Their 1977 debut album, plus outtakes of I Want You to Want Me and Lovin' Money . AND-*never-before-released* outtakes of Lookout; You're All Talk , and Go Go Girls !
Once largely written off by critics as arena-rock dinosaurs, Rockford, Illinois's favorite musical sons have become darlings of an influential cadre of alternative and modern-rock superstars and the subjects of an overdue catalog upgrade--and for a slew of good reasons. The first of those would be Cheap Trick
, the blistering 1977 debut that confounded reviewers nearly as well as it captured the band's edgy song sensibility and musical chops honed by their 200-plus-gig-a-year work ethic. Producer Jack Douglas wisely opted for a deceptively raw tack that captured Cheap Trick's manic live essence better than any other album--save, of course, Live at Budokan
. The band's later bubble-gum rep is viciously and hilariously undercut here by songs about youth-culture cynicism ("Elo Kiddies"), pedophilia ("Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School"), mass murder ("The Ballad of TV Violence"), and gigolos ("He's a Whore"), not to mention a tasty cover of Terry Reid's "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace." Guitarist Rick Nielsen's loud, trashy fretwork presaged "grunge" by a good 15 years, and Robin Zander's vocals show why he's since been tagged the Man of a Thousand Voices. And the rhythm section of drummer Bun E. Carlos and Tom Petersson was (and is) one of rock's most underrated. This Sony Legacy "Expanded Edition" restores the album's original running order (the previous version flipped the vinyl's A and B sides) and features new photos, liner notes, and five bonus cuts. One of rock's greatest albums, unsung or otherwise. --Jerry McCulley
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.