Cheap Trick Biography
One of Rock's most entertaining attractions, Cheap Trick formed in Rockford, Illinois USA, in 1975. The core members were guitarist Rick Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson, locals who had already played in the touring bands Fuse and Sick Man Of Europe. However, after just one album, this short-lived outfits folded and the duo formed a new band, Cheap Trick. The initial line-up was completed by vocalist Randy 'Xeno' Hogan and drummer Brad 'Bun E. Carlos' Carlson. Hogan departed the group shortly thereafter to be replaced by singer + rhythm guitarist Robin Zander.
Epic signed the group barely a year after they'd formed and issued their
self-titled debut album in February 1977, it fared better in Japan than
in the United States; the band toured relentlessly, playing over 150 concerts
a year, including support slots with Journey,
Kiss and AC/DC.
Later that year, Cheap Trick released its second LP, "In Color", reaching #73 on the U.S. Pop Albums chart.
1978's "Heaven Tonight" captured both the loud, raucous energy of their debut and the hook-laden song craft of the sophomore effort, leading to their first U.S. Top 100 single, "Surrender", which peaked at #62 while the album hit #48 on the Pop Sales chart.
In 1979 the live LP "At Budokan" marked their commercial breakthrough,
the album stayed on the U.S. Pop chart for over a year, peaking at #4
and eventually selling over 3 million copies; a live version of "I
Want You To Want Me", pulled from the album, became their first top
10 hit and a revival of Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" reached
the #35 spot on the Pop Singles chart.
A few months later Cheap Trick released their fourth studio record, "Dream Police", which followed "At Budokan" into the top 10, selling over a million copies and launching two top 40 hit singles with the title-track and "Voices".
Petersson left the group in the summer of 1980 after recording "All
Shook Up", this album performed respectably, peaking at #24 on the
U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart eventually going gold, yet the main
single released from it, "Stop This Game", failed to crack the
Top 40. For subsequent tours Pete Comita and shortly thereafter Jon Brant,
That same year, the band contributed a new song to the soundtrack of the movie "Roadie"; released as a single, "Everything Works If You Let It", reached #44 on the U.S. Pop chart.
The first album recorded with Brant was "One On One", the group's sixth studio LP that appeared in 1982; although it peaked at #39, the record was more successful than its predecessor achieving platinum sales status along the way; it included "If You Want My Love" which rose to #11 on the Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart and produced a couple of minor hits in "She's Tight" and "Saturday At Midnight".
"Next Position Please", released in 1983, failed to launch a hit single and spent only 11 weeks on The Billboard Top 200 reaching #61.
Two years later Cheap Trick delivered its ninth album "Standing On The Edge" which hit #35 on The Billboard 200 and yielded the Mainstream Rock top 10 single "Tonight It's You".
1986's "The Doctor" was a complete flop.
Petersson's return for the album "Lap Of Luxury" brought them back to platinum status, the set debuted at #16 on The Billboard Top 200 chart, upon its spring 1988 release, thanks in part to the smash single "The Flame" which shot to #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 and hit the top 3 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks; the LP also included their rendition of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" which rose to #4 on The Billboard Hot 100 and to #8 on The Mainstream Rock chart plus two further top 40 hits: "Ghost Town" and "Let Go".
Two years later Cheap Trick delivered their final album to Epic Records, "Busted"; it reached the #48 position on The Billboard Top 200 and spawned the Mainstream Rock top 5 hit "Can't Stop Fallin' Into Love" which also crossed over to #12 on The Billboard Hot 100; the first single was followed by a couple of mid-sized hits: "Back 'N Blue" and "Wherever Would I Be?".
The group subsequently moved from Epic to Warner Bros. Records; their term there resulted in one album, "Woke Up With A Monster", the record spent two weeks on the U.S. Top 200 chart, peaking at #123 and produced a Mainstream Rock top 20 hit with the title-track.
Following the poor performance of this album, Cheap Trick decided to go back to the basics; they left Warner and over the next few years several alternative rockers, who were influenced by Cheap Trick, gave the band opportunities to restore their reputation. The Smashing Pumpkins had the band open some shows in 1995 and the group performed on the 1996 Lollapalooza tour.
In April 1997 the group released a new CD titled "Cheap Trick", like the group's debut album, presumably because the record represents a new beginning; the disc, which came out on Red Ant/Alliance, reached the #99 position on The Billboard 200 chart and contained the album-Rock radio top 40 hit "Say Goodbye".
After spending a good part of 2001 writing songs and about six weeks of pre-production, Cheap Trick went into Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, N.Y. in March 2002 where the lads put together song by song their first studio album in six years, "Special One"; it broke into the top 10 of the U.S. Independent Albums chart and reached #128 on The Billboard 200 Sales list.
In June 2006, the veteran Illinois Rock group issued a new solid studio album, "Rockford", on Unlimited/Big3 Records. The disc, which was prefaced by the single "Perfect Stranger", reached the #101 position on The Billboard 200.
Cheap Trick decided to step outside of the label world to release its next studio album, "The Latest", itself. The 13-song set arrived in June 2009.