Still Competition –The Listener’s Guide To Cheap Trick by Robert Lawson - review

Highest fidelity Trick

Cover art for Still Competition –The Listener’s Guide To Cheap Trick by Robert Lawson

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This dissection of Cheap Trick’s discography goes beyond forensic – the handclaps on the Oh Candy single that do not appear on the album version, the misspelling of Lookout as two separate words on the sleeve of At Budokan although it appears correctly on the record label, the unusual frequency with which Tom Petersson changed bass during their Reading Festival appearance in 1979.

There are some genuine revelations here: the first CD release of At Budokan, the band’s definitive album, that used preproduction tapes is a staggering example of record company sloppiness. However, unless your girlfriend is prone to waking at night in a cold sweat, desperately wanting to know what happened to the missing handclaps, some of the nuggets have a limited value.

A glimpse of the band’s individual characters might have been able to answer the biggest question of all – when did drummer Bun E Carlos cease his prodigious cigarette habit?

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.