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Cheap Trick Deliver "Special"

First studio album in six years due in July

June 17, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Cheap Trick will release Special One, their first album of new material in six years, on July 22nd. Over the last three years, the band has released two live sets and a greatest hits collection, but lingering problems with record companies delayed efforts to record new material until recently.

"Our last two studio releases were fiascoes," says guitarist Rick Nielsen. "For [1994's Woke Up With a Monster], Warner Bros. fired the two guys that signed us, so nobody wanted to take a shot with us. Then on [1997's Cheap Trick], the record company went bankrupt days after the album came out. After that, we were in no hurry with new material."

Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos wrote all the material for Special One together -- a far cry from when Nielsen wrote entire albums by himself. But for one song, "Low Life in High Heels," they had to turn to producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, known for his work with Blur, Beck and Gorillaz.

"We had that thing in the can for a year or more and couldn't seem to get the right arrangement," Nielsen says. "The Automator's kind of a fan of the band, and he thought he could do something with it. The guitar riff is completely different and there's new drum breaks in there. We call the remix 'Hummer.'"

More than twenty-five years after Cheap Trick rose to fame with "I Want You To Want Me," Nielsen says they have moved beyond their signature song but haven't abandoned it altogether: "In the acoustic version of 'Scent of a Woman' we did the other night, Robin snuck in a verse of 'I Want You to Want Me.' It's not a bad sentiment."

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