26 Comments

I suspect the studio version of "I Want You To Want Me" has a different feel and sound than the more familiar live version.

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I went to college in Madison, WI (closer to Rockford than Chicago) 1978-82 and I can tell you that Cheap Trick was definitely popular there. Great times.

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They still are! You don't have to go too long before hearing them on the radio.

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Jun 12Liked by Kevin Alexander

Cheap Trick is one of a handful of artists -- along with (off the top of my head) Dire Straits, The Pretenders, and Jackson Browne -- that stood out to me as being different from the usual music on the local AOR radio station, but I didn't know enough about music then to understand why. Later, of course, I figured out that they were my introduction to power pop. Thanks for a fun read -- I'm going to revisit In Color later today.

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Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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I love the first album the most. I saw them three times before 1979 and then again in 2013 at ACL. So many great songs and crazy energy live.

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I would love to have been at one of those shows! Closest I've come is Rick Nielsen joining Pearl Jam on stage for a cover of "Baba O'Reilly."

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Jun 12Liked by Kevin Alexander

The Albini version is incredible. I love what Tom Werman said about is career arc in TapeOp magazine.

Who the F is Tom Werman?

Get me Tom Werman!

Get me a YOUNG Tom Werman!

Who the F is Tom Werman??

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Great album, fantastic band and terrific drummer! Bun has an amazing collection of drums and is a drum fanatic! I bought two snare drums from him several years ago when he was "thinning the heard". Enjoy your vacation!

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Thank you! What was he like in person?

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Bun is fantastic. He's a total encyclopedia of Ludwig drum knowledge so we talked it up on Ludwig for a while. His collection of drums is insane. https://youtu.be/dPGLjHPlp1Q?si=5f6kR2SWuYcK5QO9 His health is not good. Saw him at the Chicago drum show about a year and a half ago and he wasn't looking very good.

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Jun 12Liked by Kevin Alexander

During the spring of 2020, the teachers made a video to send out to our students at home. I chose to lip sync and "air" everything to "Hello There."

"So Good To See You" is fantastic.

I'll be in Rockford next Thursday through Saturday for the Rockin' the Suburbs Festival. You should pop down!

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Lol. That video sounds awesome. My kids didn't get anything nearly that cool. As for Rockford next weekend, I might!

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Jun 14Liked by Kevin Alexander

There's a beer in it for you if you do!

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Jun 12Liked by Kevin Alexander

You left out two of my favorites from the LP — "Southern Girls" and "Oh Caroline" — but the whole thing is indeed great. I never really cottoned to the Albini re-do; sure, some of the songs could have used a little more firepower on the original album, but the remake pretty much nuked all of the subtleties. And funny thing about the Chicago/Rockford connection (or lack thereof): When I moved to Chicago at the end of 1979, local FM powerhouse WLUP was touting Chicago as "The Rock and Roll Capitol of the World," based on the fact that Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon and Styx (along with up-and-comers Survivor and Off Broadway) were from the city... even though none of them actually were!

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Funny how both cities try to leverage that connection when it suits them. I wonder if people that aren't from here realize just how far apart the two are?

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Jun 12Liked by Kevin Alexander

My favorite band of all time. They actually led me backwards to the Beatles (I loved Wings but being a young teenager in rural PA, hadn’t figured out what the fuss was about the Fabs).

Heaven Tonight is still my favorite record; joined at the hip with Dream Police in my view. With Budokan in between, it made me a lifer. It took awhile to warm up to the tamer version of IWYTWM but now it feels kinda quaint. This album, to me, is the band “becoming” Cheap Trick.

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That's a great way to frame it!

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Jun 12Liked by Kevin Alexander

Haven't played In Colour for 30 years. I saw the band at the Mayfair Suite in Birmingham UK around the time of the album's release. Rick Nielsen threw a guitar pick at me.

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Jun 12Liked by Kevin Alexander

"I Want You to Want Me" is great, but "Surrender" is the Best. Nothing compares.

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Definitely an all-timer!

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I've always appreciated "In Color" more, as (to me) they seemed to more fully realize their sound after the Douglas-produced, "harder" debut. I suppose what the band pooh-poohs as "too power pop" is precisely why they hired Werman in the first place! But, that's also the direction I preferred! I was working at Houston's largest record store, Cactus, when "In Color" dropped (fall '77), and we had them in-store. I got my copy's inner gatefold autographed! They were nice guys....the CBS rep also handed out promo Cheap Trick white-print on black bow ties to us employees!

Similarly (although to my ear, it took til their 3rd album), The Ramones, IMO, didn't fully realize on vinyl, their sound til "Rocket to Russia." As "Road to Ruin" and "Rocket" shared the same production duo, I always pointed to "Rocket"s songs as being the crystallization of what they would then move forward with.

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Thanks for this! I love hearing these sorts of stories. I preferred that same direction too.

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It's always fun (and easier to do in the rear-view mirror of several years/decades!) to kind of plot all that out in your mind, as we sort out our tastes and comparisons! I also ended up with several of Rick's famous caricature guitar picks, but can't recall if I got them from Rick, himself, the CBS rep, or just "pick"-ed them up off the arena floor!

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Hey Kevin,

My lead guitar player in Portland worked with Trey Shannon at the Kinkos near PSU in the late 80s. When I moved back to Portland in 1992, Trey and Ben had opened the X-Ray Cafe. I went to a Kurtz Project show at the Goose Hollow Inn and met Trey's girlfriend at the time, Leslie. She was friends with Stephani who was Ben's girlfriend. I started hanging out and drinking with them. Didn't see much of Trey or Ben, but hung out at the X-Ray a couple of times.

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Oh man, you're speaking my language! I pretty much lived at X-Ray during that era. When I moved back ('01-'05), we'd sometimes go to Goose Hollow before Timbers games.

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