Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick At Budokan

Welcome to another edition of Seventies Saturday.

This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Cheap Trick At Budokan, the first live album from the American rock band Cheap Trick. It was taken from the April 28th and 30th shows from 1978 in Japan (with 12,000 screaming fans in attendance at each show) and released world-wide in February of 1979.

This multi-platinum album was the band's best selling record. It went to number 29 in the UK, number 26 in Sweden, number 10 in New Zealand, number 4 on the US Billboard Album chart (with a total of fifty three weeks on the chart), number 2 in the Netherlands and number 1 in Canada. It ranked at number 426 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time.

Unless otherwise specified, the tracks performed during this concert came from In Color, the band's second studio album which was released in 1977.

Side one kicks off the show appropriately with "Hello There". This rousing rocker is a fast, fun song. It was chosen for the title sequence of the Rock Band 2 video game; my son and I always have fun playing this one (he on guitar, me on vocals).

"Come On, Come On" is next.

The song "Lookout" made its debut with this concert.

"Big Eyes" follows.

"Need Your Love", also debuting here, would show up again on the studio release Dream Police in the fall of 1979 (click here for that review). The crowd certainly seemed to dig this one.

Side two begins with a cover of "Ain't That a Shame", a 1955 hit for Fats Domino. As the second single from this album, it went to number 35 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 25 in the Netherlands, number 24 in New Zealand and number 10 in Canada. During the actual concerts, this track was also part of the encore performance but it was moved here for the album sequencing. I have always liked their interpretation of the rock classic.

The live version of "I Want You to Want Me" was released as the lead single, charting at number 43 in Australia, number 29 in the UK, number 23 in New Zealand, number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 2 in Canada. The song is tailor-made for a live audience call-response, especially on the chorus.

"Surrender" comes from 1978's Heaven Tonight (click here for that review). This block of three tracks that opened side two made for a great live triple-shot "rock block" for the album-oriented rock stations to play back in the day. I am certain I heard them all presented together numerous times during my high school years of '79 to '83.

The show closer was the equally appropriate "Goodnight Now", basically "Hello There" with slightly reworked lyrics.

The band returned to the stage for the encore song "Clock Strikes Ten".

As I have mentioned before, my early exposure to the music of Cheap Trick came from Buffalo's album-oriented rock station and from my older brother (he owned a copy of Cheap Trick At Budokan on vinyl). I was still in eighth grade when this record came out and still very much in disco and pop, so it was not one I actively sought out back then. The singles from this one, of course, crossed over to the Top 40 radio station out of Buffalo that I mostly listened to as well. If I had to pick favorites, side two would easily trump side one for me.

While I have not reviewed In Color yet (I will get around to it, I promise), here are the links for a few more Cheap Trick albums I have talked about previously on the blog.

For 1982's One On One, click here.

For 1983's Next Position Please, click here.

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