CHEAP TRICK “WOKE UP WITH A MONSTER” – SPOTLIGHTING A STANDOUT 1990’S HARD ROCK ALBUM


CHEAP TRICK - Don’t be fooled by those “elitist” Rock magazine reviews on this prize of a Cheap Trick album called – Woke Up With A Monster. Past reviews from pathetic Rock Music publications, that can’t grasp great Rock ‘N’ Roll bands and their music, just make for incredible comedy. Why drop names here now… we fans know the politically biased Rock magazine I’m referring to. Woke Up With A Monster is a Hard Rock album from 1994 that glows bright amongst the glut of mid 1990’s Rock and Hard Rock album releases, which many seemed to stray away from having any semblance of Classic Rock influence all together.

Amidst competing with the popular Grunge movement of it’s time, Woke Up With A Monster pulsated then and radiates still, in 2010. With eleven songs that beat down the door of stagnant Rock Music and kicks it’s weak ass from sunrise to sundown, this is a Cheap Trick album that sets an example of just how to ROCK STEADY in the face of pop-cultural ignorance of the day.

Phew. That felt kinda gooood. Now, onto this outrageously infectious delight, that is Woke Up With A Monster. The very last song on this album grooves along with a Rockin’ melodic aura that makes me feel like… the album is over? Can’t be! This song is just too cool and it flows through my veins like Rock ‘N’ Roll oxygen! This last song I’m referring to is Love Me For A Minute. Rick Nielsen on guitar plays some crafty licks throughout Love Me For A Minute, giving this song it’s melodic driving appeal. Robin Zander sings this song like it’s the biggest Cheap Trick hit from their career too. A “wow” song that ends this album on a very, very, high note.

Now, if the last song on Woke Up With A Monster is this chewy delicious, just how good are the other songs? For all intents and Rock ‘N’ Roll purposes, the remaining ten songs are a listen and quick study in what Rock greatness is all about, when you don’t try to reinvent the F’n wheel. The song writing, the lyrics, the vocals, the all too irresistible Rock sound of Cheap Trick. Just like comfort food. Sounds so simplistic doesn’t it? If Rock ‘N’ Roll “focus” was a pre-requisite for Cheap Trick to carry on as a band for all these years, they certainly bestowed a monumental ton of it, while creating their 12th studio album, regardless if there was “outside” assistance in song writing.

Despite what may be “read” from “other” reviews on this album over the years… I just don’t buy into the notion that there is a Grunge sound on Woke Up With A Monster. Hell, my ears don’t even hear a hint of it. Even if the band members themselves were to tell me they veered towards a Grunge “feel”, I’m not listening. This is Cheap Trick and it’s as underrated an album as there can possibly ever exist. Metal be thy name.

As fickle and wavering the “general Rock listening public” was back in the mid ’90’s, Woke Up With A Monster did get released. It was during an era where the “flavor of the month club” was buying up whatever the “experts” on MTV and VH1 were hawking. Great Rock Music will always, (here comes the cliche’), stand the test of time. The songs on this Cheap Trick album should easily speak for themselves in 2010, with an almost bone chilling relevancy. Woke Up With A Monster, perhaps, is an album that was sixteen years ahead of it’s time. If you think that sounds far fetched… just listen to The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and try to convince yourself it really was released in 1967.

From the onset, My Gang sets off the Rockin’ tone of this album with all the Cheap Trick familiarities that are so unique to this bands sound. From the tight as cousins rhythm section of Tom Petersson on bass and Bun E. Carlos on drums, to Robin Zanders’s Rock profound vocals, with Rick Nielsen’s song altering guitar play, Cheap Trick certainly walloped my senses with Woke Up With A Monster. The title track being my favorite song doesn’t distract me from the other ten. However, this title song gets more tasty to my ears each time I listen to it… even if I have lost count after all these years.

True and great Rock Music was never meant to be disposable… we’ll leave that disposable stuff to the Pop Bubble Gum Music world. My intent, in getting the word back out on Woke Up With A Monster is to rekindle past fans of this album and shake loose new fans that this Cheap Trick release exists. Regardless of any “out-of-print” or “unavailable” status for Woke Up With A Monster, the digital download world like itunes does exist for albums such as this.

* For more info on Cheap Trick, just click that fantastic link below:

Cheap Trick – Official Website

Cheap Trick Are:

Robin Zander - lead vocals

Rick Nielsen - guitars

Tom Petersson - 12 string bass

Bun E. Carlos – drums

Track Listing For Cheap Trick – Woke Up With A Monster:

My Gang

Woke Up With A Monster

You’re All I Wanna Do

Never Run Out Of Love

Didn’t Know I Had It

Ride The Pony

Girlfriends

Let Her Go

Tell Me Everything

Cry Baby

Love Me For A Minute

* Woke Up With A Monster was produced by Ted Templeman.

* Woke Up With A Monster was released in 1994, on Warner Bros. Records.

LONG LIVE CHEAP TRICK!

Stone.

22 Responses to “CHEAP TRICK “WOKE UP WITH A MONSTER” – SPOTLIGHTING A STANDOUT 1990’S HARD ROCK ALBUM”

  1. “Grunge sound on Woke Up With A Monster” -holy cow.

    that’s hilarious and downright redic.!

    there is something good in EVERY CHEAP TRICK album. Truly a great American (MID-WESTERN) hard workin’ + rockin’ band.

    I still have my trusty “Live at Budokon” 8 track! amazing show that was.

    Not many bands have their lasting power and can still write good, memorable songs.

    Rock on…

    • metalodyssey Says:

      DITTO Kinger on your closing line!! :)

      Now… about that 8 track…

      Who am I kidding? I have a couple of those 8-tracks laying around still too. With nuthin’ to play them on either. :(

      Long Live Rock \m/

      Stone

  2. I have no idea why critics came down so hard on this album, it is a solid rocker and better than alot of albums that Cheap Trick had released in the last ten years prior to this album, I agree underrated classic begging to be rediscovered and reassessed.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      After Dream Police, the flirtation with and actual realization of many “Radio Hits’ was a characteristic of Cheap Tricks bag O’ Rockin’ tricks. Woke Up With A Monster definitely came out of the gates with no real “hits” agenda… at least that’s what I think. Yet this album could have had at least 3, maybe 4 hit singles for FM to have gone crazy with! In other words… no “Pop-ness” to this Cheap Trick album.

      At the end of the day though… I am and always have been a “sucker” for any of the “Pop” sounding songs from Cheap Trick anyways. They never strayed into “Bubble Gum” territory with their “Pop” hits, IMO… thank goodness.

      Thanks for agreeing with the post! :)

      Cheap Trick Forever \m/

      Stone

  3. This would always show up in the bargain CD bin back when I actually had a local record store. I always thought about getting, but never did.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I can’t reason as to why this album became a “bargain-bin” fixture like it did. Then again, there are quite a few albums I bought in those same bins throughout the years, albums I feel the same way about.

      Two albums, (on vinyl/back in the day), that I bought in “the bargain-bin” that still blows my mind: Nazareth – “No Mean City” and ELO – “Out Of The Blue”. Both albums have that “famous cut-out” and cost about $3 each. Crazy. Fast forward years later and those same two albums on CD are expensive.

  4. I bought stuff in the bargain bin say like 9-10 years ago where it was like $1 or $2 each. Sometime in between then and now they went out of print and now fetch big money used.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      It’s the old… “can’t win” way of being a consumer. When we passed on so many cut-outs, the school of thought usually was:

      1. The album will always be found in these bins

      “or”

      2. The album will be popular and available again someday and be priced normal.

      Thank God thrift stores exist that sells the albums and CD’s that people have “tired” from! :)

  5. I discovered great bands thanks to the bargin bins back in the day, such as Smashed Gladys (which someone mentioned which is why I bring them up) and this album, which I have had in my collection for years.

    Record label execs prove what morons they are, they had a band like Cheap Trick who could and did appeal to metal fans especially pop metal fans and alternative rock fans of that era, not to mention the classic rock crowd and they managed to market this band straight to the cut out bin. Incredible short sightedness in the part of the suits who are keeping busy by running the record industry into the ground.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Amen, Manny. It’s like I always refer to as… “the flavor of the month”. That “flavor of the month” club has been around in the music industry since the beginning of time. Make a quick million $$$ and call it a day. Who cares if the “flavor” is lip synced? Holds zero integrity?

      Rock ‘N’ Roll greatness is derived from true musical talent from “within”… fans who are not “fly by nighters” know the difference. Cheap Trick has nothing to prove to us… and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to be blind to TRUE Rock Legends like this band.

      Stone

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about WUWAM. It’s a solid effort that does indeed rock. One comment: I love the music and funky bass to “Ride The Pony,” but the lyrics are embarrassingly bad.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I knew (and hoped) I could count on you to join in on this chat! :)

      I agree with your assessment on the “Ride The Pony” lyrics. I just “needed” to boast about this Cheap Trick album… doesn’t it seem it could have been released in the past few years? Or is it just my corn dog way of thinking?

      I found the 1980 Cheap Trick EP – “Found All The Parts” on vinyl this Summer at an antiques store. It is in MINT condition too, both vinyl and jacket. It has “promotional” embossing on it too. I am going to post about it very soon… I felt like I found gold and I still do. :)

      Stone

  7. COVERDALE Says:

    Thanks you Metal Odyssey, I just so happened to be in a record/cd store today and sitting in the Cheap Trick slot was a cut out but sealed “woke up with a monster”. Would have overlooked it if it wasn’t for your post! Cheap Trick Rocks!!!

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Whoa. That sealed “cut-out” version sells for like… near… $50 (U.S.). Again, that’s sealed/new condition. Cool find Coverdale! I’m supposing that you “did not” pay close to $50 for it though!

      Plus… it is a “fun” coincidence that you found this CD version right after you read this post too.

      Stone \m/

  8. COVERDALE Says:

    Paid $5.99….

  9. The outtakes are good too!!! Sabre Dance, Cold Turkey (John Lennon Cover), All Those Years (Reddone for 2006’s “Rockford”), Don’t Blame It On Love, and Down, Down (later redone as “Baby Talk”). They are all out there on the internet.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Agreed! Thanks for adding this to the conversations and visiting… these songs deserve their much deserved attention.

      Stone

  10. Personally, I remember being minorly obsessed with the album cover. I seem to remember that this was a good five years before thongs were visibly exposed anywhere but cable TV, strip joints and European beaches. Nicely done, Cheap Trick.

  11. The band likes to joke that the clown is their ex manager…

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Based on the picture showing the gal NOT being in fear of “the clown”… I just wonder… why wasn’t the album and song just titled: “Woke Up With A Clown”?

      I’m not trying to be a funny guy either… it’s just that “the clown” and the gal both look happy.

      Stone

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