CHEAP TRICK – In Color +7 [Japan BluSpec CD2 remastered miniLP]

CHEAP TRICK - In Color +7 [Japan BluSpec CD2 remastered miniLP] full

Reaching the end with the excellent CHEAP TRICK Japanese BluSpec CD2 remastered versions including loads of bonus tracks, here’s their second studio album ”In Color” nicely augmented with 7 extra songs, all collectible material.
Cheap Trick’s self-titled debut album showed the band was capable of playing tough rock ‘n’ roll with the best of the era. But it was their second LP, ”In Color”, released just seven months later, that proved they had a melodic, pop side to them too.
”In Color” was guided by Tom Werman, an A&R man who signed Cheap Trick to Epic Records and had previously worked on Ted Nugent’s albums and would become an ’80s hard rock top producer.
Simply put, Cheap Trick polish their sound and made a Power Pop Classic with ”In Color”. It’s incredible, but now, more than 40 years after released, you never get bored listening to these early Cheap Trick albums. And this remaster is pure gold.

Werman polished some of their rougher edges and brought out the melodies that were lurking just below the surface of so many of their songs. It also helped that the songwriting was tighter and more focused the second time around – guitarist Rick Nielsen wrote all 10 of the LP’s tracks, two of them with bassist Tom Petersson.
It all added up to the band’s first classic album … though they didn’t necessarily feel that way.

The talented producer spotted the pop hooks that were inherently attached to the group’s music. He even noted that they were on the debut too, they just happened to get lost in the rock ‘n’ roll guitars.
With his A&R radar ringing loudly, Werman wanted to make Cheap Trick a Top 40 band. He heard the potential in their songs, which could be just as radio-friendly as the Beatles’ at times.

So he turned down the noise, turned up the pop and polished off the edge, a complaint lodged at Werman by Cheap Trick and other clients over the years – including Twisted Sister, who were unhappy with his work on Stay Hungry, their only album to crack the Top 50.

But Tom Werman hit a sweet spot with Cheap Trick. Despite their problems with his production, they worked with him on their next two studio albums, 1978’s Heaven Tonight and 1979’s Dream Police, their only Top 10 studio LP. (In between those two records was Cheap Trick at Budokan, the landmark live album that made Cheap Trick stars.)
And why not? ”In Color” is a great power pop album, a classic of the genre and a creative breakthrough for the band.

Half of its songs make up half of At Budokan (which was recorded in Tokyo around the time of Heaven Tonight’s release): album opener “Hello There,” “Big Eyes,” “Clock Strikes Ten,” “Come On, Come On” and “I Want You to Want Me,” which, when released as a live version two years later, became Cheap Trick’s breakthrough single.

And they’re just as electrifying on ”In Color”, bouncing off the walls and sticking their landings — especially the hand-clap-powered “Southern Girls,” maybe its most enduring song. Almost every piece seems in place.
Next to the justly celebrated At Budokan, ”In Color” is the band’s most defining record, even if they have misgivings about Werman’s studio gloss.
Truth be told, his production showcases a side of them that may never have come out otherwise.

The big commercial push for the band didn’t really pay off at home. Cheap Trick had to wait another couple of years before one of their albums broke into the Top 40 (Budokan, again), but just one year until Heaven Tonight’s “Surrender” nudged its way to No. 62.
In Color managed to climb to No. 73 — a huge achievement seeing that Cheap Trick didn’t even crack the Top 200.

But the album was huge in Japan. Those screaming kids, and their eardrum-splitting enthusiasm, you hear on At Budokan are real. A couple singles, and the LP, rocketed to the top of the charts there, setting in motion one of rock’s greatest fairy tales.
No matter how Cheap Trick feel about ”In Color” these days, it’s the album that put them on their path to stardom. Without it, and the power-pop sheen Werman gave the record, they may not have ended up eventually making that mainstream breakthrough they were hoping for.
Highly Recommended



01 – Hello There
02 – Big Eyes
03 – Downed
04 – I Want You To Want Me
05 – You’re All Talk
06 – Oh Caroline
07 – Clock Strikes Ten
08 – Southern Girls
09 – Come On, Come On
10 – So Good To See You
11 – Oh Boy (Instrumental version)
12 – I Want You To Want Me (Alternative version)
13 – Southern Girls (Single version)
14 – Southern Girls (Ardent Studios demo)
15 – You’re All Talk (Early studio version)
16 – Come On, Come On (Ardent Studios demo)
17 – 1977 Radio Station ID’s

Robin Zander – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Rick Nielsen – lead guitars, vocals
Tom Petersson – bass, vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums

Additional musicians:
Jai Winding – keyboards
Jay Graydon – guitar on “I Want You to Want Me”



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1 Response

  1. Michael says:

    Thank you for re-upping this.

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