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Alright Tokyo! Are You Ready?

Updated: Mar 5

A recent conversation with a new friend (she lives in Rockford, IL) led to a Cheap Trick jag. There's a point in time in every music lover's life when the albums in their parent's record collection are no longer of interest and they need something to call their own. There's a band (or an album) that gives them the confidence to leap from the nest. That band was Cheap Trick for me.

I was 12 when I first heard "I Want You To Want Me" on a local radio station. The grocery store in my hometown once sold albums (well, 8-tracks) and I found the song listed on 'Cheap Trick at Budokan' and brought the album home. "Alright Tokyo! Are You Ready?" I had no fucking idea if Tokyo was, but I was on the edge of my seat. Later that month, after falling in love with "Surrender", I talked an Aunt into buying the 'Heaven Tonight' album when I saw the song on its track listing. I was hooked.

Living in the Midwest gave me access to the band that allowed me to see them more times than a human should. Before moving to Austin, I lived in Milwaukee, WI for a few years. The band had a residency at a local casino with a symphony orchestra. Every Friday and Saturday night for easily a month I saw the band tear through the songs from the soundtrack of my so-called life. I even had the pleasure of seeing Rick's guitar collection on display at the Burpee Museum in Rockford. Have I seen the band since moving to Texas? In Austin and in Houston! I'm babbling, let's wrap this up.

I made a playlist to accompany this post. The first section are the studio versions of 'At Budokan: The Complete Concert'. A few favorites follow to reach that magical number of 30 songs that I usually stop at when making playlists. If you'd prefer to explore the band's discography rather than listen to a playlist, you can't go wrong with any of their first 5 albums. 'In Color' is the one I'd recommend.

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