Thursday, April 01, 2010

America Invades Japan!

"Awwwright, Tokyo.. would you please welcome Epic recording artists.. Cheap Trick!"

Dateline 1978: While the disco kids were getting off on Foxy and lovers were strolling down the mellow memory lane, reminiscing with LRB, a Yank band was making a name for themselves on Japanese shores. With three previous album releases that didn't quite get them to where their ambitions intended, Cheap Trick did what the US Army didn't get to do in WWII; invade Japan, which they hatched with At Budokan.

Two cuties, in lead singer/guitarist Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson, and two bozos,
the CPA-like drummer Bun E. Carlos and the clown prince of CT, Rick Neilsen.
The perfect foil for a rock n' roll band.
Chalk up some stellar songwriting and great musical chops,
how could this combo go wrong?

I had never heard of Cheap Trick, not even their three releases before this one, so it's safe to say that this album took me by storm, and literally blew me away. It was complete surrender, from start to finish. Brisk, powerful Pop bombast from the get-go ("Hello There"), a menacing presence in a live setting ("Big Eyes"), whether it was a cover (their take of Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame") or their own (the snappy synapse of "I Want You To Want Me"), Cheap Trick had the kawai girls eating out of their sweaty calloused-fingered palms, giving theirselves away, in uhm well, total surrender.

Though Cheap Trick's popularity waned as the years wore on, At Budokan's no mean feat chronicled and cemented this flippant foursome's place in the annals of Rock N' Roll history.

"Mommy's all right.. Daddy's all right.. they just seem a little weird.."

Note of interest:

A 30th Anniversary Edition, Budokan! was released on November 11,
2008, as a four-disc set. In addition to the two-disc "Complete
Concert" (released in 1998),
it includes a DVD and CD version of the concert from April 30,
1978. The filmed concert had originally been shown on Japanese TV, and
was not previously commercially available. 
The original vinyl album is also to be reissued in conjunction with the 30th anniversary.


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