Cheap Trick Albums Ranked

Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1973. The band’s classic lineup consisted of frontman Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson, and drummer Bun E. Carlos. Cheap Trick released its debut album, Cheap Trick, in 1977 and found success in Japan with the release of its second album, In Color, later that year. The band would achieve mainstream popularity in the United States in 1979 with its breakthrough album Cheap Trick at Budokan. Cheap Trick reached the Top 10 in the U.S. charts in 1979 with the Budokan live version of “I Want You to Want Me” and topped the charts in 1988 with “The Flame”.Cheap Trick has performed live more than 3,700 times and has sold more than 20 million albums. Over the course of its career, Cheap Trick has experienced several resurgences of popularity. Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Here are all Cheap Trick albums ranked.

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10. Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello (2016)

“40 + years on and these guys are still producing fantastic music – that’s real staying power! Always thought the turning point was when they teamed up with George Martin back in 1980 (or thereabouts) who added a dimension to CT’s core sound that is still there today. I still hear John Lennon in some of Robin’s vocal delivery! This is the first album I’ve bought since the excellent ‘Rockford’ and I’m certainly not disappointed – it’s quite simply excellent. Not gonna review all the tracks – others will do that, but I’ve had the whole thing on repeat for a few days now and every song has it’s strengths and they very quickly grow on you. As Rick says, “….it’s the sheer enjoyment of the basic 12 notes…”. Spot on & could not agree more.Enjoy.”

9. One On One (1982)

“One On One has great songs and it’s very well produced by QUEEN master Roy Thomas Baker. They get very deep in electronics and keyboards and this totally fits with their style. The only singles they keep playing live are She’s Tight and If You Want My Love. Although the rest of the songs are very good too.”

8. Rockford (2006)

“Dang! I love C.T.’s oldest stuff, but this one grew on me right away! In fact, my CD is worn out! True, a song or two can be skipped, but I like them all! Great guitars , drums, bass and vocals as on might expect from these guys. They are great live!! Thank You for reading!! Awesome darn LP! Try a sample at least!”

7.. The Latest (2009)

“This album is great! I always like Cheap Trick but thought this album would be a re-hash of earlier material. It isn’t, it is fresh. You can pick up on a little Duran Duran and some Beatles “Taxman ” albums. It is ever so slight making this truly a new and fresh sound for Cheap Trick. It is recorded fairly hot so I found I had to keep the volume down a little more than usual. But this also allows for great audible finite distinctions. You are in for a pleasant surprise.”

6. Cheap Trick (1997)

“Have been a Cheap Trick fan since hearing “On Top of the World” on KLOS 95.5 as their first song for 1978 (New Years Eve). Great classics and alternate versions!!! Rare recordings such as “Good Girl.””

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5. All Shook Up (1980)

“Cheap Trick’s 5th studio album “All Shook Up”, is one of their best, produced by George Martin in Montserrat and London. “Stop This Game”, could of been a Beatle hit, great start to the album. “Just Got Back”, just a solid 2 minute rocker! “Baby Loves To Rock”, great Cheap Trick humor, they performed this live in Salina, Ks. April 28th, 2013, Petersson plays that Move bass guitar sound here. The sweet “Can’t Stop It But I’m Gonna Try”, the John Lennon-ish “World’s Greatest Lover’, Rick’s guitar speaks wonders. “High Priest Of Rhythmic Noise”, with it’s early industrial rock? 3 years before Ministry, “It’s such a pity”. “Love Comes A-Tumblin’ Down”, like the drums of Bun E. Carlos here, Rick goes all out on guitar. Another tune they played in concert this year was “I Love You Honey But I Hate Your Friends”, isn’t that the truth, a trashy early 70’s rocker, “Go For The Throat (Use Your Own Imagination)”, with it’s piano tinkling and some heavy handed production, a classic! Bun E’s, “Who D’ King”, a drummer’s dream.”

4. Dream Police (1979)

“For me, this is Cheap Trick’s first five star release. In the summer of ’79, Cheap Trick released their 4th studio album “Dream Police” #6, it was their follow up to “Live In Budakon”, a million seller in late ’78. This album got pushed back because of the sucess of “Budakon”. Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos put out a great album here, a mixture of pop,rock and everything in between. The Rockford, Ill. kids started off the album with the psycheldelic string laden rocker “Dream Police” #26, a true classic rocker that has lasted over 30 years. “Way Of The World”, another string based song, has an ELO feel to this, surprised this didn’t chart, it was the 70’s for gosh sayks! They turn it up a notch on the rockin’ “The House Is Rockin’ (With Domestic Problems)”, Rick’s guitar is perfect, throwing in a Yardbirds riff at the end of the tune. A song that was played a ton on rock radio in ’79 and many college clubs, is the hard rockin’ string sweeping “Gonna Raise Hell”. They then came up with the poppy rocker “I’ll Be With You tonight”. “Voices” #32, would be their last top 40 hit for 9 years, this is a Beatle ballad at it’s best. “Writing On The Wall”, is a smoking rocker, with Rick’s burning guitar. Tom takes over on lead vocals on the slightly punky, new wavy “I Know What I Want”.”

3. In Color (1977)

“In Color by CHEAP TRICK, has always been my favorite album by CT ever. The best power pop/ rock& roll album from start to finish. One of the few cds I never skip a track on. When my cd collection was stolen last year and I was faced with having to replace thirty years worth of collecting I was stunned. Thank God for Amazon I got this cd for under $7, and it has bonus tracks my original didn’t.The extra tracks are nothing great, if anything they make me glad for the way the album sounds as the demos are nowhere near the quality of the finished album sonically”

2. Cheap Trick (1977)

“This debut album is rawer than the studio releases that followed, both musically and lyrically. Although not every song rocks hard, the album overall rocks consistently. Musically, in terms of hard rock with pop and punk sensibilities, you can’t go wrong here. In that respect, Cheap Trick and The Cars sort of straddled the rock/pop/punk switchover in the late 70s/early 80s, with chart topping results (though Robin Zander never lost the long hair, lol).”

1. Heaven Tonight (1978)

“Cheap Trick’s 3rd studio album “Heaven Tonight”, is a classic all the way around. After their more pop album “In Color”, they come out smokin’ on this one. “Surrender”, is one of their signature tunes, always liked the lyric “Mom And Dad Rolling On the Couch, Rolling Numbers, Got My Old Kiss Records Out”. Love Tom Petersson’s bass on “On Top of the World”, the guitar rave-up, with a disturbing message about addiction. Their great take on The Move’s classic “California Man”, written by Roy Wood, Cheap Trick made this their own, Zander almost sounds like Wood and Lynne here. “High Roller”, Nielsen’s guitar strut on this track is just amazing. “Auf Wiedersehn”, the anthem about suicide, the word play at the end and the band just blows your mind on this number. “Takin’ Me Back”, a synth driven tune, nice rhythm’s. Then we get a song as slight as “On The Radio”, a 50’s sound, just a fun time.”