Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cheap Trick - Next Position Please

This week (August 15th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Next Position Please, the seventh studio album from Cheap Trick. It peaked at number 75 in Japan and at number 61 on the US Billboard Hot 200. It was produced by Todd Rundgren.

Side one begins with “I Can’t Take It”, a song about frustration with the pace that a relationship is taking. It was released as the second single from the album but made very little chart noise.

“Borderline” has a snappy rhythm to it while Robin Zander’s vocals take on a bit of a Roy Orbison vibe to them.

Rick Nielsen‘s opening guitar riff on “I Don’t Love Here Anymore” seems very familiar to me as it reminds me of another song (I want to say something by the Beatles).

The title track “Next Position Please” speaks to how people have to strive for change, never settling in one place for too long. One of the lines at the one minute forty second mark had me chuckling instantly; that one guaranteed the song never got big radio airplay due to its subject matter.

“Younger Girls” has a bit more of a stripped down style that instantly brings to mind the Rolling Stones for me.

“Dancing the Night Away” was a 1977 hit in the UK for the Motors. Cheap Trick’s label suggested they cover the song for this album and release it as the lead single.

Side two opens with the quirky rocker “3-D”, perhaps the most 80‘s sounding track on the record. The band experiments with some vocal effects during the song’s bridge.

“You Say Jump”, a song about a woman who is in control of everything, checks in with a quick, clipped tempo that I find interesting.

Things wind down a bit with “Y.O.Y.O.Y.”, a melancholy love song whose title shortcuts the phrase “why oh why…”.

I thought “Won’t Take No For an Answer” has a bit of a Kinks sound to it.

“Heaven’s Falling” tries to capture those adolescent feelings of falling in love for the first time, when everything is so big and grand and dramatic.

The original vinyl release ends “Invaders of the Heart”. The guys open up with their take on the Who’s “My Generation” before switching into their own song.

The cassette version of the album included two bonus tracks “You Talk Too Much” (the B-side to the second single) and “Don’t Make Our Love a Crime” (the B-side to the first single). They were later added to the initial CD release. In 2006, a digital-release of the album called Next Position Please (The Authorized Version) cut it back to thirteen tracks and re-sequenced things to the original intended order by the band.

I am pretty certain this review was my first exposure to any of the tracks from Next Position Please. If it got a lot of radio airplay in Rochester where I was living at the time it was on the charts, I likely did not pick up it. At that point, as a college freshman, I was into my current records as well as the sounds from the campus college radio station.

I found it to be an enjoyable listen with a couple tracks flagged as ones I would like to pick up in the future.

Looking for more Cheap Trick? Check out these reviews below.

- For 1978’s Heaven Tonight, click here.

- For 1979’s Dream Police, click here.

- For 1982’s One On One, click here.

- For 1986’s Top Gun soundtrack which features one of their songs, click here.

1 comment:

HERC said...

I like Todd Rundgren.

And I like Cheap Trick.

That being said, I did not like Next Position Please except for "I Can't Take It" which doesn't even sound like the band.

Didn't even bother to buy the album until I picked up The Complete Epic Albums Collection late last year. Coincidentally, the set marked the first time the 16 track Authorized Version of Next Position Please appeared on CD!