What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where the new Cheap Trick song is a smash, a complete return to form, proving the band’s still got it when we gave up hope decades ago and have considered them an oldies act ever since?
Come on, I love “Mandocello” from the initial LP. My favorite is the second, “In Color,” but I was along for the ride with “Budokan” and “Heaven Tonight” and then there was the occasional winner, like the Jack Douglas produced “Tonight It’s You” that never got the attention it deserved and the worldwide smash they did not write, “The Flame.”
And now this.
They throw down the gauntlet with “If You Still Want My Love” and you wonder…how do these sexagenarians do it, how do they recapture the magic we’ve long thought gone?
Not that anybody would know, “If You Still Want My Love” is a bonus track on the deluxe version!
I mean I gave up listening to Cheap Trick new albums, they were too disappointing. Oh, I always gave them a quick chance, but you get so disillusioned when your heroes can no longer climb the hill.
And today’s world is incomprehensible. If I told you I knew what was going on, I’d be lying. I doubt ANYBODY knows what’s going on! There’s just too much of…EVERYTHING! Too much news, too many movies, too many TV shows, too many songs, and I just want to belong. Used to be radio was the filter, along with “Rolling Stone” and the rock press, you could make sense of it. But now I listen to Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” and I hear something reasonable, and I don’t even recognize the act, DOES ANYBODY RECOGNIZE THE ACT? And then I just give up. Think about going to the “Top Fifty,” at least I can feel a member of the group. Or maybe on to “Hot Country,” but I decide to give “Your Release Radar” a chance, and it bugs me, because too many tracks are reissues, like a stereo version of “Wild Honey,” I love that, but that’s not new, certainly to me, and I’m feeling disconnected and depressed and then I hear THIS!
And even though I’m walking around the neighborhood, I want to do nothing so much as go home and fire up the big stereo and BLAST IT! Nobody’s got enough power anymore, but I do, I’ve still got all my vinyl records and my turntable and my stereo amp with enough watts to blow the house down. And nothing thrills me more than to close all the windows, turn off the lights and crank it to the max and dance around the house as the sound envelops me, drowns out the rest of the world.
So I’m listening to “If You Still Want My Love” and I think it’s another track that’s close but no cigar, but then it starts to build, majestically, like “White Punks On Dope,” like Cheap Trick specializes in.
I fire up my phone to do research, WHAT’S UP?
That’s when I find out the album was released last month and this is a bonus track and the LP is on Big Machine! If anybody can bring the classic rockers of yore back to life it’s Scott Borchetta, but even though he gave Steven Tyler a good shot, it didn’t take, even though I heard a hit, and his Motely Crue covers album did not have success equal to its quality, in some cases better than the originals, SO WHAT TO MAKE OF THIS?
I don’t expect the youngsters to care.
I don’t expect radio to care.
But I know YOU care!
You who bought a guitar when you saw the Beatles on TV, who spent all your lunch money on LPs and never gave up the dream.
But we thought the dream was over. It’s too creepy to go see the oldie acts. With replacement members, plastic surgery, looking younger than their same age audience, play forty or fifty year old tracks for the umpteenth time.
And even though Tom Petty nailed today’s country music by calling it “the rock music of the seventies,” he hasn’t hit one over the fence in eons. And he’s the Great White Hope. And then this little old band from the middle of nowhere, steps up to the plate and hits one hard and high and all you can do is MARVEL!
This is not a song for headphones, even though you’ll get it there.
You’ll be nodding your head, thinking it’s okay, and then…
Don’t put me in the middle of
Don’t put me in the middle of
DON’T ME PUT IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR HELL
And all you want to be is at the show, with the band picking their axes, the sound blasted through giant amplifiers, washing over you as your lift your arms in the air, point your head to the sky and sing at the top of your lungs.
This is the rock and roll experience.
This is all we can ask for.
THANK YOU CHEAP TRICK!