My Sunday Song – “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #320, we are ending are Cheap Trick 10 song run with “Dream Police” off the album of the same name. The song was release in September 1979 and broke the Top 40 landing all the way at #26. It was the first single off an album that followed ‘Live at Budokan’ and was destined to be a smash…and it was.

The song was written by Rick Nielsen and seems to be about a very paranoid individual. This guy thinks that Big Brother is monitoring his dreams. No matter where he goes or what he does, the dream police are they waiting to arrest him for that one wrong thought or dream. With each passing moment, he is growing more and more insane and obsessed with the whole idea.

The song is upbeat and starts off with the chorus and then goes straight in to the first verse. The organ/keyboards and the string orchestration add an eerie, spooky vibe to the song which makes the song so dramatic and horrifying. Bun E. Carlos’ drums are spectacular adding perfect fills where needed and Petersson’s bass during the creepy Robin speaking vocals adds so much texture and flavor to the song. It is catchy as hell and bores in to your brain as sweet ear candy. The song also reminds me of The Who with its energy and that is good thing.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think. Do you love the humor behind as much as I do? It is one of my favorite tracks by them, where does it fall for you? Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful and Happy Sunday!! Be careful when you sleep because you never know who is listening (or watching).

“Dream Police”

The dream police, they live inside of my head
The dream police, they come to me in my bed
The dream police, they’re coming to arrest me, oh, no

You know that talk is cheap
And those rumors ain’t nice
And when I fall asleep
I don’t think I’ll survive the night, the night

‘Cause they’re waiting for me
They’re looking for me
Every single night
They’re driving me insane
Those men inside my brain

The dream police, they live inside of my head (live inside of my head)
The dream police, they come to me in my bed (come to me in my bed)
The dream police, they’re coming to arrest me, oh, no

Well, I can’t tell lies
‘Cause they’re listening to me
And when I fall asleep
Bet they’re spying on me tonight, tonight

‘Cause they’re waiting for me
They’re looking for me
Every single night
They’re driving me insane
Those men inside my brain

I try to sleep, they’re wide awake, they won’t let me alone
They don’t get paid to take vacations or let me alone
They spy on me, I try to hide, they won’t let me alone
They persecute me, they’re the judge and jury all in one

‘Cause they’re waiting for me
They’re looking for me
Every single night
They’re driving me insane
Those men inside my brain

The dream police, they live inside of my head (live inside of my head)
The dream police, they come to me in my bed (come to me in my bed)
The dream police, they’re coming to arrest me
The dream police (police, police)
The dream police (police, police)
The dream police (police, police)
The dream police (police, police)
The dream police (police, police)
The dream police (police, police

Written by Rick Nielsen

My Sunday Song – “Auf Wiedersehen” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #319, we are discussing the song “Auf Wiedersehen” by Cheap Trick. The song is off their 1978 album ‘Heaven Tonight’ and but was not released as a single. Instead, it was the B-Side to their hit “Surrender”. The song was written by Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson and talks about a very serious subject matter.

The song is about suicide. And not the first on ‘Heaven Tonight” because the title song is also about suicide. “Auf Wiedersehen” is actually German for “Goodbye” which is appropriate. The lyrics also say goodbye in Spanish and Japanese. The lyrics give a nod to Bob Dylan’s song “All Along the Watchtower” with “You feel that life is a joke”. The song isn’t trying to talk the person out of committing suicide. It is simply saying goodbye in a not so kind way.

It is a pretty heavy song both lyrically and musically and is so upbeat and face paced that you can’t help but enjoy it despite its subject matter. The guitar riffs on this one by Nielsen are some of his best on the album. Robin attacks the vocals with an aggressive tone that is both abrasive and then he can turn it around and be kinda sweet. Towards the end, he seems batshit crazy and that he has completely lost it. It is a perfect combination of the rawness from the first album mixed with the power pop of the second.

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My Sunday Song – “Clock Strikes Ten” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #318, we will talk about “Clock Strikes Ten” by Cheap Trick. The song is off their 1977 album ‘In Color’ and the single was only released in Japan where it went all the way to #1 helping pave the way for Budokan. It is also a great song to hear live!

The song was written by Rick Nielsen and was basically about partying on the weekend. When the clock strikes 10pm, it is time to party. The lyrics keep speaking of the clock striking every two hours and how the night was progressing. It is simply a party song that is completely old school rocked out.

It starts off with what sounds like a clocks bell chiming and representative of Big Ben’s clock. The song then explodes in to an old rockabilly stylings with that old school 50/60’s rock & roll i.e. “Rock Around the Clock” style. I even feel there is even a little Aerosmith vibe going as well. It is a fireball of a song that will get you on your feet and moving which is all we really want in a song anyway, right!

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My Sunday Song – “Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #315, we are diving in to the very controversial song “Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School” by Cheap Trick. The song is off the 1977 debut album. The song was not a single for obvious reasons once you learn what it is about, but it was the B-Side to the single “Oh Candy”. It was written by Rick Nielsen back when not everyone got writing credits.

“Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School” is nothing if not controversial giving us a song about a guy who loves to pervert around with teenagers. I believe that is called an ephebophile. With lyrics like “I’m thirty, but I feel like sixteen / I might even know your daddy” is simply plain sick, hysterical and so rock & roll. You can’t help but love it even if it is so, so wrong. It is no worst than Gene Simmons singing about “Christine Sixteen” years earlier.

The song starts with a bunch a school kids making noises. The song chugs along and is just so wrong, but it feels so right. It sounds a little nasty and dirty with the distorted sounding guitar, the dark bass lines and the heavier sounding drum beats. Robin sings it with a gritty feel to his vocals as he knows it is wrong and probably has to take a shower after singing this one. It is one that makes you take notice and shows they weren’t afraid to court a little controversy.

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My Sunday Song – “Sick Man of Europe” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #314, we are going after the song “Sick Man of Europe” off the Cheap Trick 2009 album ‘The Latest’. The album came out on June 23, 2009 and the single and video for this song came out on August 13 of the same year. The song didn’t chart, but the album did at #78 on the Billboard Charts. The song was written mostly by Bun E. Carlos and Julian Raymond but credits will go all around to Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander and Tom Petersson.

“Sick Man of Europe” is named after the band name Rick and Tom had for their band while they were in Europe in the early 70’s, pre-Cheap Trick. The song is a nod to the old, but it is new again. It is basically them calling out to the world and telling them we still got it.

The bass is king here. Tom goes ballistic on this track as he is balls-to-walls amazing. Bun E. Carlos has such great feel on this one as he tears up the skins. Rick lays down some wicked riffs and Robin sounds as youthful as ever with that never aging voice. The song has all the punk attitude and force you remember from early Trick with tracks like “He’s a Whore” for example. It is short and sweet and will get you on your feet! It will slap you upside the face and kick you in the ass. It is a force to be reckoned with and shows they still got it.

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My Sunday Song – “You Let A Lotta People Down” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #312, we are going with “You Let A Lotta People Down” off their 1997 self-titled album, ‘Cheap Trick’. The song wasn’t a single but a B-Side to the albums third single, “Carnival Games”. The album went fairly overlooked as this 1997 and nothing from bands from the 70’s and 80’s was getting much love. That doesn’t detract from its greatness though…not in my book at least.

I will be honest, I don’t know who the song is about. All that is obvious that someone has let a lot of people down. That has hurt this person severely to the point of anger and dare I say rage. To the point that he might be willing to get a gun and do something about it…or someone that this person has hurt will one day end things. The person was teetering on a fence between the right decision and the wrong decision and they feel towards the wrong, deceitful side.

The band is on fire with this as they completely rock out with this one borderline metal with its really dark and anger-filled tone. Robin’s vocals aren’t silky smooth, they have an edge like the song itself. There is anger in those lyrics and the music personifies it. The chorus is classic 70’s Cheap Trick and catchy as hell, but the sound is more modern and fits the darker 90’s style of music. There is a point with some really heavy bass, pounding drums and a simple slamming guitar riff while Robin is angry and screaming and it is freaking awesome!!! It is a side of Cheap Trick we don’t get to see very often and that is a shame.

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My Sunday Song – “She’s Tight” by Cheap Trick

For My Sunday Song #311, we are starting our Cheap Trick 10 song set. And first up is a personal favorite, “She’s Tight” off their 1982 album ‘One on One’ (which was their last good album for years). The song was written by Rick Nielsen and was the third single off the album. The song did okay, just missing out on the Top 40 as it landed at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100. That doesn’t mean it ain’t good, on the contrary…it is awesome.

The song is not very subtle. It is about a booty call, plain and simple. The singer gets the phone number off a bathroom wall, calls it and she’s ready for action. He heads over a gets a little action. It is pure sleaze and sometimes that is okay. As a young teenager when this came out, this was such a dirty song, and I loved it. And the darker side of it, I have read it is about a very young girl with the whole “She’s Tight” reference, but I don’t want to think that…I prefer the straight-up booty call.

I remember watching the video on MTV and every time I watched it, I couldn’t wait for them to show it again. The punk guitar riffs from Rick so simple was actually one of his best ever. Mix that punk stylings with the synths and you get a very modern pop/rock song that was very radio friendly. It sucks you in and won’t let go. The infectious groove and sound were magic in my book. So much fun and oh those intermittent female vocal…”hmmms”…were sexy as hell. Robin Zander can sing anything and sound great and he doesn’t disappoint here. Bun E. Carlos’ drum beat is crisp and sharp and a driving force behind the song. The band didn’t have Tom Petersson in the band any more at this point so Jon Brandt was the bass player for this song.

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Cheap Trick – The Albums Ranked Worst to First (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

Welcome to the final post in the Cheap Trick Collection Series. We are going to rank all 20 of their studio albums from their worst to their absolute best. I am sure there will be some disagreement, but these are my choices and not necessarily yours so it is okay to disagree. I have spent the last 9/10 months going through every piece of Cheap Trick music in my collection and that gave us 37 posts so my choices are well documented and please check them all out if you have time.

We started back in 1977 with their debut and finished with their latest studio album, 2021’s ‘In Another World’. We didn’t hit everything in between because I missed a few live albums and a ton of greatest hits compilations, but it was still a pretty immersive catalog to go through. Cheap Trick’s core group was always Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos with changes here and there, but those are the original guys we all know and love.

Their Beatles influences, pop-punk style was all their own. You heard a Cheap Trick song, you basically knew it was a Cheap Trick song. Robin Zander’s vocals have never aged a bit and at times sounds even better today than 45 years ago. Rick’s crazy guitars weren’t to make up for the fact he can’t play because he sure as hell can as he filled every album with some great solos and killer riffs. Tom Petersson’s bassline was the driving force behind the rhythm section and with Bun E Carlos on drums, that rhythm section was pretty freakin’ tight. These four guys could produce a lot of sound and gave us a lot of great music. Let’s celebrate now with the Ranking from Worst to First!!

THE WORST – ‘THE DOCTOR’ (1986):

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Cheap Trick – ‘Out To Get You! Live 1977’ (2020) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

After 2 Record Store Releases in a row up for review, we are now on our third in a row and 6 total RSD releases from this band and all fantastic. Cheap Trick’s ‘Out to Get You! Live 1977’ is pretty freaking cool. This was very early on between the debut album and only months away from the release of their second album, In Color, which came out 3 months later. We get basically every song from those two albums (and one the crowd hadn’t even heard yet) as well as a couple from their third album (which hadn’t even been recorded or thought of yet), plus a handful of tracks that wouldn’t show up again for years.

They were hungry, energetic and fresh and yet still a little green. The release is from Record Store Day 2020 and is an exclusive release…well, not that exclusive since you can stream it but physically it is currently only available on vinyl. And there were only 4,700 on this limited release. The show is recorded over 4 performances over two days on June 3rd and 4th at The Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles and we get 22 tracks of pure and utter joy.

These four unassuming gentlemen were a cross between rockers, nerds and plain quirky looking guys. Meshed together, they were a force to be reckoned with. The albums didn’t necessarily match the power that came from the stage and when you saw them, you had no idea the type of music that would flow from them. In 1977, this was pre-Budokan so the world wasn’t truly hip on them yet, but these performances captured here let us know that we had one of America’s greatest bands waiting to blow up on the world…and they did just that.

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Cheap Trick – ‘Are You Ready? Live 12/31/1979’ (2019) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

Cheap Trick has hopped on the Record Store Bandwagon with 3 previous releases for each Volume of The Epic Archives and now for the 2019 Record Store Day they dug in to the archives and are finally releasing their New Year’s Eve concert from the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles from 1979 in full. Some songs were released on the Expanded Edition of the ‘Dream Police’ album, but never the full show. This is the first time it has been released on vinyl, the first time the full show has been released giving is new mixes from the original master tracks. The only issue is the first reel of the master tapes could not be found, so the first four songs aren’t as clean and crisp as the rest of the album. They had to source those songs from a high resolution tape of the official radio broadcast. You can tell the difference in the listen, but honestly, it has zero impact on the listening pleasure.

RSD has it listed as an exclusive release, but only exclusive in the fact it is the only way to get the vinyl. The show has been released on CD and digitally so the vinyl release isn’t truly exclusive. The package is a 2 LP set in a beautiful gatefold. After getting the Epic Archive albums in multiple colors, here we get the standard black vinyl. I have read a lot of reviews and/or comments that they feel the sound sucks, but it is a personal taste. If you like a live album that sounds live, then this will be great. I wasn’t bothered by any of the sound quality and that won’t be mentioned at all as it was a non-issue for me. I was listening to the music and what we got and we got a lot. Let’s walk through it.

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