RELEASE
1977
LABEL
Epic/Legacy
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, New Wave, Power Pop, Arena Rock, Punk/New Wave, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Album Rock

Album Review

Cheap Trick's eponymous debut is an explosive fusion of Beatlesque melodic hooks, Who-styled power, and a twisted sense of humor partially borrowed from the Move. But that only begins to scratch the surface of what makes Cheap Trick a dynamic record. Guitarist Rick Nielsen has a powerful sense of dynamics and arrangements, which gives the music an extra kick, but he also can write exceptionally melodic and subversive songs. Nothing on Cheap Trick is quite what it seems. While the songs have hooks and attitude that arena rock was sorely lacking in the late '70s, they are also informed by a bizarre sensibility, whether it's the driving "He's a Whore," the dreamy "Mandocello," or the thumping Gary Glitter perversion "ELO Kiddies." "The Ballad of TV Violence" is about mass murder, while "Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School" concerns pedophiles. All of it is told with a sense of humor, but it doesn't come off as cheap or smirking because of the group's hard-rocking drive and Robin Zander's pop-idol vocals. Even "Oh, Candy," apparently a love song on first listen, is an affecting tribute to a friend who committed suicide. In short, Cheap Trick revel in taboo subjects with abandon, devoting themselves to the power of the hook, as well as sheer volume and gut-wrenching rock & roll -- though the record is more musically accomplished than punk rock, it shares the same aesthetic. The combination of off-kilter humor, bizarre subjects, and blissful power pop made Cheap Trick one of the defining albums of its era, as well as one of the most influential. [The 1998 Epic/Legacy reissue of Cheap Trick features a different track sequence than the original and also adds several bonus tracks, many of which are previously unreleased.]
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. ELO Kiddieshttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273577946&id=273577710
  2. Daddy Should Have Stayed in High Schoolhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273577950&id=273577710
  3. Taxman, Mr. Thiefhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578071&id=273577710
  4. Cry, Cryhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578100&id=273577710
  5. Oh, Candyhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578111&id=273577710
  6. Hot Lovehttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578116&id=273577710
  7. Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peacehttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578120&id=273577710
  8. He's a Whorehttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578133&id=273577710
  9. Mandocellohttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578241&id=273577710
  10. The Ballad of TV Violence (I'm Not the Only Boy)http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578249&id=273577710
  11. Lovin' Money [#][*][Outtake]http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578251&id=273577710
  12. I Want You to Want Me [Early Version][#][*]http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578316&id=273577710
  13. Lookout [Previously Unreleased Studio Version][#][*]http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578317&id=273577710
  14. You're All Talk [Studio Version][#][*]http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578319&id=273577710
  15. I Dig Go-Go Girls [#][*]http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273578322&id=273577710
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