Monday, November 10, 2008


I strongly suspect releases like this are nothing more than the death tremors of the once mighty music industry. Nevertheless, a 3 CD/1DVD set documenting Cheap Trick at Budokan looks pretty cool to me.

Sony/BMG have disabled embedding, but you can check out clips on Cheap Trick's YouTube channel. In terms of musical and visual impact, Cheap Trick was the greatest mainstream rock act of the late 70s. I generally despise arena rock from this era, but by incorporating some of punk's energy and goofing on arena rock's more bombastic tendencies, Cheap Trick made their music irresistible. Or to put it another way: Rick Nielsen rules!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Strange, they put all 4 members on the cover. I thought that would be a contract violation.

Doug said...

Ah, Cheap Trick. Good early albums, and the Budokan version of "I Want You To Want Me" was much better than the original album track, but then we get to... "The Flame".

Seriously, what the hell was up with that?

I guess there's a reason why the Budokan album gets this deluxe treatment and other later CT efforts... don't.

Pete Bilderback said...

Releasing a live album that totally eclipses your studio recordings is in many ways a curse. Just ask Peter Frampton.

Cheap Trick followed Budokan with Dream Police, which was disappointing compared to Budokan, but brilliant compared to what followed. The only really good song I can think of after that is "She's Tight" from One On One.

"The Flame" should be considered a lesson for young bands: break up before your record company foists Diane Warren on you. Looking on iTunes, I see "The Flame" is the band's third most downloaded song behind "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me." There is no doubt it is a serious stain on their legacy--it was one of the most annoying songs on the radio in the late 80s, and there was some pretty stiff competition at that time (New Kids, Rick Astley, Phil Collins, Cher, Tiffany, Samantha Fox, Belinda Carlisle, Heart, Peter Cetera, Bananarama, Def Leppard, Poison, etc., etc.)

The post major label albums (starting with the Steve Albini produced self-titled album from 1997) have their supporters. Many even swear by 1994's Woke Up With A Monster. But none of these later albums have really captured my attention (which is not to say they are undeserving of it).

dan said...

I saw Cheap Trick live in Seattle in the early 90s and many among us were stunned that they actually played The Flame. I know it's probably their biggest hit, but I suspect there was approximatley 0% overlap between those who liked the song at the time and were willing to see them play live several years later.

Pete Bilderback said...


Yeah, that's weird that they would still be playing "The Flame" at that point (I think they still do). Using Albani to produce your records shows a pretty good awareness of who their audience is these days...playing "The Flame" not so much.