“The Lost Boys: Hard-To-Find ’80s Albums” gives you exactly what the title implies: a rare or out-of-print album from the ’80s in its entirety. Some will be from CD, but most will have been lovingly transferred from pristine vinyl culled directly from the Analog Kid’s vast collection. Whatever album I choose, it will be one that you can’t easily find a physical copy for sale on Amazon or in your local record store (if you even have one anymore). Death…by stereo!
“Can you honestly tell me that you forgot? Forgot the magnetism of Robin Zander, or the charisma of Rick Nielsen?”
Mike Damone may have been a little prick, but he was 100% right about Cheap Trick. Fast Times At Ridgemont High came out in 1982, the same year that Cheap Trick released One On One. Could it really have been only three years since Cheap Trick took the nation by storm with a searing version of “I Want You To Want Me” from Live At Budokan? Was Cheap Trick really already considered “kid’s stuff,” as the victim of Damone’s ticket-scalping prowess insists?
Like many, I fell in love with Cheap Trick during that summer of 1979. My family packed up all of our belongings and moved from Los Angeles to Dallas that summer, and Mom’s 1976 Pinto station wagon had only an AM radio. Even at the age of eleven, I was in charge of the music– it was a self-appointed position, of course, and one that I took very seriously. I made sure to find the best pop stations I could find on that little AM dial, no matter where we happened to be on Interstates 10 and 20. “I Want You To Want Me” seemed to follow us for the entire 1450 miles– I would estimate that the Maxwell clan heard it at least once an hour for the duration of our three-day trip. I never got tired of hearing “I Want You To Want Me,” and I’m still not tired of hearing it today.
Live At Budokan made Cheap Trick into rock and roll stars, but three years was an eternity in the pop music scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Dream Police kept the momentum going when it was released in the fall of 1979, but the experimental All Shook Up (released in 1980, and produced by George Martin!) didn’t really produce any hits. Another year and a half passed before One On One was released, and it really did seem like many had completely written Cheap Trick off by that point. The band responded with a return to the brash rock of their earlier material, and the result was one of their best albums. “If You Want My Love” only reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it received constant airplay on MTV during the summer of ’82. It’s a brilliant pop song, and Rick Nielsen often lists it among his favorites. “She’s Tight” was also a staple on MTV, and these two songs ensured that Cheap Trick had once again returned to the top of the Analog Kid’s playlist. They have stayed there ever since, even if the rest of the record-buying public seemed to tune the band in and out on a whim.
Cheap Trick finally scored that elusive #1 hit with “The Flame” in 1988, and they continue to put out great records and play loud rock and roll shows to this day. It is my hope that Robin and Rick and Tom and Bun will soon join Rush and KISS as long-overdue inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. C’mon, committee– Cheap Trick have earned their place with plenty of room to spare…
Oops! I almost committed a huge party foul. Dudes of my generation are not allowed to mention Fast Times At Ridgemont High without at least one reference to Phoebe Cates– it is the law.
Phoebe, I can say only this: “If you want my love, you’ve got it. When you need my love, you’ve got it. I won’t hide it. I won’t throw your love away.”
Cheap Trick: One On One
Epic Records, 1982
1. “I Want You” (Nielsen)
2. “One On One” (Nielsen)
3. “If You Want My Love” (Nielsen)
4. “Oo La La La” (Nielsen/Zander)
5. “Lookin’ Out For Number One” (Nielsen)
6. “She’s Tight” (Nielsen)
7. “Time Is Runnin'” (Nielsen)
8. “Saturday At Midnight” (Nielsen/Zander)
9. “Love’s Got A Hold On Me” (Nielsen/Zander/Carlos)
10. “I Want Be Man” (Nielsen)
11. “Four Letter Word” (Nielsen/Zander)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Cheap Trick: “All I Really Want To Do” (Nielsen)
B-side of the U.S. 7″ She’s Tight
Epic Records, 1982
Cheap Trick: “I Want You To Want Me [Live]” (Nielsen)
From the album Live At Budokan
Epic Records, 1979
Cheap Trick: “Dream Police” (Nielsen)
From the album Dream Police
Epic Records, 1979
Cheap Trick: “Stop This Game” (Nielsen/Zander)
From the album All Shook Up
Epic Records, 1980
Cheap Trick: “The Flame” (Mitchell/Graham)
From the album Lap Of Luxury
Epic Records, 19988