Great Rock Albums of 1981: Cheap Trick- All Shook Up



Cheap Trick’s album “All Shook Up” was yet another album that passed me by when I was on sea duty in late 1980/early 81. I had heard they had put out a new album and it was in my mind to get it once I got back to the US but for some reason, I never did. My loss and it was one that I now regret because after finally listening to it, I realise how good it actually is.

The main problem for Cheap Trick was that “All Shook Up” did not have the radio playability as their previous album, “Dream Police.” I honestly can not remember any songs from the album played on FM radio around the time. True there’s no top 40 single like “Dream Police” or “I Want You to Want Me” on this album.  Therefore, many people, not just me, allowed it to pass them by and I am sure that I am not the only person who regretted this because I can now say that this is a really good album. It proves once more that Cheap Trick can rock and have fun at the same time. The songs are all good rocking fun especially the last five or so. “I Love You Honey But I Hate Your Friends” is a classic example of Cheap Trick doing what they do best and “High Priest of Rhythmic Noise” is another one. Saying that, the band remains tight through all of the songs with all the trademark aspects of this great band.

Track Listing:

1. Stop the Game

2. Just Got Back

3. Baby Loves to Rock

4. Can’t Stop It But I’m Gonna Try

5. World’s Greatest Lover

6. High Priest of Rhythmic Noise

7. Love Comes A Tumblin’ Down

8. I Love You Honey But I Hate Your Friends

9. Go For The Throat (Use Your Own Imagination)

10. Who D’ King

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

Robin Zander- lead vocals

Rick Nielson- lead guitar, backing vocals

Tom Peterssen- bass, backing vocals

Bun E Carlos- drums

Thinking back, I believe that one of the reasons “All Shook Up” passed me by was that I got a letter from my sister telling me that her heart throb Tom Peterssen left the band shortly after it was released. I know that put her off buying the album or otherwise it would have been there for me to borrow and listen to when I got home. My excuse and I’m sticking with it. It was a definite shame because I now realise that I have been missing about on a great album for over three decades.

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13 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1981: Cheap Trick- All Shook Up”

  1. Cheap Trick was one of my favorite bands at the time, so I was super-excited when this album was released. They were actually my first concert, at Madison Square Garden in May 1980. I remember radio stations playing “Stop This Game” and “Baby Loves To Rock” but these songs fell off their playlists very quickly. I love George Martin’s production work on this album…there’s a reason why there’s a Beatles vibe on many of the songs (most notably “The World’s Greatest Lover”) although Cheap Trick never got more Beatle-y than “Voices” from Dream Police. As a drummer, I have a special affinity for “Who D’King,” since Bun E. Carlos co-wrote it with Rick Nielsen. All in all an excellent record that’s unfortunately been overshadowed by the albums that came before it. I’m glad you eventually discovered it.


    • Cheap Trick were another one of those bands I never got to see live :@(. I’m going to have to listen to it again for the Beatles vibes but you’re spot on about Who D’King.


    • That’s cool u saw back in the heyday so to speak….must have been a fantastic live show…who opened??
      Also to have seen The Who at Shea back in 82 man that’s cool I have the Who’s Last album and the inside sleeve is a shot I think of the Shea show……
      Seen two of my favs ….


      • It was a great first show. I consider myself lucky. I was so excited that I bought several t-shirts, a Cheap Trick bow-tie and the official tour program. I thought that’s what you were expected to do at every concert but I learned quickly that you could go broke doing that. The opening act was The Romantics, who were supporting their debut album (with “What I Like About You”). My first year of shows was really good. Between 1980 & ’81 I saw The Cars, Blue Oyster Cult and Rush (there were others but those three immediately came to mind). The Who show at Shea Stadium was cool, with opening acts David Johansen and The Clash. It’s amazing to think that I scalped my ticket for $50…a lot of money for a 16-year-old…yet that would be a bargain for a stadium ticket now.


      • I never went to a concert in 1980 or 81 because of the Marine Corps. I remember one time Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat were coming locally and I would have loved to have gone but our battalion had its combat readiness evaluation that week so I spent the entire time in the field. Shame because you went to a lot of cool concerts that year. I was also very bummed over missing The Round Up.


  2. I got to Cheap Trick relatively late anyway and it took me a while to get around to this one. It’s a great album. I especially love the opening track.


  3. Cheap Trick is awesome the first album I bought along with many others at the time was Budokan. From there it was everything even in the lean 80s I still found some things on The Doctor that I liked and to this day I still purchase there stuff. There actually playing here in my hometown at the end of this month (Thunder Bay) yep I’m going!
    But anyways they wrote great tracks this is like Rich said a forgotten gem!
    Good job Metalman….


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