Cheap Trick – ‘Sex, America, Cheap Trick’ (1994) – Box Set Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

By 1994, Cheap Trick was no longer with Epic Records, they had jumped ship to Warner Bros. Epic was going to take that lying down, no they weren’t. They still had the rights to all the bands material up to ‘Busted’, so they were going to still capitalize on the Cheap Trick name. They released a compilation of Cheap Trick’s biggest hits. However, this was just an ordinary greatest hits set, no sir. Epic did what their name implies…they made an epic box set that had four CDs of hits, album tracks, b-sides, live songs, alternate takes and a ton of previously unreleased tracks. In fact, 17 previously unreleased tracks. A super fan’s wet dream, if you will.

There are 64 tracks on the album, plus 4 hidden little bits of weirdness at the end of each disc. It comes housed in a hard cover book type case that feels pretty solid. Inside, attached to the case, which I don’t like at all, is a booklet filled with pictures, stories and other Cheap Trick goodness. It would’ve been nice if the booklet wasn’t attached and you could take it out and enjoy it on its own. Minor flaw though. I liked the fact that the front cover of the book was actually Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos and the back was Robin Zander and Tom Petersson because most of their albums was the reverse with Robin and Tom on front and Rick & Bun relegated to the back cover. Nice little twist that did not go unnoticed.

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Cheap Trick – ‘Busted’ (1990) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

With the help of the success of “The Flame” from the bands prior album ‘Lap of Luxury’, creative control of the bands next album was given back to the band. As result, the help of outside writers was extremely minimal. This time around, the band, with Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Peterrson, would get some help from friends like Mick Jones of Foreigner and Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders. Producer Richie Zito was also brought back to man the boards. Creative control and famous guest was a recipe for success…or was it.

The album came out on June 27, 1990 and did spawn one Top 40 hit with the first single, but the following two did only #50 and not even chart. The album sold poorly and within one year after release, the band was dropped from Epic Records. Think about that…a band with the success they had, got dropped by their label. Around 14 years with the label, 11 Studio labels, millions sold and then goodbye! Would this be the end of Cheap Trick? Would they soldier on with more music? What would happen to them? Before we can answer that, we need to discuss this album.

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