By 1988, Cheap Trick’s popularity was dropping fast. Their last few albums didn’t really light the charts on fire and the record company you could say was quite unhappy. As a result, the record company forced the band to work with outside writers or song doctors. This was 1988 and all bands were now doing that. There was only one song on the album that was written solely by the band, all the others were co-writes by other people and some even entirely written by others.
But it wasn’t all bad news. The band was back to the four original members as Tom Petersson returns to the fold replacing Jon Brant on bass. As a result, the gang of Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Petersson were back which made the world think of this as sort of a comeback album for the band. Now don’t think it was a comeback in forms of that 70’s Power Pop. Nope, it was more plain pop with this one, however, we did the see band hit the platinum status and garner their first ever #1 song.
After recording the fantastic track, “Mighty Wings” for the Top Gun Soundtrack, Cheap Trick headed in to the studio to record their next album. At the time, not knowing that song wasn’t written by the band, I had high hopes that their album would come out rocking like that song. Yeah, but it didn’t…AT ALL!! Thanks to the production by Tony Platt, Cheap Trick came out with an album that had no balls and sounded so dated with the massive keyboards that you threw your hands up in the air and said “what is this crap”. Yes, I am ruining this review by telling you the ending right away…that is how bad this album is to me.
The band was really fighting with their label as the label kept screaming more keyboards and the band, in the end, just threw up their hands and finished the album in 3 weeks. I don’t think they even realized at the time how weak and lame this would turn out to be. They probably had an idea as it was Tony Platt that mixed their last album after Jack Douglas had to back out due to legal problems with Yoko Ono (that is whole other story for another time). Tony turned their album. “Standing On the Edge” in to a wimpfest when it was supposed to be a rocker…at least that was Jack’s vision. Why would they expect anything different with this one.
The band line-up was unchanged from the prior as we still had Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and Jon Brant. However, this would be the last album to feature Brant as the band’s next album would see the return of founding bass player Tom Petersson. And not a moment too soon. The album finally saw its release on November of 1986 and it didn’t do well at all. It peaked at #115 on the Billboard Charts and only had one U.S. single which didn’t even chart. That says all you need to know right there. The band had probably hit rock bottom at this point in their career which would make you think that after this, there was no where to go but up. We will see if that happens.
Last Saturday, I gave you a post of totally useless information with all the albums I listened to in 2021, so let’s do it again this Saturday. We are going to look back at what happened in 2021…no not in the world of music. But in the world of 2 Loud 2 Old Music, the website!! I know this is important stuff, I get how excited you must be so stop the YAWNING!!!
We had a another record year here at the site. We finally broke 1,000 followers and are now sitting at around 1,022. A small milestone for the site. It only took 5 years to get there. If that was enough we broke a record of views this year with over 272,000 views which is a 36% increase over the prior year. Next year, we are hoping to finally pass 300,000 views. See, real exciting stuff.
During the year we worked on a lot of Review Series. We finished the Kiss Review Series which had around 74 separate posts and took over 13 months to complete. We also started and finished the Judas Priest Series and the Queen Series which were both a lot of fun. We have started and are a good way through the Cheap Trick Collection Series and the Aerosmith Collection Series as I love doing these Series so I hope you do as well. It lets me go back and deep dive in to their albums and it also gives me a reason to go out and buy more albums. For 2022, we have the Jeff Scott Soto Series and I will go ahead and tell you when the Aerosmith Series ends, we will be jumping right in to the Scorpions Collection Series. A lot to look forward to next year!
Between the albums ‘Standing on the Edge” and “The Doctor”, Cheap Trick were asked to do a song on an upcoming movie starring this two-bit actor named Tom Cruise. The movie was ‘Top Gun’ and would blow up the silverscreen and was a massive hit. What also was a massive hit was the soundtrack to that movie. What a line-up of who was big in the 80’s. You get Kenny Loggins, Loverboy, Berlin, Miami Sound Machine and Teena Marie to name most of the artist.
Cheap Trick were asked to do the song “Might Wings” which was written by Mark Spiro and Harold Faltermeyer who also produced the soundtrack. The song was the third single off the soundtrack and the only one to not chart which is a big surprise to me as it was my favorite song on the soundtrack. The song appeared in the movie twice. First as an instrumental piece during the scene first training session at Mirimar and then the full version of the track was played during the end credits.
For 2021, I did something a little different here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music. I tracked every single album I listened to kind of like Spotify, but more manual and not as technical. Every time I listened to an album or E.P., I wrote it down. And I will say that this will be the last and only time I ever do this as it was a pain in the ass. I will say, this was not a normal year. I worked from home all year which gave me access to all my music, vinyl, cds and streaming. I didn’t include individual songs or shuffling which I like to do. These were straight album listens from beginning to end in the order the album was meant to be heard.
A couple more points to note. When I do a review of an album, I try to listen to it 5 to 6 times before reviewing so there are a lot of repeat listens to an album. And what did I track? I tracked the following:
Year of Release
Day of the Week
With all that data, I am able to give you lots of useless information that I thought would be fun. So let’s get started. How many albums did 2 Loud 2 Old Listen to in 2021? Easy…1,374!! If I was working in the office, the number probably would’ve been no where even close to that number. Now let’s get in to the juicy details. Out of the 1,374 albums, there were 609 unique albums I heard during the year.
What were the Top 20 Bands I listened to during the year and how many albums?
Note, I worked on a number of Review Series during the year and made some Album Rankings and as a result, those are going to be high on my list. I don’t think there are really any surprises on this list, especially the Top 5 as they were all Review Series. There were 290 different artist and bands I listened to throughout the year.
Count of Artist
Stone Temple Pilots
Jeff Scott Soto
What were the Top Albums I listened to during the year?
The Cheap Trick Collection Series is about all things in my collection that are Cheap Trick related and this time around we are looking at a 7″ Single I picked up over the past year. The single is for the song “Tonight It’s You” off their album ‘Standing on the Edge which we reviewed last week. The song was the only single off the album and sadly, it didn’t break the Top 40, stalling out at #44. The song was written by Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Jon Brant and the song doctor Mark Radice who we talked about during the album review.
The Single is an edited and re-mixed version of the album cutting off over a minute of run time. The album version sits at around 4:47 and the Single edit is at 3:10. Basically they cut off a lot of the end that is repetitive as well as tightening it up to fit the short attention spans of the radio listener. The B-Side is off the same album and is the final song called “Wild Wild Women”.
My version is the standard U.S. Single, nothing special. I do love the cover and how it is the album cover but using the orange tint. Not original, but still looks good.
I can’t believe we are already on the band’s 8th studio album. We are slap dab in the middle of the 80’s and Cheap Trick were still going, but I wouldn’t say they were still going strong. I say that because for this album, the band did something that hand’t done much of prior. They had a song doctor come in and help with the songwriting process. This was becoming very common back in the day. The song doctor was Mark Radice and he has 8 co-writes on the album which I feel is a little disappointing. Has the band lost its edge?
The line-up was consistent as we still have Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and Jon Brant who is the newest member and he has some writing credits on this album as well. That part I like as it is great to see him now contributing to the creative aspect of the band. The band brought back a familiar face to produce the album, Jack Douglas. If you follow this site at all recently that name will sound familiar as not only has he produced prior Cheap Trick albums, he has also produced many of Aerosmith’s best albums which we have reviewed in the Aerosmith Collection Series we are also doing here at 2 Loud 2 Old. Big connection between the bands.
The band worked on the album during 1984 and 1985 and it finally saw its release on July 19, 1985. The album ended up not sounding like the album intended by Jack Douglas because he was unable to mix the album. Due to some legal complications he was having with another artist (Yoko Ono), he couldn’t mix it so Tony Platt was brought in. Tony didn’t have Jack’s vision of a harder, rawer sounding album, but instead went with the sound of the 80’s and added some keyboards and drum machines much to the dislike of Bun E. As a result, I think we get an album that doesn’t have the edge, the pizazz that we needed from Cheap Trick. The band ended up only releasing one single off the album and it didn’t even crack the Top 40. Cheap Trick were starting to be forgotten.
After the disappointing results of the George Martin produced ‘One on One’, the band went back to their earlier Power Pop sound using producer Todd Rundgren. Now, hearing Rundgren was the producer made me think this might get just as experimental as the previous one, but surprisingly it doesn’t. It sticks to a sound of the band’s earlier albums like ‘In Color’ and ‘Heaven Tonight’. As we are now dead in the middle of the new wave movement that Cheap Trick influenced the bands in this genre greatly, it was a strange thing to have them go back in time with their sound and not push the sound further forward. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound like the 80’s at times because it does, it is just when they do they classic Cheap Trick sound, it really works well.
The band at the time was still Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and newer member Jon Brant. And from what I’ve read, many members of the band feel this is one of their favorite albums. I can’t say I agree with that statement, but we will get to that in a minute.
The album was recorded back in December 1982 at Utopia Sound in Lake Hill, New York which I am guessing is Rundgren’s studio as he has an album called Utopia which I own. But the album didn’t actually see the light of day August 15, 1983 which to me is quite a long stretch between recording and releasing. That would be normal in today’s timeframe with delays on vinyl pressing, but back then turnaround time was much faster. Not sure why the delay. The album charted only as high as #61 and the two singles on the album didn’t break the Top 40 and in fact, not sure if they even charted at all. The album didn’t even go Gold. This was not turning out to be a very shining example of the who the band were.
The band waited two years to record their follow-up to the George Martin produced album, ‘All Shook Up’. During that time, their record label, CBS, sued the band for a whopping $10 million alleging the band was holding out recording a new album to get a better deal. By 1982, the lawsuit was settled and the band started working on their sixth studio album, ‘One on One’.
The band had a new bass player after original member, Tom Petersson left back in 1980. His name was Pete Comita. Well, Pete didn’t last long and was replaced rather quickly during the early recordings of the album. In fact, he doesn’t appear on any of the album. They replaced him with bass player, Jon Brant. Jon came in so late, he is only on three of the songs. Guitarist, Rick Nielsen picked up the slack and played bass on all the other tracks. And the other two members, Robin Zander and Bun E. Carlos were still able to their jobs and quite well.
One thing I found interesting about the album is the cover. You have a new member and yet if you look at the cover, his face is obscured unlike anyone else’s faces. I think this was done on purpose because hadn’t been in the band very long and didn’t contribute much to the album.
Cheap Trick was in high gear and on a tremendous pace of album/tour, album/tour and it was getting relentless. After the massive success of Budokan and Dream Police, they went to work on the next album, but this time around they were wanting to try something different. The first thing they did was part ways with long time producer, Tom Werman, who had produced everything except the debut.
The band had always been considered an American version of the Beatles and since they were huge fans of them, why not work with the one of the most famous producers, the fifth Beatle, George Martin. So off to London they went and recorded the album at Air Studios in London. Of course this was a big change for the band and their sound. Gone were the radio-friendly singles and in was a more experimental sound. They took chances and tried new things and whether for the better or not, we will shortly find out.
The band was still in tact with Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos. They finished up the album, but by the time it was done, Tom Petersson was exhausted. He was done as well. The non-stop touring and add to the fact he was not thrilled with the direction of the band and he didn’t even bother showing up in London when it was time to mix the album. And by August 26, 1980, Tom left the band to go record his own album with his wife. Who I think the band feels was part of his problem. Maybe she was their Yoko. The band pressed on and the album saw its release on October 24, 1980.