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.
We are now to the band’s 16th Studio album. The album was released on June 23, 2009 and only went to #78 on the Billboard Charts and sadly sales only reached 24,000 records as of 2016 which is an absolute shame as this is a hidden gem. The Latest is the last studio album to feature all four members of the original band of Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos. In 2010, Bun E. Carlos stopped touring with the band and it led to him not recording with the band. There were lawsuits back and forth and it was ugly. But that is another discussion for another day.
Cheap Trick really lost their way in the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s. But with ‘Woke Up With a Monster’ up to ‘Rockford’, Cheap Trick was slowly remembering who they were. With ‘The Latest’, the band was back in full form and putting out their best album in years. Cheap Trick was back baby, but sadly, no one knew it. This was the Cheap Trick sound I loved. They band sounded refreshed, rejuvenated and reborn. ‘The Latest’ is the best we’ve seen from them in a very long time.
The version of the album I have is a digipak CD with a fold out cover (as seen below). There was no booklet inside as everything was printed on the reverse sides of the flaps below. One thing cool the band did for this release is they released a version of the album on 8-Track. This was 2009 and 8-Tracks were not a blip on anyone’s radar (except maybe Tim Durling).