It’s been more than 40 years since Cheap Trick first started plying their unique brand of hard-nosed, guitar-driven power pop in any Midwestern bar that would have them, and in the ensuing decades, the Rockford, Illinois, quartet have seen more than their fair share of ups and downs. There have been hits — “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender,” both from band’s late-Seventies heyday, are classic-rock-radio mainstays, while the 1988 ballad “The Flame” made it all the way to Number One on Billboard‘s Hot 100 singles chart — but there have been a bunch of misses, too, and depending on the musical climate, you could see the group, which has played more than 5,000 shows since forming, in a sports bar, at a state fair or sometimes, when fortune smiled upon them, in an arena.
By all estimations, however, 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for the band. On Friday, the group released the excellent Bang, Zoom, Crazy … Hello, its first studio album in seven years. A week later, on April 8th, Cheap Trick’s founding members — guitarist Rick Nielsen, vocalist Robin Zander, drummer Bun E. Carlos and bassist Tom Petersson — will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, something that hardcore fans have been clamoring for since the band became eligible in 2003. We hope that after you’ve enjoyed this compendium of deep cuts and rarities, you’ll agree that it is an honor both well-deserved … and long overdue.