CD Review: Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick
By David Chiu

There is no question that Cheap Trick’s At Budokan album changed the fortunes of the little-known band from Rockford, Illinois back in 1979. Before Budokan Cheap Trick had released their first studio albums in the States without much fanfare. But when the band toured Japan for the first time in April 1978, it was pandemonium reminiscent of Beatlemania with the screaming Japanese audience at the Nippon Budokan. Somehow Cheap Trick fed off that energy and delivered blistering power pop performances. The subsequent live album became a huge smash in the States thanks to their signature pop hit “I Want You To Want Me.” That historic time in Cheap Trick’s history is now revisited 30 years later with a DVD/CD package containing a performance from April 28, 1978 that only aired on Japanese TV, and the entire concert from that tour previously reissued ten years ago. For fans already weaned on their old copies of At Budokan, the DVD is the main highlight and it’s funny to see guitarist Rick Nielsen acting all weird and goofy through his wide-eyed facial expressions and antics. Nielsen’s the perfect foil to Robin Zander’s handsome stage persona and singing, which is accentuated by the smoking rhythm section of bassist Tom Petersson and drummer Bun E. Carlos. Budokan! is vintage Cheap Trick at their best, and from the performance on TV and on record, it’s quite understandable why the crowd went crazy!


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