There are generally reasons why great bands remain obscure: drugs, or monstrous behavior, or bad luck – not Cheap Trick. They had a pretty blond lead singer, and a guitar hero, and a muscle car of a rhythm section, and hit songs, and a fierce Midwestern work ethic. Their records–mostly the first three that I’ve raved about before–were huge sounding affairs without any filler, and they had cool covers with a distinctive and memorable checkerboard logo.
This is some vintage Trick from the Cap in 1980, and if you don’t have the interest or patience, go to 20:51 and watch Oh, Candy for the perfect encapsulation of what I love about this American band: force-of-nature drumming from the iconically shlubby Bun E. Carlos; Robin Zander’s full-throated and powerful pubescent howl of a surprising pretty melody; Tom Peterson’s instantly-recognizable twelve-string bass hurricane; and Rick Nielsen just generally being himself.
Watch it; don’t watch it; life goes on.