dreamSo, I’ve been watching that Sonic Highways thing recently.  Has anyone been watching it?  I’m not a Foo Fighters fan, but it’s cool to see some really great artists talk about their music and experiences in each of the cities visited.  That was the draw for me.  Anyway, the first episode had a lot of focus on Steve Albini, Buddy Guy and Cheap Trick – particularly Rick Nielson.  Rick Nielson being the artist there that I knew less about.  Now, as incredible as this sounds, I’ve never heard a Cheap Trick album.  I know some songs, but I have never heard an album.  None.  Watching the footage of Nielson play while hearing them talk about him I was thinking that they’d be right up my street, so to speak.  So I figured I was gonna check ’em out.

And whaddaya know, this week I dropped in at the Record Fayre as I usually do and I spotted a copy of Cheap Trick’s Dream Police.  The cover alone was worth the £3, so I picked it up without having heard a single note.  Go me, right?  Anyhoo, I put my Google skills to good use laters and it appears that this is a most unusual record.  According to what I’ve read, it found the band looking to capitalise on becoming a mainstream interest.  As a result some found it a tad disappointing.  However, looking through the Wiki discography it appears it’s considered to be the last consistent album they released.  Go figure.

Personally, I enjoyed it.  There was a whole host of bonkersness on the cover and it turns out that was reflective of what to expect from the music.  Sure it gets a bit lost at some point along the line, but it’s got some really fine tunes and there’s some o’ that great guitar work that I heard about on Sonic Highways.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for some of those earlier LPs.  Grand stuff.

So there you have it, while the Sonic Highways show doesn’t make me want to go out and buy the Foo Fighters album it’s created to sell, it does make me wanna go seek the music of those greats that feature on it.  That’s a positive, right?

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24 thoughts on “A Cheap Treat

  1. Trick was always quirky. From there covers down to there music. Loved the fact that they played the hype in the two cool guys and two nerds …..it worked!
    Great review and angle as well…..
    Excellent Stuff

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  2. Saw them once in the ’80s, “special guests” for Motley Crue. You heard me. They covered Rainy Day Women, and when it got to the chorus they stopped for the crowd to sing the “everybody must get stoned” bit – unfortunately the 2000 or so teenage metal fans in attendance were not familiar with the Dylan back catalogue, resulting in an awkward near-silence. Robin Zander was genuinely incredulous – “You guys don’t know this one?!?” No, we really didn’t. Still, they were great live (Neilsen’s quintuple-necked comedy guitar and all) but oddly I never did check them out on record. If I recall, the one to get is a live one, Cheap Trick at Budokan.

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    1. Yeah, I have read that the Budokan album is ‘essential’. Added to the list.

      Now to the important stuff – how did he play that quintuple-nexked guitar!?

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      1. It’d be tough goin’ only cause o’ the Grohl / Foo Fighters stuff. The rest is genuinely pretty good. don’t get me wrong, it’s not a comprehensive look at each city and the musical legacy, but it’s a really splendid introduction to stuff you may have overlooked (like Cheap Trick)

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  3. I have my parents copy of Dream Police. I still quite enjoy it. Cheap Trick did that cool thing where they towed the line between pop mainstream and edgy fringe rock. Really, every record of theirs up to ‘Dream Police’ was pretty gravy.

    In regards to Sonic Highways, I haven’t seen it yet. I do want to check it out at some point. I like Grohl, just not the Foos so much anymore.

    Congrats on your first Cheap Trick album!

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    1. The more I listen to this one the more I enjoy it. You’re spot on about them towing the line between mainstream and edgy – well, I certainly get that from this one.

      Sonic Highways is okay. I particularly enjoyed the Nashville, Austin and LA episodes. Whole bunch o’ coverage for great artists (including Stevie Ray Vaughan – just now discovering the richness o’ that catalogue! Oooft!). The big negative is the Foos ‘performance’ at the end. The songs are really, really bad. Lyrically – seeing them up on screen – I think “ouch”.

      … and thanks for the congrats and for stopping by to join in!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Stevie Ray is a treasure trove of blues goodness. I think ‘In Step’ is an absolute classic. Just genius. And if you can find The Vaughn Brothers album grab it. Ladt thing he did before he died. Him and Jimmy Vaughn made a great album together.

        Yeah, Grohl a lyricist he is not.

        I plan on stopping by more often!

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