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Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

Posted in 1970's rock music, 1980's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, current rock albums 2009, essential rock albums, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock vocalists, Music, new hard rock album, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, silly album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Cheap Trick, “The Latest” may just very well be the album that proves this band has elevated themselves beyond the Rock Legends status. It is in my Metal opinion, Cheap Trick has become deserving of being called – Music Legends. Once again, Cheap Trick has not tried to reinvent themselves, instead they have created thirteen new songs that justifies their Rock and Roll existence and legendary status. What Cheap Trick has proven to me, with “The Latest”, is that I can marvel at this band and also learn a valuable lesson about life… the lesson of never giving into complacency. The last three Cheap Trick studio albums including “The Latest” is as strong a Rock Music achievement as I could ever hear. This band is just knocking out some of the greatest albums of their career, this decade alone.

The mindset to create a complete album of memorable songs, has not seemed to wane, from the Cheap Trick – bag of Rock Music tricks. “The Latest” begins with the song “Sleep Forever”, at 1:37 long. This song with it’s limited and heartfelt lyrics, coupled with a somber musical atmosphere and mood, took me off guard upon my first listen. My interpretation of this song, is saying goodbye to a loved one, someone that is cherished, after this loved one passes away. My beautiful Mother, someone I always and forever will cherish and love in my heart, passed away on July 10, 2009. I first listened to this album and “Sleep Forever” on July 21, 2009… I felt as if everything around me went still while my thoughts and feelings instantly gravitated towards my late Mother. The timing of my hearing this song for the first time, so close to the day my Mother passed away, became an emotional moment that I never anticipated from “The Latest” Cheap Trick album. I will say this… Cheap Trick has made one beautiful little song with “Sleep Forever”, a remarkable testament to this bands articulate musical diversity.

“Sleep Forever” is perfect being the first song on this album, for the remaining twelve songs are balanced with upbeat, Rock, Hard Rock and many dashes and dollops of that vintage Cheap Trick sound. In my Metal opinion, if this song was to be the last track to hear, instead of it being the first, well, it would be ending this great album on a sad note. This is a song that is perfect where it is, as song number one, let the emotions flow… then it is time to Rock the rest of the way through “The Latest”. Let it be known from me, that the remaining twelve songs on this album are as Rock inspiring as one could ever wish for. “California Girl” is classic Cheap Trick, with the Rock pace and lyrics resembling the roots of this prolific band. “Miracle” and “Times Of Our Lives” are two songs that signify the essence of how Cheap Trick taps into humanity as subject matter – all the while, in an uplifting, Rock spirit kind of way.

Fans of Cheap Trick are going to buy or already have this album. It is the casual Cheap Trick fan, the fan of Classic Rock and/or Hard Rock that I really recommend this album to. Cheap Trick, for me, have not lost their Rock edge, they have gained an edge with this new album. “The Latest” may have given me an emotional start with “Sleep Forever” at the onset, yet I thank Cheap Trick for that. This is a prime example of just how a song can keep me grounded, then the remaining album carries me off into Cheap Trick’s land of addicting Rock and Roll cool.

Cheap Trick: Rick Nielsen on guitars, background vocals & keyboards, Robin Zander on vocals, guitar & keyboards, Tom Petersson on bass, background vocals & guitar and Bun E. Carlos on drums & background vocals

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Cheap Trick “Special One” is just that and more

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

It is quite apparent, from looking at my past posts, that I am a Cheap Trick fan. I get such a listening thrill from their brand of Rock, both past and present. If Cheap Trick were to have floundered, lost a few steps musically, I would have lost interest in following them – of course. Many bands have done just that, floundered after years of success. (I used to think The Police were going to release a new killer album every 2 to 3 years, way back in 1984… who knew?). Well, enough with this as my opener… Cheap Trick really has done what many bands can only wish for… continued musical output that beams with integrity and relevance. The integrity is represented by Cheap Trick creating Rock/Hard Rock music that for me, is as energy filled, catchy and memorable as the “Dream Police” and/or “All Shook Up” albums from 25 years ago. On “Special One”, (released in 2003), this is not a Rock Band that sounds tired or weary – this is a band that sounds as if they are embarking on a Rock mission with their musical tanks fully loaded, with new ideas. Another aspect of integrity that Cheap Trick bestows, is the plain fact, that they are obviously not remotely attempting to cash in on their name or past success.

“Special One” is quite special indeed… it is a fitting prelude to the “Rockford” album, (released in 2006), where Cheap Trick in my Metal opinion, has landed as convincing a one-two Hard Rock punch that any fan could ever imagine or hope for. (See my “Rockford” review listed under album reviews on Metal Odyssey). Once I listened to “Rockford” upon it’s release, I felt and heard the continuation of what Cheap Trick is truly conveying here – that gifted musicians will always create great music. “Special One” is an album that does not tease at what is to come, this Rock album states of what is to come from Cheap Trick this decade. No watered down ballads, no instant radio hits, rather, “Special One” exemplifies what Rock and Hard Rock used to be, carried over with a flare for todays sound. The songs are accessible, not excessive, written with the blend of lyrics and music that glows with the Cheap Trick brand. That is my case stated for relevance.

Not that I am fast forwarding here, the last track on “Special One” titled “Hummer”, is a song that celebrates the ability for anyone to… hum. All kidding aside, this song is highlighted by the humming vocal tones of Robin Zander. (The liner notes do not suggest anyone else doing the humming, however, each band member does get credited with vocal input). After my first listen to “Hummer”, I was enlightened to now realize that humming is cool in a Rock song… Cheap Trick has made it that way. (Trust me, I still get annoyed when total strangers walk past me in the grocery store humming aloud). The first track titled “Scent Of A Woman” is as classic as it gets with Cheap Trick. The brashness of Rick Nielsen on guitar coupled with the up tempo beat, lends itself to being one of those Cheap Trick songs you have to jump around to. Tracks 2 thru 10, found between the two songs I mentioned here, create the Cheap Trick – Hard Rock sandwich that is flavored with a tad of old school and structured with lyrical/musical perfection, with attitude for today. Longevity in Rock Music does not always equate to cool albums – Cheap Trick’s longevity has equated to the coolest consistency of Rock & Hard Rock, that I hope never ends.

Cheap Trick: Robin Zander – vocals & guitars, Rick Nielsen – guitars & vocals, Tom Petersson – 12 string bass & vocals, Bun E. Carlos – drums & vocals.

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Happy Birthday Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick!

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, classic rock, current hard rock albums, Drums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, live rock albums, Music, new hard rock album, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock celebrity birthdays, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150-1Bun E. Carlos, drummer of Hard Rock legends, Cheap Trick, turned 58 Rockin’ years young today, (June 12, 2009). Metal Odyssey extends a huge Happy Birthday to Bun E. Carlos! I am not holding back when I say, I have been a fan of Cheap Trick since I was in 6th grade… (back in the late 1970’s)… when owning 8-track tapes of Cheap Trick was the norm and collecting Kiss trading cards was cool. I still get a cool kick from listening to Bun E. Carlos’s  classic drum intro, to the live track of “Ain’t That A Shame” off of the “at Budokan” album. Listening to Bun. E. Carlos over the years, I have never lost sight of the fact, that this drummer is as capable and talented as any other in Hard Rock history. Just give the album “Dream Police” a listen, especially the title track, you will hear Bun E. Carlos solidifying the song with precision. Bun E. Carlos has proven to me, it is not the glitz and glam that make a real Hard Rock drummer, it is the playing, the integrity in the musicianship that really matters. Many Hard Rock drummers have the look, yet they do not have half the talent with the drumsticks, like Mr. Carlos bestows. Bun E. Carlos is not an overnight sensation, this is a drummer that along with the entire Cheap Trick band… have paid their Hard Rock dues spanning three decades. 

Cheap Trick, as stated on the official Cheap Trick website, have achieved 40 gold and platinum recording awards, have more than 5,000 performances, 29 movie soundtracks and 20 million records sold. If I am not mistaken, this appears to be Hard Rock success and excellence, personified. 

I am Metal smitten that Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and of course, Bun E. Carlos are still Rocking heavy and steady to this very day! Cheap Trick will be releasing yet another new album, adding more credence to an already storied and legendary career. As reported on the official Cheap Trick website, “The Latest” will be the new Cheap Trick album, with it’s release date set for June 23, 2009. Amazon.com will have exclusive rights in selling “The Latest” for one month. The official Cheap Trick website also states that limited editions of this album will be available on LP and 8-track tapes… that is correct… 8 -track tapes!! (Now that is what I call vintage). Thank you Bun E. Carlos and Cheap Trick for your incredible contributions to Rock and Hard Rock history… thank you for being a mainstay in my music listening life.

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Cheap Trick “Silver” – Classic Rock greats captured live!

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic rock, concerts, cover songs, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, live classic rock albums, live hard rock music, live rock albums, live rock music, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, vintage live hard rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

6676475Cheap Trick is without question, in my top ten of all time favorite bands. That includes all genres of Rock, Hard Rock and Metal too. This is the one band I so desperately need to see live. I honestly cannot believe I never saw Cheap Trick in concert… after all these years. I feel semi-embarrassed in admitting this. Then again, I would have to be a full time concert goer to actually see every band I dig, there are that many… I am confidently certain I am not alone with that thought. Therefore, what makes for the consolation prize instead of seeing Cheap Trick live, is listening to their double CD “Silver”. (Released June 29, 2004). This double live, Cheap Trick bounty of hits commemorates their 25 plus years as a Rock & Roll original. (Yes, “at Budokan” is a legendary live album from Cheap Trick… I have covered that milestone of an album in an earlier post). “Silver” covers a vast array of Cheap Trick hits, from their deep catalog of albums. This live concert captures Cheap Trick in their Rockin’ spontaneous glory… no over dubbing that I can detect. 

The legendary Slash (of Gun’s N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver fame, of course), is a guest star guitarist for the tune “You’re All Talk”. Slash is so recognizable with his guitar sound, it is a Rockin’ treat to hear him jam with Cheap Trick. Robin Zander announces after the song ends, that Slash broke a guitar string while playing the first few notes… you will hear bits and pieces of Robin Zander talking to the concert crowd throughout “Silver”. This is what makes a live album really come to life, when the lead singer has the charisma and charm to acknowledge his surroundings, just as Robin Zander does here. Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins is a guest star guitarist on the tune “Just Got Back”… you can definitely hear the style of Billy Corgan come through on this Rocker of a song. That is two really cool guest guitarists to appear on “Silver”, it is like an added bonus for Hard Rock fans.

Cheap Trick does an unreal cover of the late/great John Lennon classic – “I’m Losin’ You”. Cheap Trick brings this song to Rock & Roll life, Robin Zander’s vocals were tailor made for this Lennon hit. The Beatles “Day Tripper” is yet another Rock & Roll classic that is covered with true Rock reverence by Cheap Trick, in my opinion, a flawless cover. “The Flame”, “Dream Police”, “Surrender”, “Stop This Game”, “That 70’s Song” and “Voices” are all here on “Silver”… never sounding better, a vintage cornucopia of Rock from Cheap Trick. A total of 31 songs are to be enjoyed here on “Silver”, 31 live, Cheap Trick classics! Bun E. Carlos on drums, Robin Zander on lead vocals, Rick Nielsen on guitars and Tom Petersson on bass are at the top of their Rock game during this live concert. I know that Cheap Trick is on tour again this Summer of 2009, from June 23rd through September 6th… with Def Leppard and Poison. (That is a really cool triple bill). Now, I have seen Def Leppard and Poison live in concert over the years… I just need to see Cheap Trick!!!

Cheap Trick "Silver"

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