ARTIST: Cheap Trick
TITLE: At Budokan
YEAR RELEASED: 1979 (1978 in Japan)
CHART ACTION: #4 US, #29 UK
SINGLES: I Want You to Want Me (#7 US, #29 UK), Ain’t That a Shame (#35 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Surrender and most of the great songs from the first three records,
LINEUP: Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Bun E Carlos
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The live record, made originally for the Japanese market, changed their career trajectory, and for good reason.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first three Cheap Trick albums were excellent, mainly because the band had worked out almost all of the songs early in their career and honed them to fine power-pop and rock goodness.
Sporadically popular here in the states, they were beloved in Japan, and recorded a live record for the Japanese market. The original ten song album burned turntables in Japan, and import copies sold 30,00 copies. What captured the fancy of radio and the public was the live version of “I Want You to Want Me”, which turned the song from a quirky power pop tune to a rock classic.
The playing is strong, the crowd is energized, and the band feeds off of it giving a great performance of their material. It’s what a live album should be.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The Japanese fans repeat “Crying…Crying…Crying” during “I Want You to Want Me” to simulate the echo on the original release.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The definitive version is the 19-track CD released in the 90’s, with basically the concert in the proper running order and capturing the entire essence of it.
GRADE: A+: A touchstone live album for an entire generation (and beyond).