Archive for Dream Police

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Cheap Trick- Lap of Luxury

Posted in 1980s, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2022 by 80smetalman

Today’s post comes compliments of 2Loud. The reason for this is because by 1988, I thought Cheap Trick had disappeared into obscurity and I was left to simply enjoy memories of classic albums such as “Dream Police” and “Cheap Trick At Budokan,” Fortunately, 2Loud’s recent series on Cheap Trick alerted me to the many albums I had missed after the 1982 “One on One” album. After reading, 2Loud’s post on the 1988 “Lap of Luxury” album and how successful it was in the US, I had to put it on my list.

Memories of Cheap Trick came flooding back with opening riffs of “Let Go.” Hearing that gave me reassurance that they hadn’t gone anywhere and had not lost their touch. While I try not to let other reviews on albums effect my own, I can’t help agreeing with 2Loud’s point that they were (probably under the record label’s direction) trying to adapt to the pop of the 1980s. That comes through on the second track, “No Mercy.” It’s obvious to me that it’s still Cheap Trick playing the song, Robin’s vocals are too unique, the drums seem to be turned up to synth pop level and while this is no intent against what a great drummer Bun E. Carlos is, it does detract from the song a bit.

Another reason why the album passed me by is that I was already established in England by this time and the album made no headway there. Case in point, the band’s only number one single, “The Flame.” It only reached number 77 in the UK charts and therefore went pretty much unnoticed. That was a damn shame because even though it’s a ballad, Rick Neilsen shows he still can bend the six string to his will with a cool acoustic guitar intro followed by a his best guitar solo on the album. For me, this is the best song on the album.

“Space” sounds very 80s to me with the keyboards but there is the drone of the guitar in the back to make it hard rocking enough. There is another good guitar solo from Rick and I like the backing vocals on it. However, the singles seem to be the best songs on the album because “Never Had a Lot to Lose” is a traditional Cheap Trick rocker. It has the harder guitar with the new wave melody. Robin’s diverse vocal style definitely makes the song but it might have been better if Rick had more of a guitar solo on it but that’s up to debate.

On the other hand, while I can understand why they might have wanted to release the cover of the Elvis classic, “Don’t Be Cruel.” as a single, I wonder if it should be on the album, let alone released as a single. Don’t get me wrong, I like Cheap Trick’s spin on it but in comparison to the rest of the album, it feels a little out of place. Saying that, it’s growing on me a little. Things do go back to normal with “Wrong Side of Love” where I love Tom Petersson’s bass work on it and I’m glad that he rejoined the band when I hear him. Rick’s guitar work is great as well and together, they make “Wrong Side of Love” the hidden gem.

Here’s my one thought of a flaw on the album. It’s simply a case of song order. I think that tracks eight and ten should have been swapped around. To my ears, “All We Need is a Dream,” would have been a better closer. It’s a ballad but the intro stomps it’s authority in a way that tells me that this is the end of the album. Robin’s vocals assist on this point and the way the band all seems to come together on the song just screams “Closer!” All Wound Up” is a good song too but it would have been better placed anywhere from tracks 2-8. Penultimate track “Ghost Town” is best left where it is as it does serve as a great set up to whichever song is going to be the closer. It’s a ballad and Robin nails it with vocals and there’s nothing wrong with an album finishing with two ballads had they swapped those tracks around.

Track Listing:

  1. Let Go
  2. No Mercy
  3. The Flame
  4. Space
  5. Never Had a Lot to Lose
  6. Don’t Be Cruel
  7. Wrong Side of Love
  8. All We Need is a Dream
  9. Ghost Town
  10. All Wound Up
Cheap Trick

Robin Zander- lead vocals, rhythm guitar, synthesizer

Rick Neilsen- lead guitar, backing vocals

Tom Petersson- bass, backing vocals

Bun E. Carlos- drums, percussion

“Lap of Luxury” was the first album where outside songwriters were used. In the case of this album, it worked, at least in the US. I can say that while “Lap of Luxury” will not make me put away all those classic albums from the late 1970s, it’s still a good album and it was great to see that the band was still chugging away.

Next post: Tracy Chapman

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Note: I have been told that “Rock and Roll Children” is available as an e-book but this hasn’t been made known to me.

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Great Albums That Were Lost in the Cassette Player

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

For those who have been following me for awhile, you will know that back in the early 198os, I owned a lot of cassettes due to my very limited living space when I was in the marines. Even after I got out, while I began buying vinyl again, I still bought a good amount of cassettes. My logic at the time was you couldn’t play records in the car and I need my travelling music. While cassettes had the advantage of being very compact, you could fit one in your shirt pocket, they had the disadvantage of being susceptible of destructing. They could easily get mangled in the player and often times brake. I found this extremely frustrating. While the percentage of cassettes lost was small compared to the number I owned, it still upset me when I lost one to the machine. So, as an in between the years post, I will play homage to all the great albums that were mangled by a tape player.

The famous ammo cans . I thought this would be a good excuse to put this picture in the post.

Others that succumbed but I don’t have pictures for

Slayer- South of Heaven

The Dreggs- Unsung Heroes

The Who- recorded from the radio

Copperhead

There could be more but these are the ones I definitely remember. However, other cassettes weren’t mangled in the machine but wore out another way. When played they began to have a hiss sound on them. Eventually, this hiss got louder and present on more of the tape until it was unplayable. There was the odd tape where that started but it stopped and played normal again. Unfortunately, others didn’t so here is a tribute to those cassettes that were lost in this manner.

As you can see, many a great album fell victim to the dreaded tape player one way or the other. Thank God for CDs and more modern means of listening to music as I don’t have that problem anymore.

Next post: 1984

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Cheap Trick- One on One

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-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.

Track Listing:

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

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

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

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

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

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 1, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-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.

Next post: Frank Zappa- Tinseltown Rebellion

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Cheap Trick- Dream Police

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 3, 2012 by 80smetalman

You’re under arrest for having an illegal dream. At least that was the joke making it’s rounds at the time this brilliant release from Cheap Trick was making its rounds in 1979. But they were driving me insane, those men inside my brain or at least I thought so. Anyway, I first saw this album literally the day before I left for boot camp and so I wasn’t able to buy it. That would be another six months when “Dream Police” would be the first ever album I bought on casette. Unfortunately, three years later it would meet the fate that was the drawback with casettes, it would get eaten in the machine.

“Dream Police” is definitely for me, the best Cheap Trick album ever. When deciding to visit this album, I came to the realisation that I hadn’t listened to it in full since that fateful day when my tape player ate the casette, nearly 30 years ago! But thank the Lord for YouTube and I get to take a very cool walk down memory lane. Usually, when I listen to something I haven’t listened to in awhile, it takes a minute or two before I get refamiliar with it. Not the case with “Dream Police.” Each song is like I have been listening to it constantly for the past three decades. That is something that makes this album so good.

The album brings back some other memories as well. “Gonna Raise Hell” was the theme tune every evening my buddies and I went out for a wild liberty session. That’s what we were bent on doing and that’s what we did, we raised hell. The other tracks can be either good for listening to with a few brews or cruising down the main drag in the car. The hard rock backdrop with the fun attitude displayed by Cheap Trick when hearing this album make it flexible for both.

Track Listing:

1. Dream Police

2. Way of the World

3. The House is Rocking (With Domestic Problems)

4. Gonna Raise Hell

5. I’ll Be With You Tonight

6. Voices

7. Writing On the Wall

8. I Know What I Want

9. Need Your Love

Cheap Trick

Robbin Zander- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Rick Neilson- lead guitar, backing vocals

Tom Peterssen- bass, lead vocal on “I Know What I Want,” backing vocals

Bun E. Carlos- drums, percussion

I have always considered Cheap Trick to be a fun band. While I have no doubt they take their music seriously, they seem to have a good time doing so. “Dream Police” is proof in the pudding that you can make a dynamite album and still have fun at the same time. My big regret is that I never got to see them live.

On a personal note, while I endeavour to put out two posts a week, this might not be possible over the next few months. My second book has just been accepted for publishing even though I haven’t finished it yet. Therefore, I am going balls to the wall, to quote Accept, in order to finish it by Christmas. In order not to get anyone’s hopes up, my new book will not be so heavy metal oriented. However, it does get a mention because after all, heavy metal always gets the blame when a school shooting occurs in America. I will do my upmost to try to get two posts out a week to my evergrowing list of followers, but please bear with me and don’t be too disappointed in weeks where I can only post once.

Thank you

80smetalman

Next post: The Eagles- The Long Run

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London