Cheap Trick

  • Rock/Power Pop band formed in 1973, from Rockford Illinois. The classic lineup for the band is Robin Zander (lead vocals, guitar), Rick Nielson (lead guitar, backing vocals), Tom Petersson (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Bun Carlos (drums).
  • Nielson began forming bands in 1961, when he was 13 years old. By 1967, he and Petersson formed the band Fuse. In 1970, Fuse released an album which was ignored by the industry. They recruited additional members, and moved to Philadelphia, performing under the name Sick Man of Europe. After touring Europe in 1973, they returned to Rockford Illinois, and adopted the name Cheap Trick. The name came after the band attended a concert by the band Slade, and Petersson commented that the band used “every cheap trick in the book” as part of their act.
  • They were signed to a record deal in 1976, and their first album, titled Cheap Trick, was released the following year. Two more albums followed – In Color and Heaven Tonight. These albums were not very successful at the time, though as the band later became hugely successful, these albums ultimately went on to sell over 1 million copies. In Color contains the song I Want You To Want Me, and Heaven Tonight contains Surrender – these songs have become signature songs of the band.
  • While Cheap Trick labored to be successful in the U.S., they developed a significant fan base in Japan, and their first 3 albums sold well there. In 1978, they toured Japan, and were received with a frenzy. They recorded two concerts at the Nippon Budokan arena, and a live album was released – Cheap Trick at Budokan. Originally, the album was intended to be released only in Japan, but demand was strong for it in the U.S., so the record label released it in the U.S. in 1979. The live version of I Want You To Want Me peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the album sold over 3 million copies. The band had finally found their breakthrough.
  • Their next studio album was released in 1979. Dream Police became their highest charting album, reaching #6 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The single of the same name was a popular hit, reaching #26 on the Hot 100 chart.
  • By 1980, they were headlining concerts at large arenas. However, their fifth album, All Shook Up, was somewhat disappointing. Fans considered it “too weird.” Petterson left the band after the album was released, and from 1981 to 1986 they released 4 albums without much success. In 1987, Petterson rejoined the band, and their fortunes improved. Their 1988 album Lap of Luxury contained their only #1 single – The Flame, a stereotypical 80’s power ballad. The follow-up single from the album was a cover of Elvis Presley’s Don’t Be Cruel – it peaked at #4, and ultimately, the album sold over 1 million copies.
  • The band would find the top 20 one more time – 1990’s Can’t Stop Fallin’ In Love from the Busted album peaked at #12 in the U.S.
  • The band released 7 more albums between 1994 and 2017. Yes, even this year, the band has released new music. The album, We’re All Alright!, was released in June this year – their 18th studio album. Its title refers to a line from their 1978 song Surrender. It is a continuation of the hard rock/power pop sound that Cheap Trick is famous for.
  • In 2016, Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They are famous for their touring and live performances. They’ve toured almost continuously for 4 decades, performing over 5,000 concerts.
  • In 2007, the Illinois Senate passed a resolution designating April 1 of every year as “Cheap Trick Day” in the State of Illinois.
  • At their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, they performed I Want You To Want Me and Surrender. Watch their performance here! It’s really good! Old rockers, kickin’ ass!

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