Cheap Trick found early success in Japan, and capitalized on this popularity by recording Cheap Trick at Budokan in Tokyo on April 28 and 30, 1978, with an audience of 12,000 screaming Japanese fans nearly drowning out the band at times. The album was intended for release only in Japan but with strong airplay of the promotional album From Tokyo to You, an estimated 30,000 import copies were sold in the United States and the album was released domestically in February 1979.
Click below to experience CHEAP TRICK live at Budoken!
The following is an excellent review of Cheap Trick’s At Budokan: The Complete Concert..
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“After spending a large part of their early career opening for the likes of Kiss, AC/DC, and Queen to name a few, the unusual foursome known as Cheap Trick undertook a highly successful tour of Japan, becoming unlikely superstars in that country. The stellar live recording “At Budokan” documented their new-found fame in Japan and ironically became their commercial breakthrough in the States.
The album presented every part of the one-of-a-kind formula that made Cheap Trick so entertaining to begin with; their unique and often erratic musical style was matched only by their visual gimmick: Vocalist Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson both resembled pin-posters one might find in a teenage girl’s locker, clashing with the exact opposite of guitarist Rick Nielsen’s goofy wardrobe and the cigarette-smoking depressed looks of drummer Bun E. Carlos. But the music, not the image, made the band. By this time, Rick Nielsen had laid out the blueprint for the plan that struck a chord with audiences; intentionally radio-suiting pop melodies brilliantly combined with raunchy, eardrum shattering guitar hooks. “At Budokan” is the live testament of this successful match. For the first part of this combination, refer to ‘Surrender’ and even the otherwise upbeat pop ballad ‘I Want You To Want Me.’ And for the second part, look at ‘Hello There’ and the exhilarating ‘Ain’t That A Shame’–Cheap Trick’s version of the Fats Domino classic is one of the hardest rocking renditions ever spawned.
The shrieks and screams of thousands of fans don’t lie; Cheap Trick’s often oddball approach in form hit the jackpot, and rightfully acquired the recognition the group deserved. Here in its remastered form with a slew of tracks cut from the original release, “At Budokan” is an essential for lovers of in-concert recordings.”