Every so often a band is “big in Japan”…Cheap Trick reached Beatlemania level in Japan. This album documents their first tour in Japan in 1978.
I bought “Cheap Trick at Budokan” for around $1 at a messy little thrift shop next to the coffee shop on Main Street in Shawnee, America. I bought it because it’s a gatefold sleeve and has “I Want You to Want Me” on it. (Which is mostly because of the movie Bandslam, which is quite a gem if you haven’t seen it yet) Anyway, I’m usually drawn to gatefold albums because they include a more complete packaging treatment like booklets full of things to read while listening to the album. For this album, the booklet had some really interesting things inside. For example, a letter written to Japan thanking them for the tour as well as the lyrics of the songs both in Japanese and sometimes poorly translated English.
As expected of a live album, a heavy dose of crowd noise is present at the beginnings and endings of songs. With a seemingly sparse number of tracks, the slow burn jam “Need Your Love” clocking in at just over nine minutes makes up for the three or four missing songs. The song calls to mind Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Cheap Trick’s live show sounds like it is full of energy and spans several genres from punky pop, rock and roll, and a twinge of 80s hair (“Big Eyes”). It is interesting how each member of the band dresses to fit a different rock subculture: punk, hair, mod, and rockabilly.
Stand out tracks include: “I Want You to Want Me”, “Lookout”, “Need Your Love”, “Ain’t That a Shame.”
My vintage copy is dated 1979 by Epic Records. Fun fact: This album is #426 in Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All Time. I recommend this album for lovers of music inside the space between punk rock and hair metal. Word on the street is that Cheap Trick is still touring…
- Hello There
- Come On, Come On
- Big Eyes
- Need Your Love
- Ain’t That a Shame
- I Want You to Want Me
- Goodnight Now
- Clock Strikes Ten