CHEAP TRICK – ” Dream Police ” Released 37 Years Ago Today

Posted: September 22, 2016 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Dream Police

One of my favourite CHEAP TRICK  albums is Dream Police, it was released thirty-seven years ago today on September 21st, 1979. I knew it was 1979, Dream Police, befitting the name of the record label that released it, is epic. it was  Cheap Trick’s fourth studio album, but also a big step forward in it’s sound and production. Filled with orchestration, and additional keyboards, Rick Nielsen’s riffs carry the tunes “The House is Rocking (With Domestic Problems)”, Robin Zander’s vocals are of course, stellar (“Voices), Bun E. Carlos’ drumming is efficient and swinging “Need Your Love” and the whole thing is anchored by Tom Petersson’s melodic and at times ominous 12-string bass guitar “Gonna Raise Hell”.

Dream Police was the instant, and perfect, follow-up to the band’s new-found success after the release of the Live At Budokan Album. In many ways, Dream Police just solidified every aspect of what Cheap Trick had been working towards since day one, and wove it all together into one perfectly simmered brew. The album’s title cut opens things up, and is so full of energy, excitement and flat-out fun, it was (and still is) irresistible. With a simple one-two snare drum intro, things are off and running directly toward sheer jubilation.

The title track was the big radio hit, and remains a staple of every Cheap Trick show to this day. Other highlights include the sheer pop brilliance of “Way of the World” (guaranteed to improve any mood), is one of the band’s great lost songs. Before they began pulling it into live shows over the last few years, the song seemed all but forgotten. It’s one of countless great rockers in the band’s catalog. Again, the strings add a certain excitement here, just some nice coloring, never flooding the gate or weighing down the rock action at hand. As is so often the case, vocalist extraordinaire Zander shows off those pipes — power and grace, truly one of the greatest singers in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.

Side two kicks in with the classic Cheap Trick sounds of “I’ll Be with You Tonight.” It’s a no-frills power pop item that dates back to 1974, with a big guitar hook that sets the scene. Everything falls into place from there. It’s the Raspberries, the Move and the Beatles all rolled up into one perfect ball.

The aforementioned “Voices” – a beautiful ballad which should have been as big as “The Flame” was nine years later; “Need Your Love” is a killer, relentless jam, as is the mean, dark “Gonna Raise Hell.”

The album still sounds great today; the songs still hold up. Most Cheap Trick fans will rank this album as among the band’s best.

  • The release of the album was delayed for months because of the runaway success of the Live at Budokan album
  • That snapping snare drum sound on “Gonna Raise Hell” is augmented by 2×4’s slapping together
  • Steve Lukather played the solo on “Voices”
  • “Need Your Love” was first heard on the Live At Budokan album

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