Happy Cheap Trick Day! No, this is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke! In the state of Illinois, 1 April is Cheap Trick Day, and since I have been a fan of theirs since the Fall of 1977, I am celebrating! What have I done today? Well, I made my annual “Happy Cheap Trick Day” announcement on Facebook, as well as texting my boys the very same sentiment. I know their response will be their annual roll of their eyes. That’s what I’m here for guys.
As my family, friends and followers know by now, Cheap Trick is my band. Believe it or not, I have only seen them twice in concert. The first time was not until 2002, when they played a very small, old theater in a small town in Central Indiana. Of course, my wife and I were still not 40 at the time and have always looked younger until recently. Anyway, I noticed that lead singer Robin Zander was singing toward someone over by us, as we were only a few rows back. Since I am a pretty clueless guy, I kept trying to figure out to whom he was singing. Finally, I look to my right, and my wife was mesmerized, flirting with her eyes back at him. I thought, “What the hell! Well, is my wife now going to become a Cheap Trick groupie?” After finishing “Voices,” the band huddled. According to the setlist that I saw posted on the band’s discussion room, the next song was to be “Heaven Tonight.” Yet, the band played the one song they all reportedly hated: “The Flame!” “Well, I’ll be damned! My favorite band’s lead singer is hitting on my wife!” Long story short, I touched my wife’s shoulder, which broke Robin’s laser beam hold on her. But, for about ten minutes, my wife was in heaven. We still laugh about it to this day, though my laugh just might be a little nervous.
Now, most people think Cheap Trick’s finest days are long behind them. Now, I know that I am biased, but I believe Cheap Trick have become very high quality craftsmen. I agree that the most vital work was recorded from 1977 through 1979. Those first four albums are bonafide classics. Then, in 1980, things began to slip, only because their record company kept interfering. 1980 also corresponds with bassist Tom Petersson leaving the band. So, I tend to refer the years from 1980 to 1986 as the Pete Comita years, the name of the fine bassist who replaced Petersson. Now, if you were to distilled the albums created during that time to the best songs, you would have created two terrific albums. But, the band seemed to be running out of creative steam.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it was announced that Petersson was returning to the band, and all Cheap Trick fans rejoiced. Unfortunately, the label continued in the band’s creative process, hoping the band would write another “I Want You to Want Me.” The band released the very successful comeback album Lap of Luxury, followed by the lackluster Busted. It was shortly thereafter that Cheap Trick found themselves without a label. Since that time, other than their 1994 Woke Up with a Monster album, the band has essentially recorded as an indie band, which honestly suits them well.
With that said, I would like to present my 30 favorite Cheap Trick songs released since 1991 in honor of this fine holiday. I did not rank them. I am presenting them in alphabetical order. Enjoy!
- “Anytime” (Cheap Trick, 1997)
- “Baby No More” (Cheap Trick, 1997)
- “Baby Talk” (Sub Pop single, 1997)
- “Brontosaurus” (Sub Pop single, 1997)
- “California Girl” (The Latest, 2009)
- “Come On, Come On, Come On” (Rockford, 2006)
- “Didn’t Know I Had It” (Woke Up with a Monster, 1994)
- “Eight Miles Low” (Cheap Trick, 1997)
- “Hard to Tell” (Cheap Trick, 1997)
- “It All Comes Back to You” (Cheap Trick, 1997)
- “Let Her Go” (Woke Up with a Monster, 1994)
- “Magical Mystery Tour” (Greatest Hits, 1991)
- “My Obsession” (Special One, 2003)
- “No Direction Home” (Bang, Zoom, Crazy, Hello, 2016)
- “Nowhere” (We’re All Alright, 2017)
- “Perfect Stranger” (Rockford, 2006)
- “Pop Drone” (Special One, 2003)
- “Roll Me” (Bang, Zoom, Crazy, Hello, 2016)
- “Say Goodbye” (Cheap Trick, 1997)
- “She’s Alright” (We’re All Alright, 2017)
- “Sick Man of Europe” (The Latest, 2009)
- “Tell Me Everything” (Woke Up with a Monster, 1994)
- “This Time You Got It” (Rockford, 2006)
- “This Time You Got It” (Rockford, 2006)
- “When I Wake Up Tomorrow” (Bang, Zoom, Crazy, Hello, 2016)
- “When the Lights Are Out” (The Latest, 2009)
- “Woke Up with a Monster” (Woke Up with a Monster, 1994)
- “You Got It Going On” (We’re All Alright, 2017)
- “You Let Lotta People Down” (Cheap Trick, 1997)
- “You’re All I Wanna Do” (Woke Up with a Monster, 1994)
Happy Cheap Trick Day!