Some bands never die – Cheap Trick may be one of them. This 70s band is now talking about going back on tour with a full run of album shows. Frontman Robin Zander said they are thinking about doing again what they did in the 90s. Guitarist Rick Neilson felt that the 90s shows created somewhat of a trend. At the time, the group played its first three studio albums during multi-night stands, resulting in the creation of the 1999 live album “Music For Hangovers.”
Cheap Trick was originally formed in 1974 with band members Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos. The band grew in popularity as ‘power pop music’ with a hard-edged yet melodic pop sound. The band was compared to the Beatles with an edge, Cheap Trick’s biggest hits include: “Surrender”, “I Want You To Want Me”, “Dream Police”, and “The Flame”. VH1 labeled the band #25 on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
The band released its first album, labeled “Cheap Trick” in early 1977. The band developed a large fan base in Japan and the continued to push forward in popularity. Their second album “In Color” was released later that same year and was more pop-oriented than the first album. Despite their attempt to lighten up, the album failed to chart in America. Cheap Trick tried again with a third album released in 1978, “Heaven Tonight”. Again, not much of a following in America, but the band became megastars in Japan.
Japan continued to support the group and all three of Cheap Trick’s albums became gold records. When the group toured the country for the first time in 1978, they received a welcome that was compared to Beatlemania. During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts for their loyal Japanese fans at the Nippon Budokan. Video footage was also filmed at the first concert. Ten tracks taken from both shows were compiled and released as a live album titled Cheap Trick at Budokan, which was intended to be exclusive to Japan. The album suddenly became a popular import in the United States, and demand for the album became so great that Epic Records finally issued the album in the US in 1979.
The album “Cheap Trick At Budokan” went triple platinum in the United States. Finally the track “I Want You To Want Me” became recognized in the United States and skyrocketed to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album became Cheap Trick’s biggest selling single. The second single “Ain’t That A Shame” also peaked at #35.
In 1979 “Dream Police” was released. The album didn’t do as well as expected as it was considered an ‘experimental’ style. Before the album was released, Petersson left the group. He rejoined the group in 1987 and helped them record “Lap of Luxury.” Their song “The Flame” became the band’s first ever #1 single.
Like all bands, in 1991, Cheap Trick released their “Greatest Hits” album. The group pressed on throughout the 90s to produce more albums and they even changed their sound to a little more hard rock. The band toured with other bands including Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. By 1997, they attempted to re-introduce themselves to a new generation. With failing record labels, the attempt was difficult to pull off.
Finally the band released another album in 2009 entitled “The Latest”. The album was issued on standard CD as well as limited pressings of vinyl and 8-Track tapes.
What will Cheap Trick do in 2010? Will they attempt to go on tour, yet again and find renewed success? Time will tell.
Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.