Monday, May 22, 2006

Cheap Trick

In addition to Heart, I've been listening to a lot of surf music and Cheap Trick lately. They really are the great missing link between great power pop, proto-punk, and arena ready music. Their lyrics are off kilter and slightly subversive and they combine great musicianship with tight song writing and a great theatrical presentation; two oddballs with two blow-dried pretty boys.

From 1977's "Cheap Trick" through 1983's "Next Position Please" they released 8 dang near perfect albums. From the unfiltered roar of their debut, to the almost too clean "In Color" and "Heaven Tonight", followed by the utterly triumphant "At Budokan", the insane maxed out production of "Dream Police" and "All Shook Up" and finally the slow return to earth and hints of being mere humans with "One on One" and finally "Next Position Please", they just cranked out some of the most inspired and often goofy music of my youth.

After that they had some big and crappy hits (ie - "The Flame") and put out a bunch of unlistenable albums. They finally returned to form in 1997 with another "Cheap Trick" and a series of shows that culminated with their 25th anniversary (with a mega show in their hometown of Rockford, Illinois recorded as the album "Silver").

A fun band with more great albums than most other bands I can think of and great showmen. I wish there was a place for their sort of music in this day and age of crappy hip hop and sludge metal and awful American Idol style pop but there doesn't seem to be anymore.

No comments: