Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1973. The band consists of vocalist Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson, and drummer Bun E. Carlos.[a]
Cheap Trick released its debut album in 1977 and first found success in Japan with the release of its second album, In Color, later that year. The band would achieve mainstream popularity in the United States in 1979 with its breakthrough album Cheap Trick at Budokan. Cheap Trick reached the Top 10 in the U.S. charts in 1979 with "I Want You to Want Me" and topped the charts in 1988 with "The Flame".
Over the course of its career, Cheap Trick has experienced several resurgences of popularity and has toured consistently, playing over 5,000 shows. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
|Origin||Rockford, Illinois, United States|
In 1967, Rick Nielsen formed Fuse with Tom Peterson (later known as Tom Petersson), who had played in another Rockford, Illinois band called The Bo Weevils. With Bun E. Carlos joining on drums, Fuse moved to Philadelphia in 1971. They began calling themselves "Sick Man of Europe" in 1972–1973. After a European tour in 1973, Nielsen and Petersson returned to Rockford and reunited with Carlos. According to Rolling Stone, the band adopted the name "Cheap Trick" on August 25, 1973.
Randy "Xeno" Hogan was the original lead singer for Cheap Trick. He left the band shortly after its formation and was replaced by Robin Zander. The name was inspired by the band's attendance at a Slade concert, where Petersson commented that the band used "every cheap trick in the book" as part of their act.
With Robin Zander now on vocals, the band recorded a demo in 1975 and played in warehouses, bowling alleys, and various other venues around the midwestern United States. The band was signed to Epic Records in early 1976.
The band released its first album, Cheap Trick, in early 1977. While favored by critics, the album did not sell well. The album's lone single, "Oh, Candy", failed to chart, as did the album. Their second album, In Color, was released later that year. The singles "I Want You To Want Me" and "Southern Girls" failed to chart. However, in 2012, In Color was ranked No. 443 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The band's third album, Heaven Tonight was released in May 1978. The lead-off track "Surrender" was Cheap Trick's first single to chart in the United States, peaking at No. 62. It has gone on to become one of the band's signature songs.
None of Cheap Trick's first three albums made it into the Top 40 in the United States. The band was big in Japan, however; all three albums became gold records. When Cheap Trick went to Japan to tour the country for the first time in April 1978, they were received with a frenzy reminiscent of Beatlemania. During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts at the Nippon Budokan. 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. Demand for the import album became so great that Epic Records finally released the album in the United States in February 1979.
Cheap Trick at Budokan launched the band into international stardom, and the album went triple platinum in the United States. The first single from the album was the live version of "I Want You to Want Me", which had originally been released on In Color. It reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became Cheap Trick's best-selling single to date. The second single, "Ain't That A Shame", peaked at No. 35. "Need Your Love" had already been recorded for the forthcoming Dream Police album that had already been finished, but after the unprecedented success of Cheap Trick at Budokan, Epic postponed the album's release.
Dream Police was released later in 1979 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".
By 1980, when All Shook Up was released, Cheap Trick was headlining arenas. All Shook Up, produced by former Beatles producer George Martin, reached No. 24 on the charts and was certified gold, but the album's high-class background did not save it from descriptions like "Led Zeppelin gone psycho".
On August 26, 1980, before the release of All Shook Up, Petersson left the group to record a solo album with his wife Dagmar. Jon Brant became Petersson's steady replacement.
In July 1981, CBS Inc. sued Cheap Trick and their manager Ken Adamany for $10 million, alleging they were attempting to coerce CBS into re-negotiating their contract and had refused to record any new material for the label since October 1980. The lawsuit was settled in early 1982 and work commenced on the next album—One on One. The album spawned two minor hits with the power ballad "If You Want My Love" and the innuendo-laced rocker "She's Tight".
The following year, Cheap Trick released Next Position Please. In 1984, 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 1985, the band recorded Standing on the Edge. This album was called their "best collection of bubblegum bazooka rock in years". The album's first single, "Tonight It's You", reached No. 8 on the Billboard's Top Rock Tracks chart.
In 1986, the band recorded "Mighty Wings", the end-title cut for the film Top Gun. They then released The Doctor in the fall. The album's lone single, "It's Only Love" failed to chart. The music video for "It's Only Love" made history as the first music video to prominently use American Sign Language. The Doctor turned out to be the band's final album with Jon Brant as bassist. Brant parted on good terms with the band, and has since performed with the band a number of times as a special guest or as a fill-in for Petersson.
Petersson rejoined the group in 1987 and helped record 1988's Lap of Luxury, produced by Richie Zito. Due to the band's commercial decline, Epic Records insisted that the band collaborate with professional songwriters on the album. "The Flame", a ballad, was issued as the first single from the album and became the band's first-ever No. 1 hit. The second single, a cover of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel", also reached the top five. The other singles from the album were "Ghost Town", "Never Had a Lot to Lose", and "Let Go". Lap of Luxury went platinum and became recognized as the band's comeback album. Billboard commented: "After a long hitless streak, Cheap Trick brings it all back home. This is the quartet's punchiest effort since its mid-'70s heyday." Nielsen said, "Lap of Luxury was a tough record to make. We could lie to you and tell you it was all wonderful and great. It wasn't. It was tough working with other writers. But it was a lesson for us."
Busted was released in 1990. The band was allowed more creative control, and professional songwriters were only used on a handful of songs. The first single, "Can't Stop Falling Into Love", reached No. 12 on the charts. The second single, the Diane Warren-penned "Wherever Would I Be", suffered a worse fate; it reached only No. 50. The single "If You Need Me" was not successful, although the track "Back 'n Blue" reached No. 32 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks.
In 1991, Cheap Trick's Greatest Hits was released.
The group left Epic after the disappointing sales of Busted to sign with Warner Bros. Records. In 1994. the band released Woke Up With A Monster. The album's title track was issued as the first single and reached No. 16 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. The album's sales were poor, and it peaked at only No. 123.
In 1997, Cheap Trick signed with indie label Red Ant Records and released Cheap Trick. 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. The album was critically acclaimed and hailed as a return to form. Eleven weeks after the release, Red Ant's parent company Alliance Entertainment Corporation declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The single "Say Goodbye" only reached No. 119 on the charts, and the band again found themselves without a record label. Two other singles were released from the album, "Baby No More" and "Carnival Game".
Cheap Trick began to rebuild in 1998. The band toured behind the release of Cheap Trick at Budokan: The Complete Concert, and the remastered re-issues of the band's 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. In 1999, the band recorded a cover of Big Star's 1972 song "In The Street" that was used as the theme song for the hit sitcom That '70s Show. Cheap Trick ended the song with the lyric "We're all right," which was drawn from their own 1978 song "Surrender".
After spending much of 2001 writing songs and about six weeks in pre-production, Cheap Trick went into Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York in March 2002, where they recorded their first studio album in six years, Special One in May 2003.
In 2006, Cheap Trick released Rockford on Cheap Trick Unlimited/Big3 Records. The first single from the album was "Perfect Stranger" (produced by Linda Perry and co-written by Cheap Trick and Perry). The band also appeared in a McDonald's advertising campaign called "This Is Your Wake-Up Call" featuring the band.
In 2007, officials of Rockford, Illinois honored Cheap Trick by reproducing the Rockford album cover art on that year's city vehicle sticker. On June 19, 2007, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Resolution 255, which designated April 1 of every year as Cheap Trick Day in the State of Illinois. In August of that year, Cheap Trick honored the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by playing the album in its entirety with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by Edwin Outwater, along with guest vocalists including Joan Osborne and Aimee Mann. The Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences honored Cheap Trick at the 2007 Recording Academy Honors event in Chicago on October 11, 2007. Nielsen and Carlos were present to receive the award, which was presented to them by Steve Albini.
On April 24, 2008, Cheap Trick performed at the Budokan arena for the 30th anniversary of the 1978 album Cheap Trick at Budokan. On November 11, the band released Budokan! 30th Anniversary Deluxe Collector's Edition, a box set featuring 3 CDs of the band's two concerts at Budokan recorded on April 28 and 30, 1978.
In 2010, Bun E. Carlos stopped touring with the band. Rick Nielsen's son Daxx, who had filled in for Bun E. while he was recovering from back surgery in 2001, became the band's touring drummer and remained in that role as of 2016.
On July 17, 2011 at the Bluesfest in Ottawa, 20 minutes into Cheap Trick’s set, a thunderstorm blew through the festival area. The band and crew were on the stage when without warning the 40-ton roof fell. It fell away from the audience and landed on the band's truck which was parked alongside the back of the stage, breaking the fall and allowing everyone about 30 seconds to escape.
In 2013, Carlos filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates, claiming that even though they claimed that he was still a band member, he was not being allowed to participate in band-related activities, including recording. The remaining three members of Cheap Trick filed a countersuit, seeking a legal affirmation of their removal of Carlos. Their lawsuit was dismissed in late 2013. The legal dispute was eventually settled. Following the settlement, Carlos remained a one-quarter owner of Cheap Trick and a member of the band, but did not record or tour with them.
On April 1, 2016, the band released its first album in five years, Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello. They released a single, "No Direction Home," as a teaser for the album. The album was the band's first record on a major label in 22 years. Daxx Nielsen played drums on the album.
Also in 2016, the Republican Party offered the band $100,000 to play at a concert launching the 2016 Republican National Convention. Zander said, "We turned it down. Then we had second thoughts. Maybe we should have accepted it—but we would all have got swastika guitars made."
On June 16, 2017, the band released the album We're All Alright!. Daxx Nielsen played drums on the album. In August 2017, the band appeared on Insane Clown Posse's single "Black Blizzard". On October 20, 2017, the band released a Christmas album, Christmas Christmas.
In 2016, Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 8, and the band was introduced by Kid Rock. Zander, Nielsen, Petersson, and Carlos were in attendance; with Carlos on drums, the band performed "I Want You to Want Me", "Dream Police", "Surrender" and "Ain't That a Shame".
Cheap Trick has performed live more than 5,000 times.
"Ain't That a Shame" is a song written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Domino's recording of the song (mistitled on the single's label as "Ain't It a Shame"), released by Imperial Records in 1955, was a hit, eventually selling a million copies. It reached number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 10 on the pop chart. The song is ranked number 438 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
The song gained national fame after being re-recorded by the white recording artist Pat Boone. Domino's version soon became more popular, bringing his music to the mass market a half-dozen years after his first recording, "The Fat Man". After "Ain't That a Shame", mainstream artists began covering Domino's songs. Teresa Brewer, for instance, performed Domino's version of the folk song "Bo Weevil".
The song has also been covered by Four Seasons (1963), John Lennon (1975) and Cheap Trick (1978), among others.Bun E. Carlos
Brad M. Carlson (born June 12, 1950), better known by the stage name Bun E. Carlos, is the original drummer for American rock band Cheap Trick. He was the band's chief setlister and archivist, and maintained recordings of all the band's shows, some of which have been released under the title 'Bun E's Bootlegs'. Carlos has two side bands with former Cheap Trick bassist Jon Brant: The Bun E Carlos Experience, and the Monday Night Band.
Carlos is left-handed, but has alternated between left and right-handed playing throughout his career. He has several writing credits, the most notable of which is the drum solo track "Who D'King", from the album All Shook Up, and Bun E. in a Box (2004), a drum sample CD.
In the late 1990s, Carlos introduced his own line of coffee. At one point, he offered a Special Limited Edition hand-signed numbered bag of coffee.In 2009, Carlos, together with Hanson singer Taylor Hanson, former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, formed a new band, Tinted Windows. This new project ran alongside each of the artists' main bands. Tinted Windows played its first publicized gig at SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 20, 2009, and appeared on late-night network TV shows. Their album was released on April 21, 2009.On March 19, 2010, Cheap Trick issued a statement that Carlos had stopped touring with Cheap Trick but that he still remained a band member. Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's son Daxx was named in the statement as the touring drummer.In 2011, Carlos once again debuted a band at SXSW in the form of his new project Candy Golde. The other members of Candy Golde are Nicholas Tremulis, John Stirratt (Wilco, the Autumn Defense) and Rick Rizzo (Eleventh Dream Day). Mark Greenburg (The Coctails) was added to the band when they started to play live shows. Their 5-song EP was mastered by Ivan Julian of Richard Hell and the Voidoids. The EP contains four originals and a cover of Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble", issued for limited edition 10" vinyl and download on Ten O Nine Records.
On August 21, 2014, he filled in for drummer John Cowsill on a sold out Beach Boys concert in Princeton, Illinois.
On June 24, 2016, Carlos issued his first-ever solo album, Greetings From Bunezuela!, with Jon E Brant.Cheap Trick (1977 album)
Cheap Trick is the first studio album released in 1977 by the American rock band Cheap Trick. It was their debut album for Epic Records, produced by Jack Douglas. The album did not reach the Billboard 200 chart but did "bubble under" at number 207 for one week in April 1977.Cheap Trick (1997 album)
Cheap Trick, commonly referred to as Cheap Trick '97, is the second eponymous album, and thirteenth studio album, by the American rock band Cheap Trick, produced by the band and Ian Taylor and released on Red Ant Records and Alliance Entertainment. The album is referred to as "Cheap Trick II" when it is referenced on the promotional DVD that was released with the band's Special One album in 2003. Ian Taylor had previously engineered the One On One LP in 1982 and produced a handful of other tracks from 1983's Next Position Please LP, as well as the title track for the 1983 Sean S. Cunningham comedy film Spring Break.Cheap Trick at Budokan
Cheap Trick at Budokan is a live album released by Cheap Trick in 1978 and their best-selling recording. It was ranked number 426 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".Cheap Trick discography
This page lists albums, singles, and compilations by the band Cheap Trick, alongside chart positions, release date (U.S.), and sales achievements (U.S.).Dream Police
Dream Police is the fourth studio album by American rock band Cheap Trick. It was released in 1979, and was their third release in a row produced by Tom Werman. It is the band's most commercially successful studio album, going to No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and being certified platinum within a few months of its release.I Want You to Want Me
"I Want You to Want Me" is a song by the American rock band Cheap Trick from their second album In Color, released in September 1977. It was the first single released from that album, but it did not chart in the United States.
"I Want You to Want Me" was a number-one single in Japan. Its success in Japan, as well as the success of its preceding single "Clock Strikes Ten" paved the way for Cheap Trick's concerts at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo in April 1978 that were recorded for the group's most popular album, Cheap Trick at Budokan. A live version of "I Want You to Want Me" from the album Cheap Trick at Budokan was released in 1979 and became their biggest selling single, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, representing sales of one million records. In Canada, it reached #2 in on the RPM national singles chart, remaining there for two weeks and was certified Gold for the sale of 500,000 singles in September 1979. It was also the band's highest charting single in Britain, where it reached #29.
Years later, Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson criticized the lightweight production of "I Want You to Want Me" as it originally appeared on their second album, In Color. Cheap Trick went as far as to mostly re-record that album in 1998. Producer Tom Werman explains:
"'I Want You To Want Me' was a fabulous dancehall type of song, and a perfect pop tune, and it was meant to be a little campy. I put the piano on—a guy named Jai Winding played it. I remember asking the band what they thought of it, and Rick Nielsen kind of shrugged and said, 'You’re the producer.'" Further: "It was a burlesque song, like a 30s number. That is what they wrote it as."In Color (album)
In Color is the second studio album by Cheap Trick, released in 1977. It was produced by Tom Werman.
This album is considered a classic of the power pop genre. The album was ranked No. 4 on Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide. In 2003, the album was also ranked number 443 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.Lap of Luxury
Lap of Luxury is the tenth studio album by American band Cheap Trick. Released on April 12, 1988, it is the band's second-most commercially successful studio album (trailing only 1979's Dream Police), having reached number 16 on the Billboard 200 and having been certified platinum in sales.One on One (Cheap Trick album)
One on One is Cheap Trick's sixth studio album, and seventh release in general. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it was released in 1982 via Epic Records and was the first Cheap Trick album to feature their new bassist Jon Brant.Rick Nielsen
Richard Alan Nielsen (born December 22, 1948) is the lead guitarist, backing vocalist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Cheap Trick. He is well known for his numerous custom-made guitars from Hamer Guitars, including his famous five-neck guitar.Robin Zander
Robin Zander (born January 23, 1953) is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band Cheap Trick.Sex, America, Cheap Trick
Sex, America, Cheap Trick is a 1996 box set by the rock band Cheap Trick. It includes 17 previously unreleased songs (among them the earliest studio recording of the 1979 hit "I Want You to Want Me"), as well as the band's biggest hits. A color booklet is included.Sgt. Pepper Live
Sgt. Pepper Live is a performance by the American rock band Cheap Trick with a full orchestra, released on August 25, 2009, in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the release of the historic album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles. Both a live album and a companion DVD of the performance were released. The album was engineered by Geoff Emerick. Cheap Trick performed the "Sgt. Pepper Live" show at the Las Vegas Hilton for two weeks in September 2009.Surrender (Cheap Trick song)
"Surrender" is a single by Cheap Trick released in June 1978 from the album Heaven Tonight. It was the first Cheap Trick single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 62. Its success in Japan, as well as the success of its preceding singles "Clock Strikes Ten" and "I Want You to Want Me", paved the way for Cheap Trick's famous concerts at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo in April 1978 that were recorded for the group's most popular album Cheap Trick at Budokan. In the 2003 film Daddy Day Care, Cheap Trick make an appearance performing the song.
Rolling Stone deemed it "the ultimate Seventies teen anthem" and ranked it #471 on its list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song originates from 1976, as like many other Cheap Trick songs it was played in concert before its release. The song is part of the soundtrack to the PS2 and Xbox 360 game Guitar Hero 2.The Flame (Cheap Trick song)
"The Flame" is a power ballad written by British songwriters Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham. The song was first offered to English singer Elkie Brooks, who turned it down, and was then released by Cheap Trick, for whom it was a hit single in 1988. The song appeared on the band's Lap of Luxury album.
"The Flame" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1988, becoming the band's only number one hit. It also reached number one in Australia and Canada.Tom Petersson
Thomas John Peterson (born May 9, 1951), better known as Tom Petersson, is an American musician who is best known for being the bass guitar player for the rock band Cheap Trick.Way of the World (Cheap Trick song)
"Way of the World" is a song by American rock band Cheap Trick, released in 1979 as a single from their fourth studio album Dream Police. The song was written by Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander and produced by Tom Werman. In February 1980 it was released as a 7" vinyl single in the UK only, backed by "Oh, Candy," from the first Cheap Trick album, and peaked at #73. It attempted to capitalize on the success of the mid-1979 single "I Want You to Want Me" and the live album Cheap Trick at Budokan which both entered the top 30.In some countries "Way of the World" was released as the B-side to Cheap Trick's 1980 single "Everything Works if You Let It.""Way of the World" was produced by American producer Tom Werman who produced the entire Dream Police album as well the band's 1977 album In Color and the 1978 album Heaven Tonight.No artwork was created for the single, with the 7" vinyl itself being packaged in an official Epic Records sleeve.