Cheap Trick – One On One

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Hmmm…I’ve had several near-misses with Cheap Trick…nearly bought a secondhand copy their Dream Police album back in the early eighties, but bought something else instead…and so it went on. But I always had a feeling I would like Cheap Trick, cos I do have a weakness for the kind of melodic power pop that they were apparently renowned for.

So I finally committed a pound of my hard-earned cash for a Cheap Trick record, 1982’s One On One, and my initial feeling was one of massive disappointment. Their Wiki page says of this album, “…the band changed direction again, this time opting for an album full of brash, shout-along hard rock songs”, which sounds like a perfectly fair description of the contents to me.  I think I need to hear the less brash, less shouty Cheap Trick before passing judgement on their entire oeuvre!

Admittedly some of these songs, like “If You Want My Love” and “Oo La La La” do kind of worm their way into your consciousness, displaying songwriter Rick Neilsen’s talent for crafting hooky sing-a-longs, and I kinda dig the phased drum sound on “I Want Be Man”, but it’s hardly Big Star, is it?

Somewhat unexpectedly, a couple of my kids – who generally prefer listening to new stuff like Lady Ga Ga and The Black Eyed Peas –  really like this record! Seems to work for the under tens…

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Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 9:06 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. Original handsome, high-cheekboned, perfect-teethed, brunette 6(!)-string bass player Tom Petersson was replaced for this record by a near doppelganger, such was the band’s dedication to high-concept. Note the strategic placement of Rick Nielson’s mirror which blocks out a third of newbie’s face in hopes of fooling the populous. Cheap trick, indeed.

    Alas, new blood couldn’t make up for lost mojo by this point.

    Heaven Tonight and, especially, In Color are the prime studio albums to check out, not forgetting the live At Budokan lp, of course. My impression is that their albums never quite lived up to the promise of their mid-70s live shows; the above are good records, for sure, but likewise they are not life alteringly great.


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