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Cheap Trick- Essential pt1- Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander

On a maximum scale of five stars, the 1977 debut by Cheap Trick  receives AllMusic.com's highest rating, and the even more melodic, better sounding  sophomore effort "In Color" in the same year earns 4 1/2 stars. Then Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson, and Bun E. Carlos wrote and recorded the  masterpiece "Heaven Tonight" in May 1978, yet again scoring a critics' perfect five star rating. So in hindsight it would appear that recording the Rockford IL quartet's set while performing the strongest material from these three killer studio albums, in front of an adoring audience in one of the world's premiere venues, would be as obvious as a sumo wrestler in your shower stall.

Cheap Trick- Need Your Love- Passaic NJ 12/78

Cheap Trick actually delayed their studio follow-up to the brilliant 1978 third album Heaven Tonight , not because of a lack of strong songs  written, but because their fluke live in-Japan- only release At Budokan  virtually blew up over…
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Cheap Trick- Live at Budokan- Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander

Cheap Trick live "At Budokan"   has just been added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Hear the story In the Studio from Cheap Trick's Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen.

Cheap Trick- Come On, Come On/ Stiff Competition- Passaic NJ 12-8-78

Forty years ago this week, Cheap Trick was poised on the brink, but depending on what continent you were referencing, it could have been the brink of  Beatlemania-type mass popularity ( as in Japan that Summer 1978 ), or the brink of disaster…