Thursday, 7 June 2007

’97 mentality


1997>1977

Exhibit I

GMS has been up in this blog ‘ish for four months without posting on Cheap Trick. Questions were starting to be asked. Luckily, Nargo The Bort’s Deviant Subculture – an excellent but soon to be de-commissioned purveyor of live bootlegs – has allowed that wrong to be righted.

In 1997 the Trick went into the studio with super-recorder and Shellac stand-up-comedian-in-residence Steve Albini. The eponymous record that resulted from those sessions was leaner, harder and better than anything they’d done since 1979’s Dream Police. It spelled a critical revival, though not a commercial one (the Trick change record labels with the same frequency and discretion that Rick Nielsen changes cardigans). Rockford was one of the best albums released last year (as well as laying claim to 2006’s ugliest artwork).

During the 1997 sessions, the Trick also decided to re-record their 1977 album In Color, stripping it of the original’s radio-friendly gloss, and adding some of Albini’s hardcore bite, bringing the sound nearer to that of their eponymous debut. GMS makes room for hard-rocking Trick, glossy power-ballad Trick, and most of the goofy nonsense in between. But for our money, the re-make edges it, as Nielsen and Zander’s songwriting on In Color hadn’t reached the pop heights of Heaven Tonight and Dream Police, and was better suited to their earlier garage-rock incarnation. Do folks agree?

Cheap Trick – ‘Clock Strikes Ten’

Cheap Trick – ‘Southern Girls’

Cheap Trick – ‘I Want You To Want Me’ (jazz version)


More fun

Previously on ’97 mentality

Cheap Trick homepage

Buy In Color

1 comment:

Chris said...

Word up A-hat. I've only got the glossy version of "in color", gotta say from what I've heard of the rerecording here, it kicks a bucketload more ass than the old one - I was always a bit pissed of with the album version of "i want you to want me" in particular, like it was totally lame compared to their live versions (budokan etc)