Wednesday, November 7, 2012
"Dream Police" by Cheap Trick (1979)
View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl
Filed between: Ray Charles and Cheech & Chong
"You didn't know what you were looking for until you heard the voices in your ear."
Dream Police is a shining example of Cheap Trick's obstinate weirdness. Gonna Raise Hell finds them locking onto a target and then absolutely decimating it.
Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses:
I'll Be with You Tonight is dull, monotonous and uninspired. And once again, I'm at odds with the band or the label on this call because IBWYT is the lead track on the B-side.
My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Recommended Listening (3/4 stars)
I used to HATE Cheap Trick. I thought they were opportunists of the lowest order, cashing in on every genre that dared rear its head into popularity. You want arena rock? Here's I Want You to Want Me. You want punk? Here's Surrender. You want a hair metal power ballad? Here's The Flame.
But then I listened deeper into their catalogue and realized that, instead of being opportunists, they just have a very eclectic sensibility and a very, VERY wry sense of irony. Almost everything they do, they do with tongue inserted firmly into cheek. Cheap Trick has way more in common with Tenacious D than they do Foreigner. I guess they fall somewhere between Alice Cooper and Queen.
And "Dream Police" proves that to be true. It goes out of its way to wallow in its own quirkiness and heaviness and uniqueness. All in all, that plays that out in a pretty good way.
So, is it an album? No. I don't want to fault them for being eclectic, but I couldn't find any sort of trajectory or arc for this combination of tracks. This is another one of those cases where it's a lot of fun, but it's not an album.
Up next, we leapfrog into 1988 with "The Raw & the Cooked" by Fine Young Cannibals.