CHEAP TRICK – Lap Of Luxury +8 [Japan BluSpec CD2 remastered miniLP] (2017)
With the very good new CHEAP TRICK album – a band which never fails in delivering quality material, many of you asked for some of their other records. 1988’s “Lap Of Luxury” was some kind of a ‘comeback’ album for CHEAP TRICK, and what a way to do it: the LP was a smash hit and scored three Top-40 singles, one of them, ‘The Flame’, #1.
This Japanese edition pressed on high quality BluSpec CD2 is the definitive, remastered version of this stupendous ’80s album including no less than 8 bonus tracks. Produced by the unique Richie Zito, there’s as well songwriting contributions by the likes of Diane Warren, Holly Knight and Gregg Giuffria.
The ’80s were not kind to many bands that were holdovers from previous decades. Changing styles in both sound and vision made for a bumpy ride for those who sprang from a grittier template. But ’70s rockers Cheap Trick beat those odds with ”Lap Of Luxury”, which they released on April 12, 1988.
By the mid-’80s Cheap Trick found themselves in kind of a slump. After losing original bassist Tom Petersson in 1981, the band continued on, first bringing in Pete Comita and then Jon Brant as replacements.
They thrived as the MTV era dawned, and early-’80s hits like “If You Want My Love” and “She’s Tight” (both from the ‘One On One’ LP) won over some new fans, but for Trick, the decade was bogged down by a series of disjointed promotional campaigns, wrong tour schedules and a parade of different producers.
It was around 1987 that Petersson came back. The band hit the road, touring small clubs and playing vintage material, even pulling out never-released gems like “Loser.” Hopes were high for a comeback.
”Lap Of Luxury” provided that comeback … both in quality and in sales.
The power ballad “The Flame” became the band’s biggest hit ever, shooting to the No.1 spot on the Billboard chart. It was radio bait, which managed to connect with the masses. Rick Nielsen’s guitar solo is excellent, as is Robin Zander’s vocal performance.
Other hits plucked from the LP would follow in the form of a cover of the Elvis Presley classic “Don’t Be Cruel” done in Cheap-Trick power-pop way, and the terrific midtempo AOR tune “Ghost Town”.
Other strong numbers are “Let Go” which gets the album off to a catchy start, “Never Had a Lot to Lose”, and the LP’s ending track, “All Wound Up” — a Zander/Petersson outing, bringing to mind the band’s early days.
Additionally we have here a bunch of juicy bonus tracks including non-album tracks / B-side, alternate versions & mixes, and some live takes from the album’s tour.
A great ’80s album
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01 – Let Go
02 – No Mercy
03 – The Flame
04 – Space
05 – Never Had A Lot To Lose
06 – Don’t Be Cruel
07 – Wrong Side Of Love
08 – All We Need Is A Dream
09 – Ghost Town
10 – All Wound Up
11 – The Flame (Live at Daytona Beach ’88)
12 – Money (That’s What I Want) (From ‘Caddyshack II’ soundtrack)
13 – Don’t Be Cruel (Big New mix)
14 – All We Need Is A Dream (Alternate version)
15 – You Want It (From ‘Say Anything…’original soundtrack)
16 – The Flame (Single version)
17 – Through The Night (Non LP B-side)
18 – I Know What I Want (Live at Daytona Beach ’88, Non LP B-side)
Robin Zander – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Rick Nielsen – lead guitar, backing vocals
Tom Petersson – bass, backing vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums, percussion