Cheap Trick

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Cheap Trick
Cheaptrick1.jpg
Cheap Trick performing in 1978 in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Park Center
Background information
Origin Rockford, Illinois, U.S.
Genres
Years active1973–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website cheaptrick.com
Members
Past members

Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1973. The band's classic line-up consisted of frontman Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson, and drummer Bun E. Carlos. [lower-alpha 1] [3]

Contents

Cheap Trick released their self-titled debut album in 1977 and found success in Japan with the release of their second album, In Color , later that year. The band would achieve mainstream popularity in the United States in 1979 with their breakthrough album Cheap Trick at Budokan . Cheap Trick reached the Top 10 in the US charts in 1979 with the Budokan live version of "I Want You to Want Me" and topped the charts in 1988 with "The Flame".

Cheap Trick have performed live more than 3,700 times [4] and sold more than 20 million albums. [5] Over the course of its career, the band has experienced several resurgences of popularity and built a dedicated cult following. Cheap Trick were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

History

Origins and early years (1969–1977)

In 1967, Rick Nielsen formed Fuse with Tom Peterson (later known as Tom Petersson), who had played in another Rockford, Illinois band called The Bo Weevils. [6] With Bun E. Carlos joining on drums, Fuse moved to Philadelphia in 1971. They originally called themselves 'Sick Man of Europe' from 1972 to 1973. [6] After a European tour in 1973, Nielsen and Petersson returned to Rockford and reunited with Carlos. [7] [8] According to Rolling Stone , the band adopted the name 'Cheap Trick' on August 15, 1973. [9] The name was inspired by the band's attendance at a Slade concert, where Petersson commented that the band used 'every cheap trick in the book' as part of their act. [10]

Randy "Xeno" Hogan was the original lead singer for Cheap Trick. He left the band shortly after its formation and was replaced by Robin Zander. [6] [11]

Nielsen and Petersson performing in 1977 CheapTrick1977.jpg
Nielsen and Petersson performing in 1977

With Robin Zander now on vocals, the band recorded a demo in 1975 and played in warehouses, bowling alleys, and various other venues around the midwestern United States. The band was signed to Epic Records in early 1976.[ citation needed ] The band released its first album, Cheap Trick , in early 1977. [11] While favored by critics, the album did not sell well. [6] The album's lone single, "Oh, Candy", failed to chart, as did the album. Their second album, In Color , was released later that year. [11] The singles "I Want You To Want Me" and "Southern Girls" failed to chart. However, in 2012, In Color was ranked No. 443 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. [12]

Budokan brings success (1978–1980)

When Cheap Trick toured in Japan for the first time in April 1978, they were received with a frenzy reminiscent of Beatlemania. [13] During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts at the Nippon Budokan. Ten tracks taken from both shows were compiled and released as a live album entitled Cheap Trick at Budokan , [11] which was intended to be exclusive to Japan. [14]

The band's third studio album, Heaven Tonight was released in May 1978. [11] The lead-off track "Surrender" was Cheap Trick's first single to chart in the United States, peaking at No. 62. It has gone on to become one of the band's signature songs.[ citation needed ]

Demand for Cheap Trick at Budokan became so great that Epic Records finally released the album in the U.S. in February 1979.[ citation needed ]Cheap Trick at Budokan launched the band into international stardom, and the album went triple platinum in the United States. [13] [15] The first single from the album was the live version of "I Want You to Want Me", which had originally been released on In Color. It reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became Cheap Trick's best-selling single to date. [16] The second single, "Ain't That A Shame", peaked at No. 35. "Need Your Love" had already been recorded for the forthcoming Dream Police album that had already been finished, but after the unprecedented success of Cheap Trick at Budokan, Epic postponed the album's release.[ citation needed ]

Dream Police was released later in 1979, [11] and was their third album in a row produced by Tom Werman. The title track of the album was a hit single, as was "Voices". Dream Police also found the band taking its style in a more experimental direction by incorporating strings and dabbling in heavy metal on tracks like "Gonna Raise Hell". By 1980, Cheap Trick was headlining arenas.[ citation needed ]

On August 26, 1980, Petersson left the group to record a solo album with his wife Dagmar, [11] using the band name Another Language. Jon Brant became Petersson's steady replacement, after a year of Cheap Trick touring and recording with Peter Comita. [11]

All Shook Up (1980), produced by former Beatles producer George Martin, [11] reached No. 24 on the charts and was certified gold. However, the album's high-class background did not save it from descriptions like "Led Zeppelin gone psycho". [17]

1980s struggles (1981–1986)

In July 1981, CBS Inc. sued Cheap Trick and their manager Ken Adamany for $10 million, alleging they were attempting to coerce CBS into re-negotiating their contract and had refused to record any new material for the label since October 1980. The lawsuit was settled in early 1982 and work commenced on the next album: One on One .[ citation needed ] The album spawned two minor hits with the power ballad "If You Want My Love" (which peaked at no. 45) and the innuendo-laced rocker "She's Tight" (which peaked at no. 65). [18]

Cheap Trick released Next Position Please in 1983. [11] The album's two singles, "Dancing the Night Away" and "I Can't Take It," failed to chart. [18] [19]

In 1984, the band recorded the title track to the Tim Matheson comedy Up The Creek , which Nielsen later called "one of the worst" songs he'd ever written. [20]

The band released Standing on the Edge in 1985. [11] This album was called their "best collection of bubblegum bazooka rock in years". [21] The album's first single, "Tonight It's You", reached No. 8 on Billboard's Top Rock Tracks chart. [18]

In 1986, the band recorded "Mighty Wings", the end-title cut for the film Top Gun . [11] They then released The Doctor in the fall. The album's lone single, "It's Only Love" failed to chart. [18] The music video for "It's Only Love" made history as the first music video to prominently use American Sign Language. [22] The Doctor turned out to be the band's final album with Jon Brant as bassist.[ citation needed ]

Petersson rejoined the group in 1987 [23] and helped record 1988's Lap of Luxury , [11] produced by Richie Zito. Due to the band's commercial decline, Epic Records insisted that the band collaborate with professional songwriters on the album. [9] Nielsen said, "Lap of Luxury was a tough record to make. We could lie to you and tell you it was all wonderful and great. It wasn't. It was tough working with other writers. But it was a lesson for us." [24]

"The Flame", a ballad, was issued as the first single from the album, [11] and became the band's first-ever No. 1 hit. [16] The second single, a cover of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel", peaked at no. 4. The other singles from the album were "Ghost Town", "Never Had a Lot to Lose", and "Let Go"; "Ghost Town" and "Never Had a Lot to Lose" also charted. [18] Lap of Luxury went platinum [9] and became recognized as the band's comeback album. [25] [26] [27] Billboard commented: "After a long hitless streak, Cheap Trick brings it all back home. This is the quartet's punchiest effort since its mid-'70s heyday." [28]

Transitions (1990–2015)

Busted was released in 1990. [11] The band was allowed more creative control, and professional songwriters were only used on a handful of songs. The first single, "Can't Stop Falling Into Love", reached No.12 on the Billboard Hot 100, [29] and No.4 on the Album Rock Tracks chart. [30] The second single, the Diane Warren-penned "Wherever Would I Be", reached No.50 on the charts. [31] The single "If You Need Me" was not successful, although the track "Back 'n Blue" reached No.32 on the U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. [30]

In 1991, Cheap Trick's Greatest Hits was released. [11]

The group left Epic after the disappointing sales of Busted to sign with Warner Bros. Records. [11] In 1994, the band released Woke Up With A Monster . [11] The album's title track was issued as the first single and reached No. 16 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. The album's sales were poor, and it peaked at only No. 123.[ citation needed ]

In 1997, Cheap Trick signed with indie label Red Ant Records and released Cheap Trick . [11] The band attempted to re-introduce themselves to a new generation, as the album was self-titled and the artwork was similar to their first album which had been released twenty years before. [32] The album was critically acclaimed and hailed as a return to form. [11] Eleven weeks after the release, Red Ant's parent company Alliance Entertainment Corporation declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The single "Say Goodbye" only reached No. 119 on the charts, and the band again found themselves without a record label. Two other singles were released from the album, "Baby No More" and "Carnival Game".[ citation needed ]

Cheap Trick began to rebuild in 1998. The band toured behind the release of Cheap Trick at Budokan: The Complete Concert, [11] and the remastered re-issues of the band's first three albums. One of the multi-night stands from this tour resulted in Music for Hangovers , a live album that featured members of the Smashing Pumpkins on two tracks. In 1999, the band recorded a cover of Big Star's 1972 song "In The Street" that was used as the theme song for the hit sitcom That '70s Show . Cheap Trick ended the song with the lyric "We're all all right," which was drawn from their own 1978 song "Surrender". [33]

Vocalist Robin Zander performing at Gulfstream Park in 2006. Cheap Trick at Gulfstream Park - Robin Zander.jpg
Vocalist Robin Zander performing at Gulfstream Park in 2006.

After spending much of 2001 writing songs and about six weeks in pre-production, Cheap Trick went into Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York in March 2002, where they recorded their first studio album in six years, Special One in May 2003.[ citation needed ]

Cheap Trick released Rockford on Cheap Trick Unlimited/Big3 Records in 2006. The first single from the album was "Perfect Stranger" (produced by Linda Perry and co-written by Cheap Trick and Perry). The band also appeared in a McDonald's advertising campaign called "This Is Your Wake-Up Call" featuring the band. [34]

Guitarist Rick Nielsen performing at Gulfstream Park in 2006. Cheap Trick at Gulfstream Park - Rick Nielsen.jpg
Guitarist Rick Nielsen performing at Gulfstream Park in 2006.

In 2007, officials of Rockford, Illinois honored Cheap Trick by reproducing the Rockford album cover art on that year's city vehicle sticker. On June 19, 2007, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Resolution 255, which designated April 1 of every year as Cheap Trick Day in the State of Illinois. [35] In August of that year, Cheap Trick honored the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by playing the album in its entirety with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by Edwin Outwater, along with guest vocalists including Joan Osborne and Aimee Mann. [36]

On April 24, 2008, Cheap Trick performed at the Budokan arena for the 30th anniversary of the 1978 album Cheap Trick at Budokan . [37]

Bun E. Carlos stopped touring with the band in 2010. Rick Nielsen's son Daxx, who had filled in for Bun E. while he was recovering from back surgery in 2001, became the band's touring drummer [2] and remained in that role as of 2016. [1]

On July 17, 2011 at the Bluesfest in Ottawa, a thunderstorm blew through the festival area 20 minutes into the band's set. The band and crew were on the stage when, without warning, the 40-ton roof fell. It fell away from the audience and landed on the band's truck, which was parked alongside the back of the stage, the van broke the fall and allowed everyone about 30 seconds to escape. [38]

Carlos filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates in 2013. He claimed that even though they claimed that he was still a band member, he was not being allowed to participate in band-related activities, including recording. The remaining three members of Cheap Trick filed a countersuit, seeking a legal affirmation of their removal of Carlos. Their lawsuit was dismissed in late 2013. [39] The legal dispute was eventually settled. [9] Following the settlement, Carlos remained a one-quarter owner of Cheap Trick and a member of the band, but did not record or tour with them. [1] [40] [41]

Hall of Fame induction and later years (2016–present)

Cheap Trick performs live at Rockfest 80's in Pembroke Pines, Florida on November 4, 2017. Cheap Trick live at Rockfest 80's in 2017.jpg
Cheap Trick performs live at Rockfest 80's in Pembroke Pines, Florida on November 4, 2017.

On April 1, 2016, the band released its first album in five years, Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello . They released a single, "No Direction Home," as a teaser for the album. [42] The album was the band's first record on a major label in 22 years. [9] Daxx Nielsen played drums on the album. [43]

On April 8, 2016, Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [44] [45]

On June 16, 2017, the band released the album We're All Alright! . [46] Daxx Nielsen played drums on the album. [47] In August 2017, the band appeared on Insane Clown Posse's single "Black Blizzard". [48] On October 20, 2017, the band released a Christmas album, Christmas Christmas . [49]

On January 29, 2021, Cheap Trick released the single "Light Up The Fire" in the run up to their album In Another World, due for release on April 9, 2021. [50]

The band was announced as part of the 2021 Australian concert series, Under the Southern Stars, alongside Bush and Stone Temple Pilots. They replaced original headliners Live on the bill. [51] In April 2021 the concert was postponed to 2022. [52]

Legacy

In 2016, Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 8, and the band was introduced by Kid Rock. [44] Zander, Nielsen, Petersson, and Carlos were in attendance; with Carlos on drums, the band performed "I Want You to Want Me", "Dream Police", "Surrender" and "Ain't That a Shame". [44] [45]

A big influence on the alternative rock band Nirvana, their lead singer Kurt Cobain once referenced his band as a 1990s version of Cheap Trick.

Band members

Timeline

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Cheap Trick

Discography

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 As of 2016, Bun E. Carlos remains a one-quarter owner of Cheap Trick and a member of the band, but no longer records or tours with the band. Daxx Nielsen became the band's touring drummer in 2010 and had continued in that capacity as of 2016. Nielsen also played drums on the band's 2016 album Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello and the band's 2017 album We're All Alright! .

Related Research Articles

Robin Zander American singer-songwriter

Robin Wayne Zander is an American singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist. He is best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band Cheap Trick, but is also a solo artist. Zander was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 as a member of Cheap Trick.

Bun E. Carlos American musician

Brad M. Carlson, better known by the stage name Bun E. Carlos, is the original drummer for American rock band Cheap Trick. He recorded and performed with the band from 1973 to 2010 and remains a member of the band. Carlos was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 as a member of Cheap Trick.

<i>Cheap Trick at Budokan</i> 1978 live album

Cheap Trick at Budokan is a live album released by Cheap Trick in 1978 and their best-selling recording. It steadily grew off radio play and word-of-mouth to become a high-selling success, kickstarting the band's popularity and becoming acclaimed as one of the greatest live rock albums of all time.

<i>Heaven Tonight</i> 1978 studio album by Cheap Trick

Heaven Tonight is Cheap Trick's third studio album, produced by Tom Werman and released in 1978. The album was remastered and released with bonus tracks on Sony's Epic/Legacy imprint in 1998. The album cover features lead singer Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson on the front, with Rick Neilsen and Bun E. Carlos on the back.

<i>Dream Police</i> 1979 album by Cheap Trick

Dream Police is the fourth studio album by American rock band Cheap Trick. It was released in 1979, and was their third release in a row produced by Tom Werman. It is the band's most commercially successful studio album, going to No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and being certified platinum within a few months of its release.

I Want You to Want Me

"I Want You to Want Me" is a song by the American rock band Cheap Trick. It is originally from their second album In Color, released in September 1977. It was the first single released from that album, but it did not chart in the United States.

<i>Lap of Luxury</i> 1988 studio album by Cheap Trick

Lap of Luxury is the tenth studio album by American band Cheap Trick. Released on April 12, 1988, it is the band's second-most commercially successful studio album, having reached number 16 on the Billboard 200 and having been certified platinum in sales. The album contains the band's only US number-one hit, "The Flame", as well as the additional hit singles "Don't Be Cruel" and "Ghost Town".

<i>In Color</i> (album) 1977 studio album by Cheap Trick

In Color is the second studio album by Cheap Trick, released in 1977. It was produced by Tom Werman.

<i>Special One</i> 2003 studio album by Cheap Trick

Special One is the fourteenth studio album by the band Cheap Trick. It was released in 2003 to mixed reviews and features the single "Scent of a Woman." It charted for one week, reaching 128 on the album charts.

<i>Rockford</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Cheap Trick

Rockford is the fifteenth studio album by Cheap Trick, released on June 6, 2006. The album's title refers to Rockford, Illinois, the band's hometown.

<i>The Doctor</i> (Cheap Trick album) 1986 studio album by Cheap Trick

The Doctor is the ninth studio album by Cheap Trick, released in 1986. It was produced by Tony Platt and reached No. 115 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

<i>Busted</i> (Cheap Trick album) 1990 studio album by Cheap Trick

Busted is the eleventh studio album released by Cheap Trick, which was released in 1990 and peaked at number 44 on the US album charts. After the success of "The Flame" from the previous album Lap of Luxury, the band recorded Busted with a similar format, especially on the single "Can't Stop Fallin' into Love." The single peaked at number 12 on the US charts. The album failed to be as successful as the label had hoped, and about a year after the release of Busted Epic Records dropped Cheap Trick from their label. There were three videos shot for this LP; "Can't Stop Fallin' into Love," "If You Need Me," and "Wherever Would I Be."

Surrender (Cheap Trick song) 1978 single by Cheap Trick

"Surrender" is a single by Cheap Trick released in June 1978 from the album Heaven Tonight. It was the first Cheap Trick single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 62. Its success in Japan, as well as the success of its preceding singles "Clock Strikes Ten" and "I Want You to Want Me", paved the way for Cheap Trick's famous concerts at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo in April 1978 that were recorded for the group's most popular album Cheap Trick at Budokan. The song originates from 1976, as like many other Cheap Trick songs it was played in concert before its release.

Woke Up with a Monster (song) 1994 single by Cheap Trick

"Woke Up with a Monster" is a song by American rock band Cheap Trick, released in 1994 as the lead single from their twelfth studio album Woke Up with a Monster. It was written by Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander and Tom Petersson, and produced by Ted Templeman. The song was released by Warner Bros. Records as a promotional-only single in the United States, aimed at generating radio play. It reached No. 16 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks and remained on the chart for six weeks.

Never Had a Lot to Lose 1989 single by Cheap Trick

"Never Had a Lot to Lose" is a song by the American rock band Cheap Trick, released in 1989 as the fifth and final single from their tenth studio album Lap of Luxury. It was written by lead vocalist Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson, and produced by Richie Zito. The song reached No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Say Goodbye (Cheap Trick song) 1997 single by Cheap Trick

"Say Goodbye" is a song by the American rock band Cheap Trick, released in 1997 as the lead single from their thirteenth studio album Cheap Trick. The song was written by guitarist Rick Nielsen, lead vocalist Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson, and produced by Cheap Trick and Ian Taylor.

"Back 'n Blue" is a song by the American rock band Cheap Trick, which was released in 1990 as the opening track on their eleventh studio album Busted. It was written by Taylor Rhodes, Robert A. Johnson, Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander, and produced by Richie Zito.

Let Go (Cheap Trick song) 1988 single by Cheap Trick

"Let Go" is a song by the American rock band Cheap Trick, released in 1988 as the fourth single from their tenth studio album Lap of Luxury. It was written by guitarist Rick Nielsen and Todd Cerney, and produced by Richie Zito.

<i>Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello</i> 2016 studio album by Cheap Trick

Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello is the seventeenth studio album by American rock band Cheap Trick. The album was released on April 1, 2016, by Big Machine Records. The album is the first in the band's history to not feature Bun E. Carlos on drums. Touring drummer Daxx Nielsen fills in on drums for the album.

<i>In Another World</i> (Cheap Trick album) 2021 studio album by Cheap Trick

In Another World is the twentieth studio album by American rock band Cheap Trick, released on April 9, 2021.

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