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Cheap Trick is an American rock[=/=]PowerPop band from Rockford, Illinois, that gained popularity in the late 1970s. The band consists of Robin Zander (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar, backing vocals), Tom Petersson (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Bun E. Carlos (drums, percussion).

Cheap Trick created a substantial fan base through a hard-edged yet melodic pop sound that combines the tunefulness of Music/TheBeatles with the speed and energy of PunkRock, making them probably the most popular PowerPop band. Their biggest hits include "Surrender", "I Want You to Want Me", "Dream Police" and "The Flame." Cheap Trick also performed the theme song "That '70s Song" for ''{{That 70s Show}}'' from the second season onward and the theme song "Baby Muggles" for ''Series/TheColbertReport''. Songs by the band even appear in two of the cult animated films of the early 1980s, ''RockAndRule'' with "Born to Raise Hell" and "Send Love Through" with [[Music/{{Blondie}} Debbie Harry]] and ''WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal'' with "Reach Out."

Cheap Trick continues to tour with the original lineup, and their most recent release, 2009's ''The Latest'', has gained critical acclaim. The band is [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff most popular in Japan]], where they have remained popular superstars since their first album - what's more, they only climbed to similarly large popularity in the USA with the 1978 LiveAlbum ''At Budokan'', initially a Japan-only release. They have been often referred to in the Japanese press as the "American [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]]".

Bands citing Cheap Trick as an influence include Music/{{Nirvana}}, Music/{{Weezer}} and several dozen PowerPop bands. Kurt Cobain once said about Music/{{Nirvana}}: "We sound just like Cheap Trick, only the guitars are louder."

Some of their famous songs include:
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yRRqxJHQmA Dream Police]]''
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muhFxXce6nA The Flame]]'' - their sole #1 hit.
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8qMLWpzwPc If You Want My Love]]''
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADWG6EXrbcE She's Tight]]''
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sAm5UCJ9vA Surrender]]'' - probably their most widely recognised song.
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUK0mrVVxg8 That's 70's Song]]''- A cover of Music/BigStar's "In the Street"
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqCG8hFpHz4 Can't Stop Falling In Love]]''
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This band has examples of:

* AdultsAreUseless: Not really. Your momma's alright, your daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird...
** Plus, momma told me, yeah she told me, I'd meet girls like you -- and father did say, after all, that your mother's right; she's really up on things.
* ArenaRock: While much of their output is quirkier than that of the usual arena rockers, they influenced the genre and even dipped into it themselves during the ''Lap of Luxury'' era.
* AudienceParticipationSong: "I Want You to Want Me", as evidenced on ''At Budokan''. After the line "Didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you cryin'?" the audience shouts "CRYIN'! CRYIN'! CRYIN'!", mimicking the echo heard after the line on the studio version.
* BookEnds: Their concerts usually start with "Hello There", and end with "Good Night".
* BowtiesAreCool: A bow tie is part of Rick's usual stage attire.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos carry cartoonish stage personas, but Nielsen can carry a set on the strength of his guitar playing alone, and Carlos has superb chops as a drummer.
* CoverVersion: Their live version of Music/FatsDomino's "Ain't That a Shame", from ''Budokan'', remains one of their biggest radio songs. ''Heaven Tonight'' has a cover of The Move's "California Man". "Don't Be Cruel", the follow-up single to "The Flame" from ''Lap of Luxury'', is a cover of the Music/ElvisPresley classic, and went all the way to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
* DrivenToSuicide: An oddly recurring theme.
* DrugsAreBad: The creepy "Heaven Tonight" is about an overdose.
* EpicRocking: Live versions of "Gonna Raise Hell" and "Heaven Tonight" could get pretty long. "Need Your Love" as well: the version captured on ''At Budokan'' lasts nine minutes.
* IntercourseWithYou: The main theme of ''She's Tight''.
* LongTitle: "The Ballad of T.V. Violence (I'm Not the Only Boy)"
* LyricalDissonance: "Auf Wiedersehen" has to be the happiest-ever song about suicide.
** They like jarring mood swings, as in "How Are You?": in the middle of a bouncy, cheery, singsong melody is a sudden, accusing "How could you? ''Why did you''?"
* {{MTV}}
* [[NiceGuy Nice Guys]]: They had a good reputation among other bands who toured with them, and were respectful towards their supporting acts. When The Angels/Angel City's equipment was stolen, Cheap Trick provided them with gear to finish their tour. By contrast, Music/TheKinks the same year found Angel City's act too difficult to follow and dropped them from the bill.
* NiceHat: Rick Nielsen
* NotableMusicVideos
* PowerBallad: "The Flame"
* ThePowerOfRock: ''RockAndRule''
* RealSongThemeTune: Series/That70sShow. The theme song, "That 70's Song", is a loose cover of "In the Street" by Music/BigStar.
* RereleaseTheSong: The studio version of "I Want You to Want Me" was released in 1977 but failed to chart. A live version from ''Live at Budokan'' two years later became their first Top 10 hit in the US.
** Also counts as RearrangeTheSong - the two versions are ''barely'' recognizable. In fact, the only version people seem to want to acknowledge the existence of is the ''At Budokan'' version.
* RockBand: "Hello There" is ''Rock Band 2'''s intro song. Also, three of their hits were released for ''Rock Band 3'' as DLC (all of them from the ''At Budokan'' live album): "Surrender", "I Want You to Want Me" and "Dream Police".
* {{Sampling}}: "Taxman, Mr. Thief" samples Music/TheBeatles' "Taxman."
* SelfTitledAlbum: Twice! Exactly twenty years apart, no less.
* ShoutOut - "When I woke up / Mom and Dad are rolling on the couch / [[OpenMindedParent Rolling numbers, rock and rolling]] / got my Music/{{KISS}} records out."
** At concerts the band would toss Music/{{KISS}} albums into the audience during that part of the song.
* SmokingIsCool: Averted. While Bun E. Carlos was famous for his ever-present cigarette while he performed, he quit smoking in the 90s.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: One of the most common praises of ''At Budokan'' is that it presents the respective songs in a comparatively "raw", energetic fashion in comparison with Tom Werman's "overproduction" on that period's albums (something which even the band members criticised for ''In Color''). For example, compare the album and live versions of "Surrender": the live one nearly drowns out the synth, cranks up the guitars, gives the drums more punch and ''still'' includes really loud audience cheering, adding to the atmosphere. The ''In Color'' version of "I Want You To Want Me" was released as a single and never charted in the USA, but the ''Budokan'' version of "I Want You To Want Me" was released as a single, peaked at #7 and became one of their best-selling singles.
** Their 1977 self-titled debut gets similar praise. It was produced by Jack Douglas in a noticeably rawer fashion than Werman's work on the following albums.
** The band wised up to this starting in TheNineties (presumably the viciously criticised sound of ''The Doctor'' played a part), and all their albums since ''Woke Up With a Monster'' have returned to that kind of direct sound. They even re-recorded ''In Color'' with Music/SteveAlbini in 1998 to make it sound rawer, but said result was never officially released. [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes It did leak online though.]]
* UnusualEuphemism: "Big Eyes". [[MyEyesAreUpHere Doesn't sound like he's really looking her in the eye.]]
* UpToEleven: Double-necked guitars, which usually added a second, 12-string neck to the body of the guitar, were a popular gimmick in the 1970s. Neilsen went and got a three-... no, four-... no, ''FIVE''-necked guitar made for himself.
** ''Heaven Tonight'' was the first album ever to use a 12-string ''bass''.
* WestminsterChimes: Hi there, "Clock Strikes Ten".
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