The Doctor didn't do them a whole lot of favors. This song hit at the right time and was another big single for the group. Plus, Standing On The Edge is such an underrated record sometimes; this is definitely the standout track.

    #47 - On Top Of The World

    "She was young, she was dark, she was fair
    Wrapped herself around you with her stare
    You'd explode if she would touch you there

    The title of the song says it all: "on top of the world." By that account it has to be enjoyable, and it is, with an interesting progression/story to the song. Most people who are familiar with On Top Of The World probably love having Robin sing to them the line "you're on top of the world and you can't get any higher" over and over, as if to inspire them on their daily lives. I know I've felt the same way many times. The following is one of those little moments about Cheap Trick that I love, but I can't get enough of Robin's gruff delivery of "Tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight" near the end. Really sticks with me every time. The pianos really add another nice dimention too, and the fade out vocals ("can you see me?") really are fantastic. Ah, so many things I like about this song, I don't know which part is the best! And I am again in love with their take on the song live!

    #48 - California Girl

    "She looks that way all jacked up tight
    Bitin' her lips, shakin' her hips

    She's a California girl
    She's a California girl
    She's a bad little girl and I know I'm gonna make her mine

    Familiar title, familiar style, completely different atmosphere. They sound so much like the old days while staying totally fresh! Cheap Trick just sounds so inspired here, because California Girl is a must-hear hard-rocking tune from The Latest. So much positive energy in this song, and is an instant classic for the Cheap Trick universe.

    #49 - Fan Club

    (Or if that version doesn't tickle your fancy,
    try the performance I fell in love with, which is right here!)

    "Pretty pictures of the queens themselves
    You had my 8x10 on your shelf
    You sold me cheap and I cried for help

    Fan Club is a song written by Cheap Trick, dedicated to their fans. It was never on their proper albums, it was never included on one of their live albums, but they did perform it once in a rare while. Eventually they did release it many years later so at least it finally got more recognition. From what I know, Fan Club (the Sex, America, Cheap Trick version) is a studio recording. I always thought it was a live recording since it follows a lot of other live tracks on the CD. Anyways, the SACT recording is "it" for Fan Club as the version I know and love. There's an In Color 1998 re-recording, but for some reason, it doesn't work as well for me, and any other live versions are alright but not quite there that would make me highly fond of this song. I think if the 1998 version was my first exposure to the song I wouldn't cherish it as much as I do now. I don't know why, I just really value this version and this atmosphere in general. Sometimes it's bliss with its calmer matter and nostalgic lyrics. It's almost a unique anthem for the band solely meant for all the special people to say "thanks" to. It's certainly different from different CT songs in that aspect, and because it's the only song created just to thank the fanbase: it's pretty cool to hear.

    #50 - Downed

    "I'm gonna live on a mountain way down under in Australia
    It's either that or suicide
    It's such a strange strain on you

    Especially when I'm talking about the In Color version, it is sooooo enjoyable and calming. This thought popped in my head once I was going to write my thoughts of this tune: it's one of those songs where you feel like they're singing directly to you and you're right there paying attention to every word they say and taking it all in. I'm always mesmerized by the lyrics. I tend to quote Downed a lot in my life. The whole experience is perfect.

    #51 - Taxman, Mr. Thief

    "You work hard, you make money
    There ain't no one in this world who can stop you
    You work hard, you went hungry
    Now the taxman is out to get you

    You worked hard, and you slaved and slaved for years
    Break your back, sweat a lot
    Well, it's just not fair

    In all honesty, I think Taxman Mr. Thief was the single biggest surprise of this entire list. I originally envisioned this (without ranking first) to be much lower, and couldn't stop building this up higher and higher! In time, I brought the track down a little, but I must love this track so much to not want throw it down any lower. It may not be in the top half anymore, but I like that about my list. I'm discovering which tracks I thought I loved and became set aside in relation to others, and I'm discovering underrated tracks to be much better than I expected. Except for one or two of those little references to a certain band called "The Beatles" it's a completely original Cheap Trick number, and a wonderful one at that. They totally borrow from Beatles culture here without ripping them off. The accompanying video really helped my love for this song.

    #52 - Mighty Wings

    (Another reason why Mighty Wings is timeless: this right here!)

    "There's a raging fire in my heart tonight
    Growing higher and higher in my soul
    There's a raging fire in the sky tonight
    I wanna ride on the silverdome, far into the night

    Sometimes I just cannot believe this is the same band. When you consider stuff like The Flame and If You Want My Love, they really covered a lot of bases in the 80's, and the name "Cheap Trick" really popped up a lot ever since At Budokan made them a household name. I just cannot believe my favorite band performed on this iconic, popular synth-heavy track from a major movie. It seems surreal. This is even one of the most popular true-to-the-80's tunes for nostalgia freaks, and I have no problem with that since it's perfect for its time. I don't really mind if Mighty Wings leads to loving Cheap Trick since it's a fun listen. And it includes the immortal line "take me home to miiiiiiiighty wings tooooooooooonnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!" Awesome.
  • Cheap Trick 100, week five.

    1 Nov 2010, 17:42

    #53 - Time Will Let You Know

    "Please let this be love
    A love that is so true

    It's all up to me
    It's all up to you
    Time will let you know

    Wow. Just wow. I almost wish I could sum up the performance in one word, but I can't. Alright, I suppose I'll start from the beginning. I really thought I hit a point where I discovered everything possible on Cheap Trick's main catalogue aside from the standard album tracks. That includes all the bonus material and the few songs that were on At Budokan and such; as for official releases in the CT world, I thought it was everything. I own the Budokan releases, and the Music For Hangovers DVD which doesn't have anything new, so I thought I had to dig deeper to hear a Cheap Trick song that didn't exist. Funny enough, I DON'T own a major DVD like Silver, and it has Time Will Let You Know!!! I never ever payed attention to the track listing, haha. I saw a CD version in store one time but didn't make the purchase because I wanted to see the thing live. Never did until Youtube came around. How I never heard this song before is weird, because it's incredible. If anyone has ever wondered why Cheap Trick is special, try and see for yourself with this performance. I can honestly say: never before in my life has a Cheap Trick performance given me goosebumps. Everything about this one concert was perfect, and Time Will Let You Know was an absolute delight. First of all, it's a Robin Zander original from his solo album. Cheap Trick performed it during the 25th anniversary concert, therefore it can be called a Cheap Trick song in this case. Secondly, Robin's own DAUGHTER accompanies him for the duet and she's wonderful! Then we have Daxx on drums long before permanently subbing on tour this year with Bun. E on percussion behind him, Rick and his 100% perfectly chilling solo, multiple acoustics, a choir, an orchestra, Tom f'n Peterson, and what feels like half the city celebrating a quarter century of this beloved band. It's mesmerizing, incredible, it's jaw-dropping, it's every single synonym to the words "amazing" and "meaningful." If I ranked this on emotion, it would definitely be there at the top.

    #54 - High Roller

    "I'm in the mood for love
    You're all I'm thinking of
    I'll make you feel alright when we're alone

    I can really swing
    The best of everything
    And I want to have a thing with you

    Catchy as usual, and from Heaven Tonight. That's pretty much all I have to say. If I mentioned and praised anything from Heaven Tonight, all the praise can go towards this song as well!

    #55 - These Days

    "I was blind, now I can see
    Your love shines all around me
    All I want is to be here with you
    This is what I was made for

    The production for These Days (and The Latest in general) is BRILLIANT, everything the band does is great, but there was one thing I must have forgot. I can't believe how short the song is! It must have made a lasting impression then, because it's quite easy to get addicted to the hook of this track. That mesmerizing guitar line is all I have to say.

    #56 - On The Radio

    "Hey Mister on the radio, you're really my best friend
    Please play my favorite song for me

    It's on the radio, I love the music on the radio

    It's amazing how a song that writes itself is a part of an amazing album. Just take a look to the words of On The Radio and see how simple they are. It's brilliant. There is never a dull moment in the song either as something always has you entertained and/or singing along. Can't forget the "go for it, go nuts, go completely WILD!" part, haha. This song is a good time and is oh so excellent.

    #57 - I'll Be With You Tonight

    "Tonight will be the first night that I've been in love with you
    You get me so excited, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do
    Tomorrow you won't be here and I don't expect you to
    Tonight is all I really want, I really want from you

    Haha, at long last a track from Dream Police! This should also contribute to the theory of Dream Police featuring the highest ratio/percentage of my favorite songs in the Cheap Trick library. Honestly I could have waited a little while longer until I mentioned I'll Be With You Tonight, but I was reasonable and this is a good time. The song is pretty much straightforward with a great section of melody starting with the line "tonight will be the first night that I've been in love with you." Just awesome. The Dream Police album has its share of underrated classics; I think this is the least appreciated tune on it. That statement is pretty phenomenal in its own right consider how amazing DP really is. Once again, the live version adds a fresh twist to an already great song.

    #58 - Heaven Tonight

    "Would you like to go to heaven tonight?"

    I think now I'm starting to "feel it" by posting quality songs that seem like they should be ranked higher. It's amazing how almost 60 songs are above this one. Listen to this song: it's dark, it's mystical, it's haunting, it's classical. It's unlike any other song Cheap Trick has done, and it's special, but I suppose I have to post it sometime just as I've already posted something significant like The Flame. I've probably mentioned before how this is my top 100 Cheap Trick songs and how #100 (for example) is my 100th top favorite track. In the case of this list 100 doesn't equal low-quality, there are simply 99 tracks I prefer. So I love #58 and listen to it as much as #1, yet they still have to be ranked somehow. We're not even halfway through the list either. You better believe it: I still have a long way to go!

    #59 - All Those Years

    "You know I feel the deep blue?
    You won't hear me cry, see me die
    What am I going to do?
    I can see your face everytime

    Anytime you want I'm here for you
    Now my heart cries

    All those years
    It's a lonely lonely night
    A lonely, lonely, lonely night

    Right from the start
    I gave you my heart

    Here is an excellent track from Rockford with the idea of reminiscing in mind. A phrase like "all those years" and looking back in general has unlimited territory, so along with the arrangements, everything comes together nicely. I love how Rick's solos always fit the mood of a particular song too; it's refined without being too extreme. Without getting into detail about the lyrics, the bridge/solo really is my favorite part of the song, along with the intense guitar work for such a soft song. Tom's voice even gets in on the action; that's always fun to hear.

    #60 - Stiff Competition

    "I looked hard in your eyes
    It was love at first sight
    It took me minutes
    You're still waiting
    Waiting for your turn
    Your turn, it won't be long

    Stiff Competition is driven by a lot of things. Firstly, that riff. No explanation necessary. Same goes to the percussion of Bun E. Carlos. Secondly, this is a great Cheap Trick mix of balancing different styles into one song. Robin's really great here because of it, screaming and singing with varied ranges, from the acoustic section ("I looked hard in your eyes, it was love at first sight") to just yelling with the best of his ability ("stiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeefffff competitionnnnah"). Robin Zander singing "allllllllllllllllllllll riiiiiight" is simply too awesome for words. Really great tune from Heaven Tonight.

    #61 - If It Takes A Lifetime

    "Get closer, closer to me
    Got stories I can't speak
    Got secrets I can't keep
    Can't hide what you're doing to me

    All I wanna do is just be with you
    If it takes a lifetime, I'll wait for you

    My favorite part is the line "all I want to do is just be with you, if it takes a lifetime." Lyrics such as these make me value the words just as much as the musicianship. As a matter of fact, Rockford could be my favorite collection of quotable lyrics from the band. Really, I feel like I cannot praise the album enough.

    #62 - The Flame

    "I'm going crazy, I'm losing sleep
    I'm in too far, I'm in way too deep over you
    I can't believe you're gone
    You were the first, you'll be the last

    Wherever you go, I'll be with you
    Whatever you want, I'll give it to you
    Whenever you need someone to lay your heart and head upon
    Remember, after the fire, after all the rain
    I will be the flame

    1. If someone asked you to pick a general overview of your top ten favorite songs for a band like Cheap Trick (and with material spanning over 30 years) the first thing you would try to do is cover as many bases as possible. I obviously included this song because it is basically the only major pick worthy of mention from Lap Of Luxury, and (for better or for worse) is their most popular song of the 1980's. If you expand that list to 100, anything is possible. You start to realize how quickly good songs such as these get pushed down in favor of more well-liked songs. That's why The Flame is being posted right now. It was worthy of a mention when you're doing only ten songs, but I just cannot see it being ranked any higher. It could have been higher, it could even be lower, but I just want to get it over with and do it here.

    2. The Flame is being included on this list right here and now because I am incredibly polarized on my opinion for this song. Honestly, The Flame really seems to bore me sometimes, while being fairly enjoyable during other listens. I just have no straightforward opinion on this song. Actually, to be candid, The Flame is not that horrible of a song. I cannot think of a single negative aspect whatsoever. It is 100% absolutely positively the perfect song for radio and video airplay. Cheap Trick happened to perform it, that's all. Almost selfishly, I don't like this being tagged as the only #1 song in the band's career here in America. It's not worthy of that honor when you consider the amazing singles that were released in the previous decade. The Flame could be the number one pick on a list of CT songs that can be isolated from the rest of the library because it is far and away not representative of the group at all. It wasn't popular only because it was good, but it was popular because this amazing group of musicians performed on the particular track. Robin can sing like no one else and Rick can play guitar with fantastic results, so this "formula" was the one that created a number one song. I can understand if the band may or may not like The Flame after all these years, but it is still one of the three or four most recognized songs the band ever did. Especially in a live setting, you just have to get it out of the way for that particular audience and move on. I've discovered live versions of The Flame to be better in quality, but Cheap Trick is a live band so there's no surprise really. No need for me to sound like a broken record again!

    3. Yes, I understand this continued to keep the band's career for another decade and would be included on every single "rock ballads" compilation imaginable for years to come. Without a song like The Flame, Lap Of Luxury would have been almost meaningless, and we almost had the band not make it through the 1990's. I actually think they would have never stopped performing and making albums like they've done throughout their entire career, but without a huge single like The Flame, I wonder what would become of them in the late-1980's or early 1990's. So, important song. I like it. I just don't know how much.