Welcome to a bonus edition of The Cheap Trick Collection Series. In my crate digging, I occasionally come upon 7″ Singles and when I find one from a band I like, I usually buy it and this was no different. The single was for the song “The Flame” from the band’s album ‘Lap of Luxury’ from 1988. It was sort of a comeback album for the band as the prior few albums didn’t do very well and they were starting to disappear from the scene. This song saved them from going the way of the Dodo. The album ended up going Platinum thanks to this song and their other singles “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Ghost Town”.
The band almost didn’t get an opportunity to sing the song as it was initially offered to blues artist, Elkie Brooks who turned it down. Which is a good thing because I doubt it would’ve had the success it ended up having with Cheap Trick. There was a story going around that Rick Nielsen really hated the song and pulled it out of the tape deck and ground it in to the floor with his foot. He has later denied disliking the song entirely and said it had its moments. The problem is Rick hated that the song was written by outside writers that were forced upon them by the label.
My copy is the standard U.S. Single, but the cool thing is the B-Side is not on the album. We would later get it in on the Sex, America, Cheap Trick Box set. But when you find a single with an exclusive track, you grab it and I did.
“The Flame” was one of a handful of songs on the album not written by the band. It was penned by Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham. The song would end up going to #1 on the Billboard charts and was their first and only #1 song. It is a power ballad and is one of Robin’s finest moments ever captured on tape. A song the band was apprehensive about at first, but warmed up to it and we are all better for it. The acoustic guitar helps give it this melancholic feel to it and I love the reflective nature of the lyrics. Robin’s vocals give it the emotion and voice the song needs to express itself and is pure splendid bliss. Then throw in Rick’s emotive guitar solo that fits perfectly with the tone of the song and you see why this went to #1.
The B-Side of the single was the Non-LP track called “Through the Night”. The song was written by Nielsen, Zander and Petersson. With an album that was mostly written by outside writers and only one song written solely by the band, there was no way another band song was getting on the album. I am sure the record company was forceful on that issue. The song is an upbeat rocker and isn’t a bad song. It is a little repetitive and a little on the clunky side, but it is still catchy enough and more in the old Cheap Trick style than a lot of their more recent songs so it gets a passing grade for that alone. However, I see why it didn’t make the album…but still a cool B-Side.
And there you have it. Up next is another Single but this one is a CD Promo.
UP NEXT: “GHOST TOWN” (1988) – CD SINGLE PROMO (Bonus Edition)
The Cheap Trick Collection Series:
- Cheap Trick (1977)
- In Color (1977)
- Heaven Tonight (1978)
- Cheap Trick at Budokan (1978)
- Dream Police (1979)
- Found All The Parts (1980)
- All Shook Up (1980)
- One On One (1982)
- Next Position Please (1983)
- Standing on the Edge (1985)
- “Tonight It’s You” (1985) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- “Mighty Wings” (1986) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- The Doctor (1986)
- Lap Of Luxury (1988)
- “The Flame” (1988) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)