Release Date: Apr 1, 2016
Record label: Big Machine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Hard Rock, Arena Rock
This is looking like Cheap Trick’s year. Over their long career, the band from Rockford, Illinois have seen their share of creative and commercial ups and downs. Their punk-era salvo of early albums was seminal yet underappreciated, until the surprise success of Cheap Trick at Budokan brought belated respect and superstardom, along with the high expectations to go with it.
In 2016, Cheap Trick were finally elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is often a double-edged sword for a working band. While the induction represents a powerful acknowledgment of their legacy, it's also an honor most often bestowed on bands that are well past their golden era. The timing is especially touchy for Cheap Trick, since 2016 also marks the release of Bang, Zoom, Crazy...
Cheap Trick have nothing left to prove. They are about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the most successful guitar pop bands of all time, their hits firmly cemented in the canon of American music. The Illinois quartet reached their peak during the ’70s with anthems like “Surrender” and the inescapable “I Want You to Want Me”, though they would also cast a looming influence over the big guitars and big hair of the ’80s.
Weaned on the 60s pop-smarts of The Beatles and Stones and fired up by the glam stomp of later acts like The Sweet and The Move, Cheap Trick made waves in the late 70s with their joyous stadium-ready power-pop. Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello, their 17th album and first since 2009, is the latest in a number of stillborn attempts to recapture those glory days. It has all the hallmarks of a Cheap Trick record: drummer Bun E Carlos’s precision stomp; Robin Zander’s full-hearted vocals; Rick Nielsen’s schizoid lead guitar.
Back with a bang: meta-metal legends’ first album since 2009’s The Latest. Cheap Trick have BSL (Best Since Lodger) syndrome. David Bowie had it worst: every record got compared to Scary Monsters or Lodger. Cheap Trick suffer more than most: every album they’ve released since 1980’s All Shook Up has been hailed as a comeback, a return to form, their finest since...
This year is poised to be a banner one for Cheap Trick—or at least, that’s how it’s been planned. The arena-ready power-pop pioneers from Rockford, Illinois are very deservedly being inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on April 8, ideally alongside estranged drummer Bun E. Carlos, who has been feuding with—and suing—his former bandmates since his kinda-sorta departure in 2010 (though Carlos is still listed as a member of Cheap Trick, guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son Daxx now plays drums).