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.
When I was on vacation during this past Summer, I found a ton of 45 Singles with the Picture Sleeves at a place called House of Vinyl and I ended buying 7 Van Halen 45’s. And we’ve been through a few so far as seen below…
And now we are on final Van Halen single and we are still in to the Hagar Era. This was the second single off their second album with Sammy called ‘OU812’. The song is “When It’s Love” and it was the most popular song off the album. The song was released in June 1988 and went to #1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart as well as #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
My copy of the single is the standard U.S. version with the B-Side being “Cabo Wabo” which you wouldn’t know that from the back cover as it doesn’t say anywhere what the B-Side is. When I first saw it, I was hoping it was a promo with the same song on each side and one in mono and one in stereo, but I don’t if they actually had those still in 1988. Regardless, my copy is in pretty good shape and plays perfectly which is all that matters.
Now both tracks on the single are the LP versions and no single edits. As I’ve mentioned in the past reviews, Donn Landee’s name is on the Single write under the writers which is something Ted Templeman started back in the David Lee Roth era. Nice to see that trend continued here.
If you remember a couple months back, I bought about 21 7″ Singles and in that were a couple of Billy Idol Singles. The first one is for the single, “Cradle of Love”, which was the first single off his 1990 album, ‘Charmed Life’. The second one was “Eyes Without a Face” which was off the 1983 album ‘Rebel Yell’ and was one we did not too long ago with the 12″ Picture Disc. This time around it is the 7″ Single. The song “Eyes Without A Face” was released in 1984 and went all the way to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 giving Billy one of his highest charting songs. It also helped boost the album to over 2,000,000 sold giving it a double platinum certification.
My Copy isn’t in the best of shape as someone scribbled a little over Billy’s face and there is the “30” written in on the back cover which explains why this one was so cheap. I went with it anyway until I can find a better copy down the road.
If you remember a couple months back, I bought about 21 7″ Singles and in that were a couple of Billy Idol Singles. The first one is for the single, “Cradle of Love”, which was the first single off his 1990 album, ‘Charmed Life’. The single was released on April 17, 1990 and the album came out 2 weeks later on May 1, 1990. This was the first time Billy had released a song, or an album, without Steve Stevens on guitar (except for his debut E.P.). The song is the highest charting Billy Idol song going all the way to #2 in the U.S. and it went #1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart which is the one and only time he has done that as well. What was the song that kept him from the #1 slot…well, it was Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love” which was her debut and we know what happened to her.
The A-Side, “Cradle of Love”, was for the Andrew Dice Clay movie, ‘The Adventures of Ford Fairlane’. The song is about a whole slew of cradle-robbing rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis. It is a classic Billy Idol song and has everything you know and love about his sound. It showed he could do it without Steve Stevens. The song was written by Billy Idol and David Werner and the song on this single is actually the album version of the song and not a remix which is okay because the B-Side is the treasure here and we will get to that shortly.
In my quest for getting everything on vinyl for Needtobreathe, there were four 7″ Singles I had to get and I am glad to say, I now have 3 of them. There is still one elusive one that I need for the song “Keep Your Eyes Open”, so if you see it let me know. For now we are going to talk about this single for the song “Brother”. The song is actually off the album, ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’ from 2014. However, the songs on this disc are not on the version on the album.
The disc is a limited edition release with only 2,000 copies and I have one so there are only 1,999 left out there for you to find (yes, I know how to subtract). It is on a very beautiful transparent blue vinyl and it is gorgeous. It comes in a lovely jacket with a cool picture of Bear Rineheart on the front and his brother Bo Rinehart on the back which is significant which we will discuss later.
The package also comes with an insert with details about Side A and Side B and it is formatted in that same flowery motif. It is quite nice.
Back in 1981, Billy Squier came screaming on to the scene with the classic track, “The Stroke”. This was the song that introduced me to him and kept me a fan all these years. The song did fairly well on the charts reaching #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the song comes from his second album ‘Don’t Say No’ which went on to be a triple platinum selling album.
Now admit it. You have always thought this song was about masturbation, didn’t you? “Put Your Right Hand Out / Give a firm handshake”…always led you to believe that Mr. Squier was manhandling his little…”guitar” for lack of a better word. Ok, I didn’t want to say dick, so there, now I have said it. However, the song is actually not about that at all.
The song is about the Music Business and how it treats it’s talent. How with “the stroke” of a pen, the musician signs their life away and becomes the property of the record label. They promise them the “big break”, get their music everywhere (“spread your ear pollution”) and promise fame and fortune. However, when the hits dry up, the label drops you (“when you’ve found you bled me / slip on by”). And when you look at the song from that perspective it is really a great song…okay…when you look at it the dirty way it is also a great song…either works!
Disco era Kiss! Does it get any better than that?? Well, yes it actually does. Nonetheless, it was still Kiss and still awesome. I was out at my favorite little record spot and came across a 7″ single of Kiss and of course I had to have it. It was the 1979 single off the Dynasty album called “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”.
The single was only the band’s second Gold single and it went on to sell over a 1 million copies so needless to say, it was a hit. Which proved Gene and Paul correct that during the Disco era, anyone could write a disco song. Speaking of writing, this was the first time Kiss co-wrote a song with Desmond Child and it wouldn’t be the last. It was also Desmond’s first hit he ever had. The song was also written by Paul Stanley and Vini Poncia who played piano on the song and did backing vocals.
The really isn’t much to talk about in regards to the song. Think disco and you know what the song sounds like. You can get up and dance to it and sing along to the catchy, pop chorus. It is simple. One thing I guess I can talk about is that wikipedia has the 7″ single listed at 4:01, but my version has it at 3:57 which might not seem like a lot, but that is a big difference. The song is already cut down from the album version which was at 4:30. Not sure if I have a different version or wikipedia is just wrong.