Thursday, 13 January 2011

Random Review 2011 #6 Cheap Trick At Budokan The Complete Concert

C2S9CD13 OK so where does this CD fit within my musical history. In 1980 I was 15 and living on a sample diet of rock music, Iron Maiden, Sammy Hagar, UFO where my favourites if I remember rightly and I poured over music weeklys every Thursday. Sounds (sadly no longer going) was or paper of choice as it reflected our taste at the time and I believe they annouced that I Want You To Want Me was their single of the week so we had to know more.

Lots of us had never heard of Cheap Trick but as soon as I Want You To Want Me hit the airwaves we were hooked. IWYTWM is a slice of pure power pop that bounces along and I defy anybody not to sing along when the song is playing.

At Budokan was originally released as a 10 track single album which I bought in Germany whilst on a school football tour.(I could right a short story about the week long trip to Germany but maybe not in this Blog!) The cover was the same stills as this CD but in colour and as this CD has had singer Robin Zander and Bassist Tom Petersson on the front cover. They look like any other rock band of the 1980's long hair perfect smiles cool personified, but this was only the half of it! On the reverse are the other 2 members of the band. Drummer Bun E. Carlos looks like a librarian and guitarist Rick Nielsen may as well be the dictionary definition for zany, short hair (not sure if he has hair as I have never seen a photo without a cap) bow tie, checkerboard motif on anything and everything and guitars with 2 necks, 3 necks and I believe now 5 necks, but under all this clowns clothing was a great guitarist and the lynch pin of Cheap Tricks songwriting. People compare Cheap Trick to The Beatles for the close harmonies and 3 minute pop songs but that's a cheap comparison and an insult to both groups.

These 2 'couples' that made up the band were like ying and yang as they worked in perfect harmony to produce catchy rock tunes that crossed over into mainstream charts as they delivered great songs with choruses that people could not stop spinning round in their head for days on end.

So to the album, the version I have now is a 20th Anniversary Edition and contains the full concert 19 tracks rather than the edited version I originally owned. As I have mentioned in the past I sometimes believe less is more with regard to music and this is sadly the case with this. Although I loved this album I prefer the edited version which rattled along at a pace with 10 great tunes. Listening to this again Cheap Trick seem heavier than I remember but we still get the great pop songs in I Want You To Want Me, Surrender, and slow burners like Need Your Love and final closing frenetic crowd pleaser Clock Strikes Ten.

I have really enjoyed revisiting the CD but think I will edit down the album on my I-pod to reflect the original version.

Cheap Trick are still going today and I recently got their most recent release The Latest which I got free with a magazine, it's a real return to form and has all the elements of a great Cheap Trick album. and made me remember what a great band they were/are.

Mark Original Version 8/10 Re-packaged version 6/10

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