|*Album : Cheap Trick / Cheap Trick Records / distributed through Red Ant Entertainment : RA002-2 (limited copies of the U.S. album include the bonus CD single featuring the Sub Pop tracks. These bonus tracks can also be found on the Japanese import of the album.)||*7"
vinyl Single 'Baby Talk'/ 'Brontosaurus'
: Sub Pop :
This eagerly awaited album has been dubbed Trick's comeback… Strange that as they've never really been away, touring and releasing albums constantly but without the commercial success they enjoyed in the late 70's and spasmodically the following decade… If they had been left to their own devices this so called comeback could've happened earlier (see issue 25).
They've discovered a second wind by forming their own label 'Cheap Trick Records' and, with bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Everclear, The Posies and Joey Ramone professing the influence that Trick have had on their own music, everything seems to be falling into place quite nicely thankyou.
Armed with co- producer Ian Taylor ( who incidentally was Trick's engineer on the 1982 LP 'One On One' and has produced the likes of Gary Moore, The Psychedelic Furs, Ministry and Romeo Void ) CT'97 re-captures the exciting, melodic, power packed energy of old and melds it with mature lyrics that reveal a very personal side to a band that has had more than it's fair share of ups and downs over the years. In fact it is perhaps the most personal record that they have ever made, just check out the song titles!
Who Are Cheap Trick?
CT '97 Album & Sub pop
(The Metropolis Nightclub,
18th Dec '96)
Rick Nielsen Interview
(Perth, Western Australia,
18th Dec '96)
Back To Roy Wood
Back To Main Index
Thankyou to Shelley at Sub Pop and Aussie Trick fan Maureen Arthur.
Track) - Anytime - Hard To Tell - Carnival Game
Shelter - You Let A Lotta People Down - Baby No More
Yeah Yeah - Say Goodbye - Wrong All Along
Eight Miles Low - It All Comes Back To You
Hold down the pause button and reverse your disc to minus 35 seconds on the timer . You'll hear a hidden album montage made up of demos & studio snippets merging into a false drum start that kicks the lustful 'Anytime' into gear sung with incredible electricity by Trick's ace vocalist Robin Zander.
'Hard To Tell' follows resplendent in all its lofty Who's Next and Beatles '66 overtones. Crashing Townshend power cords abound and you can almost picture Rick Nielsen turning into a human windmill in the process!
'Carnival Game' is pure pop starting with a silly piano bit coupled with Beatlistic "OH, OH, OH's". A song about the game of love with a great bubbly guitar solo that has you reaching for the tennis racquet!
One of the many gems on this album appears next. 'Shelter', a fragile Lennon styled acoustic ballad (cello accompaniment) with 'heart on the sleeve' lyrics that are made even more moving when you realize that it was written at a time when Nielsen lost both his parents in a space of a few months.
Chugging Who guitars introduce 'You Let a Lotta People Down'. The title says it all folks and seems to sum up what this band has been through. Lyrically it reminds me a lot of Queen's 'Death On Two Legs' (A Night At The Opera) which was a sarcastic dig at management and the record industry.
The song literally slides across the floor with sneering Zander vocals "You rode upon a wicked fence, could've fallen either way, but you chose another loser in your sick, sick game… You let a lotta people down…" The song then literally disintegrates into a primitive Zeppelinesque coda with Zander screaming in anguish!
'Baby No More' breathlessly bounds along at a fast and furious pace, sort of a mix between The Sex Pistols, The Dave Clark 5 and The Ramones with simmering electric guitars which finally percolate their way to the surface in a damn fine solo… Phew!
Trick with their trademark 'dalek' backing vocals then begin the bluesy, despairing 'Yeah Yeah' with some nimble bass work from Petersson and follow it by dusting off their Beatle jackets singing the first single to be lifted off this album 'Say Goodbye'.
What's in a name? Well this next ambiguous tune 'Wrong All Along' may well be lovingly (!) dedicated to their former manager and is reminiscent of earlier 'Clock Strikes Ten' days. It's the sort of result you'd expect if you crossed the Stones with Eddie Cochran … "Heaven's fallin', I keep callin', you keep stallin', God I'll be lucky to get out alive!"
A sitar ushers in the lustful (there's that word again!) frustration that is 'Eight Miles Low' with some terrific Keith Moon type drum fills courtesy of Bun E. and a cracking riff to boot. Meaty, beaty, big and bouncy!
As the previous number fades out we are brought gently back down to earth with the lilting acoustic ballad 'It All Comes Back To You' complete with Zander telephone vocals. This fantastic album is conclusive proof that the four Trickster's have rediscovered that ol' magic touch… "It all comes back to you, with everything you do…"
The Tricksters also found time to record a 7" single with legendary producer and self proclaimed Trick fan Steve Albini for the ultra cool Seattle based label, Sub Pop. Albini's own band 'Big Black' had actually covered one of Trick's classic's 'He's A Whore' a few years earlier.
The self penned 'A' side 'Baby Talk' with it's opening 'When Alice Comes Back To The Farm' inspired riff heralds a song laden with Move & Stones ferocity whilst the flipside features a grungy, bluesy version of Roy's heavy metal monster 'Brontosaurus'.
Compared to the Ian Taylor produced CT'97 album, Albini's 'live' production style (Nirvana, Bush, PJ Harvey, Pixies etc.) brings an overall heavier, rougher finish to these Trick tunes. Methinks that one would find the 'Looking On' and 'Wizzard Brew' LP's in his collection, and probably the 'Something Else EP'. In fact it was Albini that suggested that the guys do 'Brontosaurus' when they were looking for a 'B' side!
The combination works well resulting in an altogether live cavernous sound although I would have liked to have heard Zander's leering Jaggeresque vocals on the 'A' side more up front in the mix as well as Rick's manic slide in 'Brontosaurus'. Minor quibbles aside, they really have got that live Move sound pinned down with Bun E. and Tom Petersson providing a pumping rhythm that was once so vital to the Move persona… They have proved beyond a doubt that they really can do the Brontosaurus!
The mouth watered from afar in 1998 as news filtered through from the UK that our Roy had appeared on stage with Rick, Robin, Tom and Bun E. during Cheap Trick's UK tour…