.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/f66b51bbf610a62dc8cf01be9ceb05259b909609.jpg The Essential Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

The Essential Cheap Trick

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
March 16, 2004

Cheap Trick had no command of the "deep and meaningless," as Robert Plant once put it, and thus could not generate the mystery of Led Zeppelin. And they had a fitful command of the deep and meaningful, making only occasional attempts at sociological commentary that had a satiric edge closer to the Coasters than to the Who or Pink Floyd. What they did have was command of the shallow and meaningless: cliched love songs, the grand gestures of arena rock, decent hooks and explosions of Dionysian ecstasy that left audiences happy, with little residue for analysis. Frontman Robin Zander had a fine voice in the John Lennon/Liam Gallagher tradition of screaming in tune. Guitarist-songwriter Rick Nielsen could be counted on for monster chord progressions. Bassist Tom Petersson and drummer Bun E. Carlos stayed locked, however thick or thin the gruel. "Surrender" and "Dream Police" will live on. The band's live stuff, which always had the most juice, is underrepresented in this two-CD collection, but "Gonna Raise Hell" is dynamite. Their cover of "Ain't That a Shame" will teach the joys of headbanging swing to future generations. (Why didn't they include their MTV hit "Don't Be Cruel" here?) Final judgment: Hard rock with a careerist pop sensibility and a few moments of genuine inspiration. You wonder what they could have done if they hadn't tried to repeat the success of "I Want You to Want Me."

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com