Welcome Cheap Trick Fans! I've spent the last 5 weeks ranking every single Cheap Trick song along with essays, comments and links to audio/video. I've lost all my friends and my family won't talk to me, but I think you will agree it was worth it. Click here to view "My Obsession, The Complete Ranking of All Cheap Trick Songs 2010" -Colin
(first published 2003-revised July 2010)
So what kind of freak ranks every Cheap Trick song? I guess that is me. I am all too aware that once this list is published, I will get my balls "Busted" mercilessly. I realize that some of you may think that you are a bigger Cheap Trick fan than I because you dress up like Rick or have slept with Robin more times than I have seen the band (39 times), but you would be mistaken. My friend Joe and I were so determined to be like CT that we started a band (Watershed) in 8th grade and eventually got signed to Epic Records. (And dropped I might add.) Can you top that?
The List is for the enjoyment of all Cheap Trick and non-stupid rock n roll fans across the globe. These scientifically derived rankings are based on irrefutable facts and my personal opinion. I include some b-sides, but by and large I concentrate on full-length studio recordings.
Please don't bother sending hostile e-mails wondering where "Loser" or "You Want It" is. The beer is half full, not empty, my friends.
My Obsession was written from a place of love and moderate mental illness. Cheap Trick is my favorite band not only because they look and sound great, but because they are survivors. My favorite band was playing then and they are playing now. I have never known a world without Cheap Trick. They could have stopped, but they didn't. They played because they had to. For literal and emotional reasons. They have been a gift to me and to music fans worldwide. Like anything you truly love, it is hard not to take them for granted. Let the others have the Beatles, Stones, U2 or whoever, they are all worthy bands, I will take Cheap Trick, they have heart, and in the end, that is what makes them my heroes.
Enough of my yappin'. Let's Boogie!
1. I Want You To Want Me [In Color]
Arguably, the definitive pop song of all time. If Hemingway could write one song, this would have been it. The perfect sentence set to music.
Isn't it odd that the highly paid executives at Epic Records couldn't identify this as a hit song? It was dumb luck that "I Want U" even found its way back across the Pacific Ocean to the American charts. This song was demo'd for the debut Cheap Trick album, but didn't make the cut until appearing on "In Color". After lackluster sales, Epic complained that the band didn't have a single. This would be similar to a baseball manager complaining that his team had no pitching while using Roger Clemens as a bullpen catcher.
2. Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace [self-titled - 1977]
When I first did this list I had "Speak" ranked #8, but over the years I've noticed I CANNOT stop listening to the live version. I know they didn't write this song (T Reid did, and his version is cool too-also he was rumored to be the first vocal choice for Led Zep) which makes for an awkward #2, but my gut says that Cheap Trick covered this on their first record because it sort of sums up what they do so well in one tight package. Tom's massive 12 string bass gets things started and the song just sort of makes you want to break things while it breaks your heart. It's sounds beautiful, has no discernable chorus and is just flat out strange. I'm pretty sure ONLY Cheap Trick could play this song and make it look so easy anyway..
The live version of this on both the official Budokon DVD release and the 1992 Bootleg from Japan are outstanding. Tom's 12 string bass is noise straight from the heavens. I only own the 1992 show on VHS but it is pro shot with a great set list and even backstage interviews. I love hearing all the "Sconsin'" accents floating around the far east. "Figured out how to order beer, we are ready to rock"-says the monitor man. Check it out here
3. Downed [In Color]
4. If You Want My Love [One On One]
Live under the stars at the old Ohio State Fair grandstand, with the sweet smell of Tom Thumb donuts in the air, and the glitter of the midway rides in the distance. They replaced that old grandstand with a soulless corporate pavilion but Cheap Trick became legends in Columbus because of all those outdoor gigs at the Fair. Two Shows a day! 2 pm and 8pm. Heaven Today and Tonight.
Watch This! MTV Played this a bunch
5. Surrender [Heaven Tonight]
6. He's A Whore [self-titled - 1977]
Aggressive, melodic. Jack Douglas recorded it, but uber-mega producer, ahem, recorder, Steve Albini covered it with his over-rated 80's band Big Black. (I bought the 45 in 1986ish) Steve went on to " sonically capture" a slew of bands (Nirvana, Pixies, Gaunt, Scrawl) in addition to CT. He also allegedly cut a "new" version of "In Color" with the Tricksters in 1997-98 or something. Yeah right.,.. I suppose Bigfoot and the Bermuda Triangle are real too. Yeesh, the crazy rumors people take as fact. Sad really.
BTW- Watershed played CBGB's many, many times and somehow managed to not document a single show except for a version of us playing "He's a Whore" sometime 1991-1995. NYC wasn't sold on us or Cheap Trick at that particular time. Listen, but be kind. We were kids, and we were tired, and we were drunk.
Watch this: version from first Cheap Trick promo video
7. Way Of The World [Dream Police]
"Didn't think I existed, but were comin' together right now." When they started opening with this in 2010 I was beside myself with joy. I get chills every single time Robin hits that opening note. Check it out:
8. Tonight It's You [Standing On The Edge]
So catchy. It's almost: verse / chorus #1 / chorus #2 / repeat. I was thinking, If you take this song off Standing on the Edge, what is really left?
9. Lookout [Budokan / bonus track on 1977 self-titled reissue]
Can a song ranked #9 still be considered a sleeper? I believe this is Happy Chichester's favorite CT song. Got lucky enough to go catch them recording Budokon revisited at XM Studios thanks to pal Lou Brutus in 2004 ish. They played this twice and it is seared into my memory. While Bun E is missed behind the kit, Daxx has much improved from his previous shorter stint years ago. Need evidence? Click here and watch him ride the snare and carry the groove:
10. Dream Police [Dream Police]
Don't let your band try this. It won't work.
11. World's Greatest Lover [All Shook Up]
Ballsy arrangement. Great solo. A gut feeling on this one. Rick singing this live on the Silver DVD is classic. I think Robin was supposed to jump in and save him at some point but he hangs him out to dry. Good call.
Cheap Trick are really cool guys #1 (1987) Cheap Trick was out doing a little mini tour prior to the release of Lap of Luxury. Tom was back in the band and they were trying to get resuscitate their career after "The Doctor" gave them a handful of sleeping pills. They were playing The Newport in Columbus and Joe, Biggie and I were hanging around outside during sound-check, as teenagers are wont to do.
Robin stepped outside for a smoke and I threw out this beauty of a question: "Does it bother you that you guys used to be the biggest band in the world and now you are back playing clubs?" (or something like that) Now Robin would have been well within his rights to answer, "Does it bother YOU that you and your buddies are losers and I am a rock star?"
But he didn't, he never missed a beat and answered- " Nope, I figure that for one summer we got to play stadiums and experience what it was like to be the biggest band in the world. Even if it was just for a short time, we were lucky to know what that feels like and we don't have the pressure of trying to get there. We've already done it. Now I can just enjoy playing music for a living in a great band. How cool is that?"-Robin Zander
What an answer! I've always remembered it.
Just then a rusted out Chevy van came roaring around the corner and almost ran the 4 of us over. Robin threw his cig into the dumpster and said, "looks like The Elvis pukes are here" and stepped back inside the club – That being the famous Elvis Brothers who were opening up the show that night. Man, what we would have given to open for Cheap Trick one day.
12. Auf Wiedersehen [Heaven Tonight]
Yikes! Caution: not to be played after being dumped by boy/girlfriend.
13. Time Will Let You Know (Silver DVD)
When "Silver" was first released, I dug it, but it wasn't until I had a kid of my own that I could really appreciate how cool it is of CT to invite their kids to help out at their 25th Anniversary show filmed live in Rockford. Though this song appears on Robin's cool solo disc (not the country one- haven't heard it yet) it was this live version that I find myself returning to over and over again.
The whole production is really breathtaking and the moment when Robin steps over and squeezes his daughter's hand is priceless. Watch Here
So if Cheap Trick was from New York City instead of Rockford, would they already be in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame?
The thought crossed my mind one evening while watching "Silver" that if a band from New York tried a show like this in Central Park, it would be covered live on all media outlets and probably have it's own pullout section in the USA Today.
Try to imagine a band from New York that had sold 20 million records over 30 years, been produced by George Martin, Todd Rungeren, Jack Douglas, Roy Thomas Baker, Steve Albini (he recorded them),were John Lennon's Favorite American band, had persevered through tough times and continued playing gigs all over the world because that's what rock n roll bands do, rallied to put out an amazing new CD "The Latest", were beloved by all beloved pop culture icons, (Conon O' Brian, The Onion, Dave Letterman, The Simpsons, Steve Colbert) and were the featured band at 2010 SXSW, performed on Austin City Limits and World Café, were invited by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to recreate "Sgt. Peppers Live" at the Hollywood Bowl, influenced bands like Green Day (Billie Joe left a note on Rick's door the first time Green Day played Chicagoland that said "we are going to be a good as your band one day") Kurt Cobain, "I think of Nirvana as being like Cheap Trick" If a band from New York City accomplished even half of this, they would most certainly be in the rock n roll hall of fame.
But Cheap Trick's parents happened to be living in the Midwest when they had kids, so Cheap Trick waits outside the hall with their noses pressed against the glass while NYC bands like Blondie and the Talking Heads have been invited inside long ago. Don't take my word for it, judge for yourself.
14. High Roller [Heaven Tonight]
Scrawl does great cover on Bloodsucker.
15. I Can't Take It [Next Position Please]
Zander strikes! Or is that Pete Comita? Still love live version from "Thick of The Night" You know Alan Thicke, the guy from "Family Matters" with Michael J Fox and his hot sister Melanie and his kinda hot wife what's her name. Wait- its Kirk Cameron not Mike J. Fox. What show was that? Anyway click here
16. Come On, Come On [In Color]
CT 101: Drummers - remember to ride the snare if you really want to sound like Bun E.
17. Stop This Game [All Shook Up]
A great song, something about the production doesn't let it shift from 4th to 5th gear. I guess I'm blaming George Martin for a poorly produced Cheap Trick song which would be very hard position to defend in the court of public opinion. Or any court for that matter.
Watch This: crushing version from Chicagofest complete with sound check footage. Imagine if this was Central park. More to come
18. Mandocello [self-titled - 1977]
Count em, two separate bridges. Hey Billy, this song appears on Cheap Trick's self titled debut. Quit looking for it on Lap of Luxury.
(I don't collect guitars for various reasons, but if I could have only one, it would be Rick's checkerboard Explorer)
19. You're All I Wanna Do [Woke Up With A Monster]
I don't want to fall victim to the nostalgia trap of overrating the "good old days." The early albums are dominant on this list so far, but it is my contention that if this song were on Dream Police or Heaven Tonight, we would be stroking it hard.
Watch This: CT performs what should have been the first single off Monster on Letterman or Leno.
20. California Man [Heaven Tonight]
We can't play this song NOW, and yet we put it on our first cassette oh, so many years ago when we were in high school. A truly horrific cover. So bad, it's pretty sweet.
Watch This! Live on Midnight Special 1978. Tom and Robin's matching white suits crush.
21. I'll Be With You Tonight [Dream Police]
Cruising back to DC after an Orioles game with the windows down and Lou Brutus was blasting the stereo. God Bless the USA.
22. House Is Rockin' (With Domestic Problems) [Dream Police]
She's so Heavy, Think About It.
23. Hello There [In Color]
How about the kids shooting out the cop's windshield with a BB gun during the opening scene of "Over the Edge"? Who directed that? Great soundtrack.
First Van Halen appearance.
Watch this! This was written by Rick as sort of a sound check song. Here is a version from the Reading Festival, England 1979 where CT has to rush on stage in daylight and you get to see how it works. Bun E. giving the monitor man the high sign to turn Rick's guitar up is my personal highlight.
Say, "Hello There" reminds me of "Goodnight Now". This is my favorite YouTube clip of 2010. Shot from over top of Rick's amp ,it is CT crushing Gonna Raise Hell into Goodnight to close out their featured set at SXSW. Stunned hipsters are going crazy as they suddenly remember why Cheap Trick is so exciting and bands like The National are so boring (but pretty good). Check out the grins on Rick, Robin and Tom's faces during the curtain call. They are well aware of the rock n roll clinic they just conducted. To place this moment in proper context, only 8 months prior Cheap Trick had toured America 3rd on the bill below Poison, doing a 30 minute set in broad daylight. Even I would be sorta embarrassed to open for Poison.
BTW-Cheap Trick opening for Poison is like:Led Zep opening forWhitesnake /Pearl Jam opening for Nickelback/Eminem opening for Vanilla Ice/Watershed opening for the Insane Clown Posse,ect
My point is that as usual, CT sucked it up in a tough situation and survived to fight another day, this is the clip from that day: Watch This
24. Clock Strikes Ten [In Color]
I used to try to fall asleep to Budokan every night, but the volume of the Japanese fans screaming at the end of this song would wake me up. Only a jackass, like me, would try to put himself to sleep with Side 2 of Budokon anyway. That's why God gave us Radiohead and Coldplay. To put us to sleep.
25. Gonna Raise Hell [Dream Police]
If you are one of my friends, chances are that I have ruined a good night of drinking by making you sit through the live video of CT playing the Navy Pier from Chicago. This song is the highlight of that show. I would mention Pete Comita now, but I am saving that for later.
Shouldn't somebody at Epic have edited a version of this down to 4 minutes so it could have been a MASSIVE rock radio hit instead of just a pretty big one?
26. She's Tight [One On One]
Love the version on Silver.
27. On Top Of The World [Heaven Tonight]
Extended ending is a treat live. "She was lonely and didn't care."
--Side note:-So a couple of years ago when Rockford was released, Watershed decided to throw our own Cheap Trick release party. We did a free show of all Trick covers on the Tuesday Rockford hit the stores. About 300 people showed up to Skully's Music Diner in Columbus to celebrate with us. Our set that night as I recall:
Claire/ Hello There/Come On Come On/Elo Kiddies/ I Can't Take it (with Andy Harrison on guitar)/ Downed/ S Girls/Lookout/Anytime/I Know What I Want/ On Top of the World/ Just Got Back/ Surrender/ Goodnight/ Auf Weid. Or something like that
So ever since then we get requests to play our "Cheap Trick" set at various clubs around the USA. The most memorable being at the 9:30 Club in DC while opening for our pals The Clarks. They actually held doors so we could do the Cheap Trick set for the guys working at the club for our sound check. They wouldn't let us stop because……everybody who knows something loves Cheap Trick.
28. Love's Got A Hold On Me [One On One]
Give it a listen real quick and then come join me on the bandwagon.
29. Tell Me Everything [Woke Up With A Monster]
In my only real conversation with Rick (at the Library Bar in Columbus, OH - I was younger and even dumber than I am now, if you can believe it) I asked him what his favorite song was on "Woke Up" and he explained to me in detail why he liked this one. He was right.
Cheap Trick are really cool guys #2 (1995)-So now we are signed to Epic Records and our prince of an A&R man, the late, great Frankie LaRocka makes a phone call and gets us a couple shows opening for CT. One of them is back at the Newport in CBus. Obviously, we are thrilled to be playing with our heroes in our hometown.
So the show rocks and afterwards we head to The Library Bar which is our favorite hangout on High Street. About 20 minutes after we get there, the bar door opens and Rick, Bun E., Robin and Tom walk in. I remember their tour manager saying to me that night, "Wow! Even Bun E. came out. These guys must really like you".
Well, I'm not sure about that, but I am sure that Cheap Trick could have chosen many things to do more interesting than to hang around a little bar with a little band from Columbus, Ohio. They did it because they knew it would mean the world to us and it did. People in Columbus still talk about the night they hung out with Cheap Trick at The Library Bar. An autographed Cheap Trick picture still hangs over the beer taps. Stop by sometime and ask Cricket to tell you all about it.
30. Just Got Back [All Shook Up]
This has nothing to do with this song, but have you seen the bootleg video where Rick starts singing an X-rated limerick live on a Japanese TV talk show? One of the funniest things I have ever seen.
It is some sort of Japanese, Regis-type gig, and the host hands a guitar to Rick and asks him (through a translator) to sing a song. Rick immediately breaks into: "There once was an Indian maiden, who would lie on her back and let the cowboys stick it in her crack" or something to that affect. The crowd is clapping along, having no idea what he is singing. Bun E, Tom, and Robin are just losing it behind him.
31. When The lights Are Out (The Latest) –
Odd I know because it has so many Elo Kiddies elements in it. Still, I like to play this one with the windows down on a sunny day, dreaming about kissing somebody, while I mostly enjoy playing ELO on my guitar at Slim's in Raleigh around 2am with Watershed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikLBEJtK6PM
32. Anytime [self-titled - 1997]
Not necessarily the #30 song on the list, but the power of hearing the first song on Cheap Trick 1997 cannot be understated. After painfully defending The Doctor, Lap of Luxury, and Busted to nonbelievers, "Anytime"was a call to arms for all true CT fans. Their favorite band was back, and it was time to go on the offensive.
33. Need Your Love [Dream Police]
I have seen them play this three times: the "Budokan" night at the Metro,
outside Easton Mall in Columbus, and XM Studios for "Budokan Revisited". They hadn't played it in years and yet somehow in front of just 30 people (with Jack Douglas mixing, and Lou Brutus hosting) they laid down the definitive version. Bun E. just kept launching back into the rocking part with a big grin on his face and the guys followed. I saw and heard it with my own eyes/ears from 10 feet away. Find this version and dig it. As of July 2010 this is back in the set so I may see it again soon.
34. Lookin' Out For Number One [One On One]
Great song to wake your neighbors with at 3 a.m.
35. Taxman, Mr. Thief [self-titled - 1977]
A steady burn. Version on Music for Hangovers helped ranking.
36. Stiff Competition [Heaven Tonight]
Back in our Epic Records days we cut this for a CT tribute CD. We were going to do Downed, but Matty Sweet pulled rank at the last minute and we got the "Stiffy". We were recording in N.Y.C., and drummer extraordinaire Kenny Airnoff ended up helping out on the track. Kenny is a helluva a nice guy and he kept telling us what a great song this was.
Kenny: Man you guys write great songs.
Me: Thanks Kenny, but it isn't ours, it is a Cheap Trick song
After having this conversation about 8 or 9 times, I switched my answer to, "Thanks Kenny, you're right, we do write great songs."
Our track sounds like CT with worse singing. I have no idea what happened to that CD.
37. Oh, Candy [self-titled - 1977]
Similar to our "Mercurochrome". An upbeat, poppy tune about suicide.
38. These Days (The Latest)
After a decade of bloated arrangements, the brilliant Julian Raymond comes in with a scalpel and lops off the 2nd chorus of this one, which is odd and frustrating but leaves you wanting more. This is the song on The Latest that smacked me in the face and screamed "your favorite band has done it again". Made me proud.
39. Miracle (The Latest)
Clearly J Raymond was channeling that pent up Beatles love and focusing it like a laser. Tom and Rick's runs at about 109 seconds into the song is big boy stuff. Key change, building harmonies and ending with just a guitar are spot on. Robin is Robin and the lyrics make me think about Joe O and Kate having their little boy Beckett. I told my wife, "you realize this is just 4 humans making something sound this good"
40. Smile (The Latest)
Some pitchfork loving critic wrote something like " The Latest is really good but still has too many 80's hack power ballads" ahem- I can understand the confusion to the untrained ear, but there is a gulf, ocean and galaxy between "Smile" and "Where ever Would I Be Without You"
41. It's Only Love [The Doctor]
Finally, The Doctor gets off the snide. Before plunging into the mystery that is The Doctor, let's give credit where credit is due. This is a great track. I suspect Tony Platt did this first and they tried to model the rest of the record after it. The production really works on this song.
I remember seeing the "World Premier" video on MTV over at Joe's mom's house before practice. I think Alan Hunter was the DJ. Maybe Mark Goodman.
42. You Let A Lotta People Down [self-titled - 1997]
Is this about Adamany?
43. I Know What I Want [Dream Police]
Tom sings! And invented the 12 string bass. Did your favorite band invent an instrument so they could rock even harder? Answer: no.
44. Girlfriend [Woke Up With A Monster]
Originally from In Color tracks. No drum fills, ala AC/DC.
45. That 70's Song [Sliver]
Just a monster live.
Watch This: Promo clip from TV show featuring Cheap Trick
46. Voices [Dream Police]
I've never heard this song on the radio, but everyone knows the words.
47. Never Had A Lot to Lose [Lap Of Luxury]
Saw them play this in 2001 outside downtown Dayton, (10,000 hillbillies) and it came from the heart.
48. Can't Stop It But I'm Gonna Try [All Shook Up]
Robin plays keys on this Saturday Night Live version:
49. Can't Hold On [Budokan: The Complete Concert]
50. Rock 'n' Roll Tonight [Busted]
I would love to hear this live. You get all the way to the end of Busted and suddenly CT shows up. Was Richie Zito passed out on the sofa while this was recorded?
51. Southern Girls [In Color]
52. I Love You Honey But I Hate Your Friends [All Shook Up]
Who is playing Bass? What is happening? Did George Martin really approve of this? The train stays on the tracks somehow. I always look forward to hearing this one.
53. Hard To Tell [self-titled - 1997]
A great #2 song.
What are the best 1-2 combos to lead off a CT CD? (Studio only please)
1... Dream Police / Way of the World
2... Surrender / On Top of the World
3... Stop This Game / Just Got Back
4... Hello There / Big Eyes
5... I Can't Take It / Borderline
6... I Want You / One On One - could have "Love's got a Hold on Me" #2
7... Elo Kiddies / Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School - A tough CD to sequence, maybe "Taxman" #2 but I can't prove it
8.. Anytime/Hard To Tell
9... Back n Blue / I Can't Understand It - I love these two together.
10... Little Sister / Tonight It's You - I'm not married to "Lil' Sis" as a leadoff track, but I can see why it was chosen.
11...Sleep Forever/ When The Lights Go Out- I liked Sleep as an opener, why not announce your presence behind Mr. Zander's vocal talents- not really a song though so points against.
12.My Gang / Woke Up With a Monster - Serves its purpose.
13. Let Go / No Mercy - Could have put "Wrong Side of Love" #2
14..Welcome to The World/Perfect Stranger- Maybe a little tough on this one but Linda Perry has got to bring more to the party on P. S.
15... It's Up To You / Romance in a Rearview Mirror - hmm...opening The Doctor with Cheap Trick's famous electronic drum and keyboard sound. Good call Platt. Ya jackass.
16..Scent Of a Woman/ Too Much- It doesn't even sound like the same band.
54. I Want You [One On One]
55. Ain't That A Shame [Budokan: The Complete Concert]
Canned laughs on American Music Awards are a hoot.
56. The Flame [Lap Of Luxury]
Too cool to get The Flame's back? Joke's on you sucker. #1 in the country for TWO weeks! Chicks had heard of my favorite band again.
57. Big Eyes [In Color]
I've heard version on "secret Albini version of In Color" crushes. Yeah. I bet it would…. if it existed. Sure. Right. Tell me another one.
58. I Want Be Man [One On One]
Two songs in one. "play the robot song dad"-says Owen
59. Daddy Should Have Stayed In High School [self-titled - 1977]
What a great title. Always bonus points when Tom's bass appears in its naked glory. It's like Jaws popping up next to your boat, guaranteed to take your breath away.
60. Heaven Tonight [Heaven Tonight]
I'm making a bong sound now.
61. Sick Man of Europe (The Latest)
I know, sounds like The Vines, but Tom's playing is just maniacal . Love the way it is mixed. Btw- I need an egg timer so every 2 minutes I will write "Robin Zander is the best rock singer since Little Richard" Otherwise I just take him for granted. Robin carries EVERY SONG. Goes without saying.
Watch this: Cheap Trick still playing new tunes Sick Man on Conan O Brian Sept 2009
62. Won't Take No For an Answer [Next Position Please]
Alright, let's tangle with Next Position Please and producer Todd Rundgren. On one hand, it doesn't sound anything like a CT record, and I can't believe the label let it come out. On the other, it is a really cool experiment and I wouldn't change a thing. Less guitars, but better songs. Todd heard CT as a pure power pop band and he tried to capture that. I can respect that vision. Lots of nerds have that same vision. This CD is for you nerds out there. "Won't Take No" is a good example of a rock song produced like a pop song.
63. Say Goodbye [self-titled - 1997]
Great song but a poor single choice. Would have been the best song on Busted. Mike from the Reed Road Pool likes this one.
64. Elo Kiddes [self-titled - 1977]
A fun song to play.
65. Reach Out [Heavy Metal (soundtrack)]
Maybe ranked a little high, but I love the live version from Chicago. Pete Comita could be Tom P in a CT tribute band. Plays Bass like the guitar player he is.
66. Didn't Know I Had It [Woke Up With A Monster]
67. This Time You Got It (Rockford)
My favorite track from Rockford and it's really not close.
68. Back 'N Blue [Busted]
Probably too low. I like this song. Nice drum fills to boot.
69. Pop Drone (Special One)-
The highest ranking song from Cheap Trick's most confusing and frustrating CD. Sounds careen from metal to techno to 80's schlock end it even ends with two versions of the same mediocre song. Kii Arens (of FLIPP fame ) contributes cool artwork but the project feels like a collection of demos. Still, it surprises that Special One holds up better than one might think. More later….
70. The Ballad Of TV Violence (I'm Not The Only Boy) [self-titled - 1977]
71. Y.O.Y.O.Y. [Next Position Please]
When I was 12 or 13 years old, I used to catch the bus downtown on Saturday afternoons to go by records. Obviously, I was super stoked when the new CT record came out, but when I got home from the store with my new copy of NPP and opened it up, inside was a Heart album. I had to wait till next weekend to return it and get the right record. Very disappointing.
I had a crush on a girl named Lisa in 8th grade, and I would sit in my room and play Y.O.Y. over and over.
72. Standing On The Edge [Standing On The Edge]
73. Everything Works If You Let It [ Sex, America, Cheap Trick (box set) / Roadie (soundtrack)]
74. Borderline [Next Position Please]
Played great live version on Alan Thicke show Watch here
Drunkest I ever saw Mike "Biggie" McDermott:
Joe and I were driving up to see CT at the Marion Popcorn festival, but first we stopped to pick up Mike at his parent's house. Before we left, he filled up one of those Pizza Hut 30-ounce giant red cups with a hard liquor "suicide." (Taking an inch or so of every bottle in his parent's cabinet, so not to be missed.) We could hear CT sound checking "Borderline" as we pulled up, se he chugged the whole thing in 30 seconds and we ran for the stage.
Soon after, security ran Biggie's drunk ass out of there.
Being the good friends that we are, Joe and I locked him in the car, (He couldn't figure out how to get out.) watched the show, then drove back to Columbus and dumped him in his parents front yard.
75. Special One (Special One)
76. I Can't Understand It [Busted]- Metallica has a song that sounds like this. You'll know it when you hear it.
77. Love Comes A-Tumblin' Down [All Shook Up]-maybe too low. Sorta blistering.
78. Day Tripper [Sex, America, Cheap Trick / Sliver]
Art singing with Robin is like me weight lifting with Arnold.
So for my 40th birthday present to myself, I talked the wife in to going to Las Vegas to see Cheap Trick Sgt. Peppers Live at the Las Vegas Hilton. I would give you the entire back story of the how, what and whys of Sgt Peppers Live but why not just watch this cool promo video instead…
Being a Vegas trip, my memory has serious gaps but here is what I recall. Sorta Dee Dee Ramone style if anybody has read his autobiography.
- I came into the show slightly perturbed as Phillies closer Brad Lidge just blew a 9th inning lead costing me $100.
-I felt physically nervous before the show like I was going to have to get up there and play myself. And I never get nervous. even for my own gigs. So what gives? It hit me that Cheap Trick wasn't just performing a selection of Beatles covers, picking and choosing what they could do best. No, they were playing the most revered of all albums top to bottom with no shortcuts. I was nervous for them.
-Our seats were in front of Tom P. "Jesus Christ!, (I shouted in a Monty Python voice) those bass parts are hard" Obviously I had listened to Pepper a zillion times, but WATCHING Tom play those McCartney bass lines blew my mind. Yeah, I can see why The Beatles didn't play this live.
-You could tell they were having a ball playing "Fixing a Hole"
-When Robin belted out "Golden Slumbers" it felt like his voice pushed me in the chest.
-"Day in the Life" was so jaw-dropping that my band mate in the Lonely Bones, Rick Kinsinger (who came too) got choked up. I wasn't far behind. Rick also got his program signed by Geoff Emerick after the show which is obviously cool-
-After party: Hung out at the Hilton bar with the legendary Bill Lloyd, some members of Shazam (maybe?) and I tried to say "Hi" to Joan Osborne who was also in the show and sitting 3 feet from me. We shared the same manager for a number of years and we would come in and out of the same office so I thought I was just being cordial. She was having none of it and truth be told, was kind of rude. I gave her a pass figuring she was probably just heart-broken with desire for Robin.
-Bill C. got Erin and myself some comps for the next night and we watched the whole thing again. I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Sigh- Cheap Trick. My favorite band.
Here is Cheap Trick backing John Lennon on his demos.
79. Invaders of the Heart [Next Position Please]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32...
80. How About You [Standing On The Edge]
81. Let Her Go [Woke Up With A Monster]
Got to witness monster sound check version at the big ol' empty Newport in Columbus. "Wait, Zander is smoking, drinking beer, and it is 4 hours from showtime. I thought serious singers were like Steve Perry and used hand signals, drank orgonic tea (not organic mind you, that is so common) and kept warm towels around their throats when off stage." – "Robin is a rock star"
82. Next Position Please [Next Position Please]
Version from a bootleg video from Germany shows hidden similarity to "Baba O'Riley." Watch it
Watershed would cover this on occasion. Wow! The crowd went from indifferent to hostile by the last chorus. We loved it.
83. Takin' Me Back [Heaven Tonight]- some of my Favorite Robin vocals and that is saying something.
84. Baby No More [self-titled - 1997]
Is this the same band that did "Where Ever Will I Be" on their previous CD?
85. One On One [One On One]
"Reputation is a Fragile thing…" Is the lyric and there was a C Trick bio of the same name available somewhere. I bought a copy after a Watershed gig at the Metro in Chicago. I read it and lost it and haven't seen one since. Somebody send me a copy.
Colin's Coffee 3714 Riverside Dr. Columbus Ohio 43221—and sent me any other cool Trick DVD footage as well. Thanks.
86. Hot Love [self-titled - 1977]
Cheap Trick's version is fine if you like it all in tune and everything. Personally, I prefer the version by Thomas O'Keefe and The Shitbirds. Watch this!
87. So Good to See You [In Color]
This song was playing in hospital room when my son Owen was born. No Kidding! We had brought In Color CD (probably to calm my nerves) among others to listen too while waiting. Once again more evidence that a great bridge separates the men from the boys.
88. Four Letter Word [One On One]
I love the crowd noise triggered by the snare. Look for us to steal that soon.
89. Writing on the Wall [Dream Police]
Every song from Dream Police is off the board. Does this mean Dream Police is the best CT album? Not Necessarily, but I think it is anyway.
Ranking The Cheap Trick Albums:
1... Dream Police - It has got it all. fun, furious, serious, strange.
2... Cheap Trick(1) - no real single, but who cares.
3... One on One - Gentlemen, start your bitching. If anything, this album should be higher. Roy Thomas Baker did a brilliant job. Listening to this CD top to bottom, is a pleasure.
I know, I know, what about Heaven Tonight (#4) and In Color (#5)? Great songs no doubt, but I feel the live versions of the tunes have pushed them down a bit. Though if that pretend new version of "In Color" ever surfaces, that would be the CD to hand to somebody to introduce them to the band.
6..All Shook Up –Biggie's Fav.
7… The Latest – An amazing return to form and even better. This will stand the test of time
8.. Next Position Please – pure power pop for you nerds. enjoy. Way to go Todd.
9.. Woke Up with a Monster – Under-rated
10.. Cheap Trick (2) – slipping a bit but still rocking
11.. Lap of Luxury
13.. Special One - not as bad as you think. Got some cool stuff
15.. The Doctor- yikes.
89. Oh Claire (Rockford)
90. You're All Talk [In Color]
I hear Slash is a heckuva nice guy.
91. Sorry Boy (Special One)
Just for fun, play this cut for a friend and then play "If I Could" (which is only 2 tracks later on the same CD). Then tell them that this is the same band and watch the response on their face.
92. Times of Our Lives (The Latest)
When I first saw this track listing I thought maybe it was a cover of the FLIPP song. It doesn't rock like that, but still pretty groovy..
93. My Obsession (Special One)
A catchy sorta Smithereens-esque number but the chorus never really comes.
94. Don't Be Cruel [Lap Of Luxury]
95. Heaven's Falling [Next Position Please]
Unknown video from Germany shows Robin struggling to sing this one. "It Feels LIKE..." At one point he just looks at Rick and sorta shrugs and smiles. If Robin can't sing it, it can't be sung. Nice going... Todd.
96. Best Friend (Special One)
Speaking of hard songs to sing. This song could rank higher or lower depending on how self destructive I am feeling. Dark.
97. This Time Around [Standing On The Edge]
98 (tie) Born To Raise Hell [Sex, America, Cheap Trick / Rock & Rule (various artist compilation)]
One of Tom's Favs.
Lovin' Money [Sex, America, Cheap Trick / bonus track on 1977 self-titled reissue]
Love that guitar solo.
99. Wrong Side Of Love [Lap Of Luxury]
Jaws strikes again.
100. It All Comes Back To You [self-titled - 1997]
Ranked a little low.
101. Baby Talk [1997 vinyl single sub-pop]
Steve "I just drop a microphone on the floor and whatever it picks up we print" Albini allegedly cut this the same time he and the band re-recorded "In Color", which is the biggest hoax since the moon landing. If it exists, I would have heard it, but I haven't, so it doesn't.
102. Take Me I'm Yours [Found All The Parts]
103. Cover Girl [Standing On The Edge]
Speaking of covers, what Trick album/CD has the best artwork? To Me, In Color has got to be the coolest. It is the first Robin & Tom on the front, Rick & Bun E on the back combo, and it just looks great. You really need the fold out album cover to truly appreciate this one.
I would put Dream Police #2, if only because it takes a unique band to even attempt that concept, let alone pull it off. It is so much easier to do some arty, bullshit REM type cover than something like this.
Great Smiles on Budokan.
Standing on the Edge has a cool cover, but the back is a complete disaster highlighted by the misspelling of Rick's last name. "Monster" flat blows. "All Shook Up" is hypnotizing mostly because Robin's pose makes me question my sexuality. (Which I thought got figured out by GOD in the 6th grade when I was staring at Tami G's Ass during gym class) (2002)
I am no expert on cover art. For further expertise contact Chia Karaoke at Flippcentral.com. Rumor has it that he is doing the artwork for the new Trick CD. Go buy a Flipp CD while you are at it.
That rumor was validated as of "Special One" I'd get all this present/past tense sorta worked out if I wasn't' always writing this hiding in a dark room buzzed out of my mind while my wife and young son were sleeping in the adjoining room. Besides, Paris really isn't my kind of town for writing. Rooms are too small and nobody really knows "The Doctor" like Americans or at least my friend who lives in Kansas City.
104. Baby Loves to Rock [All Shook Up]
105. Oh Caroline [In Color]
106. My Gang [Woke Up With A Monster]
107. Wrong All Along [self-titled - 1997]
108. Love Me For A Minute [Woke Up With A Monster]
109. All Wound Up [Lap Of Luxury]
110. Eight Miles Low [self-titled - 1997]
One of Lou Brutus favs.
111. Let Go [Lap Of Luxury]
112. Everyday You Make Me Crazy/ California Girl (The Latest)
I linked these because I think it is an excellent example of how a great producer like Julian Raymond will play to song/bands strength to get the most out of them. On their own, neither of these tunes has enough to warrant a full 3 minute treatment, but as done here, you get just enough of a taste to leave you wanting more. Brilliant. Call it the "Unspecial one treatment"
113. Can't Stop Falling Into Love [Busted]
I am still outraged by this single choice. It's not really a ballad, so you don't get those Flame fans. It's definitely not a rocker, so you don't get the Dream Police fans. Who are we getting?
Mr. Miagi once said, "Walk on right side of road, O.K. Walk on left side of road, O.K. Walk in middle of road? splat."
114. Magical Mystery Tour [Greatest Hits]
Not my favorite Beatle song, but only CT could pull it off. Don't try this at home.
115. Woke Up With A Monster [Woke Up With A Monster]-
not the best single choice. (You're All I Wanna Do)
Watch This! Live on Letterman 1994
116. Brontosaurus [1997 single]-
maybe this is also on the "New In Color" too? Yeah right.
117. Through The Night [Sex, America, Cheap Trick]
Certainly could have found "space" for this one on Lap of Luxury.
118. All I Really Want [Sex, America, Cheap Trick]
Rob "Skippy" Braithwaite's sleeper tune
119. Time Is Runnin' [One On One]
Works great after "She's Tight"
120. How Are You? [Heaven Tonight]
If you could peg this song for an influence, who is it? McCartney? If somebody knows, fill me in.
121. Ghost Town [Lap Of Luxury]
Maybe too low. A D Warren song. I can dig.
122. All These Years (Rockford)
123. Had To Make You Mine [Busted]
Could have been a bit shorter
124. Cry, Cry [self-titled - 1977]
125. Welcome to The World (Rockford)
kind of like Rockford itself. I wanted to love it, but in the end, it just couldn't win me over.
Cheap Trick are really cool guys # 3 (2009)- It is the summer of 2009 and Owen, my 5 year old son, and myself decide to road trip to catch Cheap Trick playing 3rd on the bill under Def Leppard and Poison. I figure they will go on early so Owen can put in some earplugs and we can sit on the lawn. It will be his first non Watershed/ Colin Gawel concert.
I'll admit, I got a little cheap and didn't want to fork over the full ticket price to take a 5 year old to catch a 30 minute set so I called my pal Bill C who works for CT and asked for a couple lawn seats. Nothing fancy I say, for all I know, Owen may not even want to go in.
Anyway, we get to Riverbend amphitheater in Cincinnati to find we have seats in the 10th row and backstage passes! We get to our seats and Bill calls, "meet me at the board after the set, oh .. And song # 5 is just for you. This is the only night they are playing it on this tour" click.
We head to the soundboard after the show and Bill hands Owen an autographed Bun E drumstick, a handful of guitar picks, and an autographed set list that says "Owen, tell your dad he still owes us money for ripping us off!"
Bill asks if we want use our passes to stop back and say "Hello", but my gut tells me that backstage at a Poison concert is probably not age appropriate for a 5 year old. 7 or 8 maybe. But certainly not 5.
As we sprinted for our car hoping to out run the tinny guitar tones of CC Deville before they "poisoned" our eardrums, I ask, "Owen did you have fun at the concert?" he said, "Yeah Dad, Cheap Trick is my favorite band!" – Me too little buddy.
Btw-song #5 was "He's a Whore"
126. Younger Girls [Next Position Please]
Don't you ever grow up, little girl. Wooderson's fav.
127. Oh La La La [One On One]
128. Yeah Yeah [self-titled - 1997]
129. Walk Away [Busted] –Pretenders in Rock Hall but no Cheap Trick. London Maybe?
130. On the Radio [Heaven Tonight]
Great live version from WXRT disc.
131. Such A Good Girl [Found All The Parts]
132. Take Me To The Top [The Doctor]
133. Love Comes [Standing On The Edge]
134. You Talk to Much [Next Position Please]
135. I Need Love [Sex, America, Cheap Trick]
136. Little Sister [Standing On The Edge] I L L L L Like it when you talk dirty to me, but maybe skip this song.
137. Don't Make Our Love A Crime [Next Position Please] This is better than Little Sister. What was I thinking?
138. Are You Lonely Tonight? [The Doctor]
Do do do do do do do
139. If You Need Me [Busted]
140. You Say Jump [Next Position Please]
141. Saturday At Midnight [One On One]
Available as extended single on vinyl.
142. If it Takes a Lifetime (Rockford)-
this was the "coolest song in the world" on underground garage Sirius/xm and while it has its moments the chorus of "all I want to do is just be with you" is a let down. Glad U.Garage has been getting on the Trick bandwagon though they seem confused what songs to put in rotation. Off "The Latest" they added "Miss Tomorrow" when clearly "Lights" or "Sick Man" would be a much better fit for what they do. Still- Underground Garage is amazing. Keep up the good work.
143. High Priest Of Rhythmic Noise [All Shook Up]
144. Wild Wild Women [Standing On The Edge]
145. Shelter [self-titled - 1997]
146. Twisted Heart [Sex, America, Cheap Trick]
147. It's Up To You [The Doctor]
I used to have a bootleg video from Harpo's in Detroit on The Doctor tour.
They opened up with this. My little sister recorded soap operas over it after school one day. Not cool. But thanks to the miracle of the Int-tree-net Watch This! Love It.
148 I Don't Love Here Anymore [Next Position Please]
149. Cry Baby [Woke Up With A Monster]
150. Who D' King? [All Shook Up] –
ending the Silver concert with this was a masterstroke. Bun E is the best drummer this side of Moon and has always gone out of his way to cut me a break. Love that guy and I hope he is well.
What is the first of the last? This is a list of best album closers:
1... Need Your Love
2... It's Only love
3... Invaders of the Heart
4... Rock n Roll Tonight
5... So Good to See You
7... Ballad of TV Violence
8... Four letter Word
9... It All Comes back to You
10... How Are You? (Claire)
11... Love Me for a Minute
12... All Wound Up
13... Who D' King
14... Wild Wild Women
What a strange list. CT takes some chances with their last songs.
151- Everybody Knows/ Closer –
(The Latest) The band seems fond of closer but it's not the best of a strong bunch
152. Rock All Night [Standing On The Edge]
Sounds like they had a bet with Jack Douglas to see how fast they could write and record a song. If it took more than 10 minutes I would be disappointed
153. One More Day (Rockford)
154. Every night and Everyday (Rockford)
155. Lowlife in High Heels/ Hummer (Special One) –
two versions of a not so great tune to end a record? WTF? Of the two, Lowlife is much better and a great example of Steve Albini's sweet kick drum sound. Might even get to hear more of it on "new version of In Color recorded by Albini" Sure. Right. That exists..- Think I'll just swim down to the Best Buy in Atlantis and buy my copy.
Someone just put a gun to my head and said, "Ok, smart guy, you sequence Special One" Here goes- Lowlife in High Heels/ My Obsession/ Pop Drone/ Scent of a Woman/Too Much /Best Friend/Sorry Boy/Words/If I Could/Special One/ Hummer
Try that one out.
156. Dancing the Night Away [Next Position Please]
It sounds like CT took revenge on Epic for forcing them to do this. You need to hear the original to appreciate (understand or be confused by, might be better descriptions) this version.
157. Kiss Me Red [The Doctor]
158. Perfect Stranger (Rockford)
Instead of co-writing with Linda Perry I suggest one of the following: John Speck/ Happy Chichester/ Byrnn Ayens/ or Joe Oestreich and Colin Gawel. Why not have Tim Patalan produce while you are at it?
159. You Must Be Dreaming [Heavy Metal (soundtrack)]
Using as live intro music is a nice touch.
160. Up The Creek [Up The Creek (soundtrack)]
Got to love the Bun E. piling into the hot tub for the "topless" video.
161. Carnival Game [self-titled - 1997]
I know people who really like this song and are going to get hostile about this low ranking, but I just can't get past the "kaleidoscope of memories" line. I am probably being hard on it, but then again... get bent.
* * * * * * * WARNING! * * * * * * *
Reading any further officially makes you a loser. Proceed at your own risk.
162. Words 4:53 / Too Much 4:44 / Scent of a Woman 4:52 all from (Special One) Ok-
Special One was a borderline disaster and these three culprits are mostly to blame. Despite having some promise, somehow during this CD the arrangements just spiraled out of control into oblivion. I've included track times here to illustrate HOW LONG these songs are. Even more perspective-The song Dream Police is about a full minute SHORTER than these three and it has tons going on. –or- The LONGEST track on The Latest is 4:12 because J Raymond knows what he is doing behind the glass. On Words and Too Much it feels like the band just keeps playing until someone in the control room says, "why don't you stop now, this is getting boring" seriously, listen to the fades. As for Scent, it sounds like Cheap Trick which is always a plus, but lyrically it's a tough sell. Especially for a lead single. And they could have gone to the bridge after the first chorus. Arrangements, boring to read about but crucial to listening enjoyment.. Sigh. I digress.
Lead break in "Words" is excellent though. (Jay was right about that)
163. Spring Break [Spring Break (soundtrack)]
It made a Spring Break mix tape. Was there really a movie for this, or am I thinking of "The Elder"?
164. When You Need Someone [Busted]
Marred by John Tesh-esque keyboard sound.
165. Money (That's What I Want) [Caddyshack 2 (soundtrack)]
Bonus points for appearing on Caddyshack 2. Who would have guessed that gulf between Rodney Dangerfield and Jackie Mason would be so wide?
166. Name of the Game [The Doctor]
The name of the game is what you have left behind. Who is going to miss you when you are gone? What is your place in history?
The most important American bands (not solo acts like Elvis, Chuck Berry or Dylan mind you):
The Beach Boys - Influenced The Beatles for Christ's sake.
Ramones - Got punk going in the UK.
Kiss - Brought merchandising and glam to the mainstream.
The Doors - Jim was the first Rock Star singer.
Van Halen - Don't blame Dave for his bastard sons.
Nirvana - Tastes grungy.
The Jacksons - Boy band.
Cheap Trick - Say hello to Weezer and The Foo Fighters
REM - ANI
Red Hot Chili Peppers - The beginning of rap metal, yuk
Metallica - Bad guitar sounds make it big.
Public Enemy - Rap, Rock and Politics.
This is just off the top of my head. It may not be completely correct, (Sly, Fugazi, Tempatations), but its better than that TOTAL piece of shit top 100 bands of all time nonsense that came out in Entertainment Weekly or USA Today or whatever.
167. Busted [Busted]
168. Give It Away (Rockford)
reminds me of Busted. Hard to get away with a riff like this when you wrote "The House is Rockin"
169. Alive (The Latest) reminds me of Give It Away
170. If I Could (Special One) come again?
171. Space [Lap Of Luxury]
172. Go For the Throat (Use Your Own Imagination) [All Shook Up]
173. Man-U-Lip-U-Lator [The Doctor]
Not as bad as you think
174. 3-D [Next Position Please]
Do you like what you hear?
175. Never Run Out of Love [Woke Up With A Monster]
176. Rearview Mirror Romance [The Doctor]
Why not? Watch this!
177. The Doctor [The Doctor]
--Now that you mention it, I am feeling a bit nauseous.
Ok, first the bad news, The Doctor sucks. There is no way around it my fellow Trick fans. Defending it is embarrassing to you, me, and the band. So stop with the silly posts at Cheap Trick.com, OK?
Cheer up, here is the good news, I've done a little research, and it turns out that all the greatest bands in rock history have put out a shitty record. Let It Be, Emotional Rescue, every third Dylan or Neil Young album. Watershed's Carpet Cliff. Don't make me play you The Kinks' Preservation Act 1 & 2. (The Kinks are my second fav. band by the way.)
A student of boxing would know that a true champion only proves his worth after suffering his first loss. To rise up and win again is the real test of a warrior. Cheap Trick got off the mat, and kept fighting. (other examples -Abby Road, Voodoo Lounge, Time Out of Mind, Ragged Glory, The More It Hurt The More It Works, Give the People What They Want, and Ali vs Foreman.)
-I remember talking to Robin before a show at the Marion Popcorn festival, (the same one where Biggie got plastered) and him saying that The Doctor was going to be a comeback record. He also said he had a sore throat and two days later I got a sore throat too. Sweet! I caught Zander's cold. That's cooler than catching it from you or Biggie.
178. No Mercy [Lap Of Luxury]
179. Decaf (Rockford) If the title is based on the chords to the song, maybe we should work on the lyrics.
180. Ride the Pony [Woke Up With A Monster]
Spared a lower ranking by my confusion. You guys just fucking with me, right?
181. She's Got Motion [Standing On The Edge]
Got me again, good one guys. Seriously, knock it off.
182. All We Need is a Dream [Lap Of Luxury]
House of Lords suck ass
183. Good Girls Go To Heaven [The Doctor]
184. You Drive, I'll Steer [Busted]
Keyboard intro is like a cement boot to the bottom of the list.
Whew. Thanks for reading. A couple songs were left off on purpose. Can you spot them? Also-Of course I have heard the new Albini version of "In Color". It crushes and could be an important record for the band. This list is dedicated to Watershed drummer Dave Masica and his bad back. Hope this helps pass a couple of hours while you are healing. Feedback at www.colingawel.com now please….. go get a life. . will ya already?