In our second installment of tracks from Cheap Trick’s legendary New Year’s Eve show at L.A.’s Forum, we’re going to forego any further delay of gratification and focus on the hits. “Give the people what they want”, as The Kinks would say a couple years later. Oh, and some of our fave tracks from the “Dream Police” album.
While “Dream Police” was a record that furthered their chart domination at the time, it is an album that fails to garner as much hipster respect as the band’s prior three studio records and that, quite frankly, is a shame, as it is easily on par with “In Color” or “Heaven Tonight”. Truth be told, their stunning bone-jarring debut record is without equal. Period.
But tracks such as the highly conceptual “Dream Police” itself (which is an unheralded lyrical tour de force, however kitschy you may feel the actual song is) and “Voices” are simply two examples of some of the best songwriting to come from that particular decade. “I’ll Be With You Tonight” – sigh – how was this song not a Top 40 hit, much less a Top 10 smash? Like the album’s title track, it opens with a soaring chorus first, making it tailor-made for rock radio. The rest of the song just flat-out rocks and Robin Zander’s voice elevates the entire performance as Daltrey did for the best Who songs, Plant on all the chill-inducing Zep tunes, and so on. If you haven’t already, check out the live version we made available in yesterday’s post.
“The House Is Rockin'” is probably considered by most Trick fans to be somewhat of a throwaway track. We personally think it’s a great cut, but, admittedly, it tends to get lost amid the stellar tracks that dominate this album. Any other band would be patting themselves on the back and pricing mansions in the Hollywood Hills upon recording a track that cool. In Trick’s case, it ended up as a B-side.
“Writing On The Wall”? Again, a track most other band’s would be proud to call the best they’ve got to offer. Seriously, lesser bands have gotten further with less. Vocally, this tune allows Zander to branch out vocally, as he does on the verses, where he almost seems to be playing a character of sorts.
Cheap Trick-Dream Police
Cheap Trick-I Want You To Want Me
Cheap Trick-House Is Rockin’
Cheap Trick-I Know What I Want