Great Rock Albums of 1982: Cheap Trick- One on One
For many people in 1982, it was assumed that Cheap Trick had descended from the height of their popularity. True, their songs weren’t getting so much airplay on radio in those days but they were still selling records and were still a big concert draw. It was only on account of military obligations I didn’t see them that year. Nonetheless, what could be said about them was that their album “One on One” was a good one. I’ll be the first to say that it’s not quite as spectacular as classics like “Dream Police” or “At Budokhan,” but being not quite as spectacular doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a great album, it was.
“One On One,” for me, comes in three acts. Act 1 consists of the first three tracks, all of which more of a pop rock sound. Well, as pop as Cheap Trick could get. Two of those tracks, “I Want You” and “If You Want My Love” were released as singles and I remember the latter being played on MTV when my household finally got the channel a year later. Those songs may have been recorded for radio but they still have the Cheap Trick sound that we all love them for.
Act 2 is my favourite part of the album because they go even more hard rock here. The fourth track, “Oo La La La” makes the transition a very enjoyable one. Especially as my favourite song on the album, “Looking Out for Number One” follows right after. Following that, Cheap Trick show that they could still combine hard rock with humourous innuendo in the song, “She’s Tight.” However, Act 3 is the weakest part of the album in my view. They go a bit more 80s mainstream synthesizer rock with these songs and while they are still good songs, Act 3 isn’t as good as the second act. Although they also show their sense of humour with “I Want Be Man,” which sounds like it’s about wanting to be transgender. Fortunately, they take things out very well with the rocking closer, “Four Letter Words” and with everything, “One on One” goes on to become a very good album.
1. I Want You
2. One on One
3. If You Want My Love
4. Ooh La La La
5. Looking Out for Number One
6. She’s Tight
7. Time is Runnin’
8. Saturday at Midnight
9. Love’s Got a Hold On Me
10. I Want Be Man
11. Four Letter Words
Robin Zander- lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Rick Nielsen- lead guitar, vocals
Jon Brant- bass, backing vocals
Bun E Carlos- drums, percussion
The moral of the story with Cheap Trick and “One on One” is never write off a band just because their songs aren’t getting played on AM radio anymore. Cheap Trick still put out some fine albums in the 80s and “One on One” is certainly one of those.
Next post: A Flock of Seagulls
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