ARTIST: Cheap Trick
TITLE: Cheap Trick
YEAR RELEASED: 1977
CHART ACTION: #207
SINGLES: Oh Candy
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Elo Kiddies, He’s a Whore
LINEUP: Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson, Bun E. Carlos
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Sharp Illinois rock band releases first album to mainly crickets – except for critics – and Japan.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Cheap Trick were a force in Illinois – with a great stage show and a catalog of songs that many established acts would be jealous to have. Nielsen and Petersson had been gigging together for 10 years or so, and Carlos and Zander would all be members by 1974.
The songs they chose for this record were a lot more rock oriented and darker than they would be later on, but that’s not to say they don’t have hooks or any memorable moments. “Elo Kiddies”, “He’s a Whore”, “Taxman, Mr. Thief” and others stay in your head just like more familiar songs. It just was a bit out of step for the US at the time.
In Japan, though, this album put them on the path to stardom.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Nielsen and Petersson were part of a band called Fuse, which released an album in 1970 that sunk like a stone.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes with b-sides, demos, etc.
GRADE: A-: Not the sunshiny power-pop Cheap Trick, but another side of the band that you should hear.