Cheap Trick
Heaven Tonight


4.5
superb

Review

by SpaceEcho34 USER (4 Reviews)
February 1st, 2013 | 13 replies | 1,736 views


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A rockin', tongue-in-cheek classic from Illinois' rock and roll misfits.

Cheap Trick is most definitely one of the bands the forged an entirely new approach to no holds barred, take it for what it is rock and roll. They came about in the transitional period of the late-70s, which in hindsight manages to work in their advantage. As a band they never fit into the "rock god"/"guitar hero" type of thing, but they were too clean to really be punk and too edgy to really be pop. Even though they were misfits in the music world, through their passion and authenticity towards what they did they turned that into their very identity. Combining elements of each aforementioned genre with a classic British style and a knack for absurd, tongue-in-cheek humor, Cheap Trick epitomized, if not invented, the sub-grenre of power-pop. 1978's Heaven Tonight is where it all came together for this Rockford, Illinois group.

Surrender hits with a definitive moment right away in the band's signature song, marrying pop songcraft with the attitude and sonic assault of punk rock to create a fist-in-the-air anthem that holds up just as well today. From there the album takes you on a roller coaster tour of rock and roll. There are party-ready rockers (On Top of the World, California Man), retro British Invasion style hooks (On the Radio, How Are You), proto pop-punk (Stiff Competition, Auf Wiedersehen) and the near R&B of High Roller and Takin' Me Back. The effectiveness of the album as a whole is that each song stealthily incorporates elements of the others into a collection of genre-bending, powerful, timeless rock.

Around the midway point of the album are two absolute high points, Auf Wiedersehen and Heaven Tonight. The title track is a slice of dreamy psychedelia that lyrically (and musically) sees the band explore the dark side of drug use. The taunting almost-whispered vocals weave a tale of pushing the limits for the sake of a high. It is a brooding, ominous, and at times downright scary track that is undeniably hypnotic. On the opposite side of their spectrum, Auf Wiedersehen is the closest they've ever come to a punk song; and for a pop band in 1978 it was pretty damn close. The laughable, darkly clever lyrics are sung sneeringly with a growling cockney accent, and gain threatening momentum as the guitars grind and stutter their way through each verse. The crooning, preachy chorus fits right in with a wink and a nod.

On the whole, this album is just a ridiculously enjoyable demonstration of the amalgomic nature of Cheap Trick. The media friendly pop stars (Robin Zander and Tom Petersson) combine with the geeked out music nerds (Rick Nielson and Bun E. Carlos) to create a brilliant encapsulation of rock music in general, and its turbulent nature at the time, ingeniously wrapped up into a nice tidy package.

[review as originally posted by SpaceEcho34 at http://thenoisepaper.blogspot.com/ ]


user ratings (63)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
robvusechevic
January 31st 2013



92 Comments


Saw these guys live with my dad. So good.

KILL
May 20th 2014



70599 Comments


MUMMYS ALRIGHT

DADDYS ALRIGHT

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

KILL
May 20th 2014



70599 Comments


this is actually good shit fuck i thought these dudes were lame

porch
June 22nd 2014



8452 Comments


thought the same thing, wrote them off as some cheesy 70s rock probably cos of the album covers. the
s/t is way better than this i think

KILL
June 23rd 2014



70599 Comments


yea surprised hans didnt review it already

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2014



1872 Comments


fuck there's only 2 cheap trick revs on sputnik that's fucked

Digging: Botch - We Are the Romans

KILL
June 23rd 2014



70599 Comments


everyones too busy reviewin linkin park albums

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2014



1872 Comments


if it were up to me hong tam would be greencheapmuse

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2014



1872 Comments


Gonna have to write some cheap trick reviews cos this is fucking annoying

Verm
June 23rd 2014



1004 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This rulz and linkin park rulz

KILL
June 23rd 2014



70599 Comments


verm bro im only half the man you are

Verm
June 23rd 2014



1004 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks kill, you know that I've mastered numerology and big bang theology, besides I've perfomed lobotomies with telekinetic psychology

CheapPurple
July 22nd 2014



17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love Cheap Trick, one of the most misunderstood bands of rock and roll. Live, they're just amazing. Their first four albums are four of the best that came out of the 70s.



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