History[ edit ] Early years — [ edit ] In , Rick Nielsen began playing locally in Rockford, Illinois , using an ever-increasing collection of rare and valuable guitars.
Brad Carlson, later known as Bun E. Carlos , played in a rival Rockford band, the Pagans. Frustrated by their lack of success, Fuse recruited the two remaining members of Nazz in and ended up playing around the Midwest for 6—7 months under two monikers, Fuse or Nazz, depending on where they were gigging. Carlos joining on drums, Fuse moved to Philadelphia in They began calling themselves "Sick Man of Europe" in — He left the band shortly after its formation and was replaced by Robin Zander.
Classic years — [ edit ] Nielsen and Petersson performing in With Robin Zander now on vocals, the band recorded a demo in and played in warehouses, bowling alleys, and various other venues around the midwestern United States.
The songs they had written, such as " I Want You To Want Me ", were performed throughout — but would not be released until a couple of years later. The band released their first album, Cheap Trick , in early , produced by Jack Douglas.
While favored by critics, the album was not successful in terms of sales. However, the band bemoaned In Color's production and would re-record it many years later. Moreover, the album was largely unsuccessful. The band's third album, Heaven Tonight , released in May and again produced by Tom Werman, combined elements of the first two albums. Regarded by many fans and critics as their best album, the lead-off track "Surrender" was Cheap Trick's first single to chart in the United States, peaking at No.
It has gone on to become one of the band's signature songs. Heaven Tonight is also noteworthy as the first album recorded with a string electric bass. When Cheap Trick went to Japan to tour the country for the first time in April , they were received with a frenzy reminiscent of Beatlemania.
Ten tracks taken from both shows were compiled and released as a live album titled Cheap Trick at Budokan , which was intended to be exclusive to Japan. Cheap Trick at Budokan launched the band into international stardom, and the album went triple platinum in the United States. Dream Police was released later in and was their third album in a row produced by Tom Werman. The title track of the album was a hit single, as was " Voices ". Dream Police also found the band taking its style in a more experimental direction by incorporating strings and dabbling in heavy metal on tracks like "Gonna Raise Hell".
A four track EP entitled Found All The Parts was released in mid and consisted of previously unreleased material. One side of the record contained live recordings and the other side had studio recordings. The live tracks were a faux live cover of the Beatles ' " Day Tripper ", and "Can't Hold On", a bluesy track recorded at the Budokan concerts in However, while they were older songs, they were recorded with Jack Douglas in early A total of nine tracks were recorded with Douglas, and remain obscure as they have only been issued on compilations, promotional samplers, and contest giveaways.
For years, there was a false rumor that this was an album that had been rejected by Epic Records. Nielsen and Carlos participated in sessions for John Lennon and Yoko Ono 's album Double Fantasy , recording a bass-heavy and experimental version of Lennon's " I'm Losing You ", but were never used on the subsequent release, with Lennon favoring a 'lighter' sound. Nielsen and Carlos were also involved in recording a heavier and slower version of Yoko Ono's "I'm Moving On" which remains unreleased.
Departure of Petersson — [ edit ] On August 26, , before the release of All Shook Up, Petersson left the group to record a solo album with his wife Dagmar. Pete Comita replaced Petersson for the All Shook Up tour, and the band recorded five songs with Comita to contribute to two movie soundtracks. An accompanying soundtrack album for the film was never released and the songs weren't released until on the Sex, America, Cheap Trick box set. Comita left the band after completing the —81 World Tour that promoted the All Shook Up album as well as the demo sessions for the band's forthcoming album.
He would later claim that he co-wrote songs that appeared on the band's next two albums and was not credited. Jon Brant became Petersson's steady replacement.
The lawsuit was settled in early and work commenced on the next album— One on One , produced by Roy Thomas Baker. The band changed direction again, this time opting for an album full of brash, shout-along hard rock songs. The music videos for both songs received heavy rotation on MTV.
Rundgren downplayed the band's brash side and returned them to a more clean, pop-oriented sound similar to that of In Color. The album never found much of an audience and Cheap Trick's commercial fortunes were in decline.
Epic Records, desperate for a hit from the band, forced the group to record the track, which had been a hit single in Europe. It failed to chart, as did the second single and fan favorite " I Can't Take It ". The Ian-Taylor-produced "Spring Break", which was a contribution to the soundtrack of the comedy film of the same name , was also issued as a single, which also failed to chart.
In , the band recorded the title track " Up the Creek " to the Tim Matheson comedy Up The Creek , which Nielsen later called "one of the worst" songs he'd ever written. In they were reunited with Jack Douglas , who had produced their debut album, to record Standing on the Edge.
The band originally intended to return to their rough-sounding roots on the album, but Douglas backed out of the mixing process due to the legal issues. This album was called their "best collection of bubblegum bazooka rock in years". The album's first single, " Tonight It's You ", reached No.
In , the band recorded " Mighty Wings ", the end-title cut for the film Top Gun , released June They then released The Doctor in the fall, produced by Tony Platt. Some of the songs contained elements of funk, and the band utilized female back-up vocalists for the first time.
However, synthesizers and computer-programmed sound effects drowned out most of the prominent instruments, most noticeably the guitar. The album's lone single, " It's Only Love " failed to chart. Brant parted on good terms with the band, and has performed with the band a number of times since as a special guest or filling in for Petersson.
Lap of Luxury — [ edit ] Petersson rejoined the group in and helped record 's Lap of Luxury , produced by Richie Zito. Due to the band's commercial decline, Epic Records forced the band to collaborate with professional songwriters. Lap of Luxury went platinum and became recognized as the band's comeback album. Busted was released in and was also produced by Richie Zito, as the band attempted to capitalize on the success of Lap of Luxury.
This time, however, the band was allowed more creative control and professional songwriters were only used on a handful of songs. In , Cheap Trick's Greatest Hits was released. It included twelve twenty-eight on Japan pressing of the band's most successful or popular singles and one new track, a cover of the Beatles ' song " Magical Mystery Tour ", which was an outtake from the Lap Of Luxury sessions. In , Budokan II was released. It featured the tracks that had been omitted from the original live album, plus three more tracks from their follow-up tour in The release was not authorized by the band, and it is now out of print.
That same year, Robin Zander released his eponymous debut solo record on Interscope , produced by Jimmy Iovine. Guitarist Mike Campbell , best known for his work with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers , collaborated with Zander on most of the album's tracks.
The group left Epic after the disappointing sales of Busted to sign with Warner Bros. The album's title track was issued as the first single and reached No. The album's sales were poor, and it peaked at only No. By the time the album came out, there had been a variety of significant changes in the band, both music-wise and appearance-wise. The style of music is more on the "hard rock" side, their "heaviest" album since One On One. Ted Templeman's heavy-handed production was also the subject of much criticism.
A Tribute to John Lennon album. The band quickly parted ways with Warner Bros. They concentrated on the strength of their live shows, and decided to release new recordings to independent labels instead of major companies. At the end of , the band independently released Gift, a two track Christmas CD that benefited Chicago-area charities. They spent the next year recording demos with Tom Werman and Steve Albini. Now back on speaking terms with their former label, the band released Sex, America, Cheap Trick , a four disc box set that included dozens of rare and unreleased studio and live recordings along with some of the band's singles and favorites, on Epic Records.
In , Cheap Trick signed with indie label Red Ant Records and released Cheap Trick , produced by Ian Taylor, who the band had previously worked with in and The band attempted to re-introduce themselves to a new generation, as the album was self-titled and the artwork was similar to their first album which had been released twenty years before.
Tom Werman would later claim that he had produced a track on the album and was not credited. Eleven weeks after the release, Red Ant's parent company Alliance Entertainment Corporation declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The single " Say Goodbye " only reached No. They established their own record company, Cheap Trick Unlimited. They toured behind the release of Cheap Trick at Budokan: The Complete Concert, and the remastered re-issues of their first three albums. One of the multi-night stands from this tour resulted in Music for Hangovers , a live album that featured members of the Smashing Pumpkins on two tracks. Vocalist Robin Zander performing at Gulfstream Park in The band began re-recording their second album, In Color, as well as a handful of other miscellaneous tracks.
The recordings were not finished and have yet to be officially released, but they were leaked onto the Internet. It was released on the show's soundtrack, That '70s Album Rockin'. The group also re-recorded "Surrender", which was available exclusively at Getsigned.
In early , Cheap Trick entered into a licensing agreement with the now-defunct Musicmaker. After spending much of writing songs and about six weeks of pre-production, Cheap Trick went into Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York in March , where they recorded their first studio album in six years, Special One in May At the same time, the band brought their record label to Big3 Entertainment. While the lead-off single " Scent of a Woman " was typical Cheap Trick fare, most of the album's tracks were acoustic-based.
Two following singles " My Obsession " and " Too Much " were released.