Lap of Luxury (1988)

1.Let Go 2.No Mercy 3.The Flame 4.Space 5.Never Had a Lot to Lose 6.Don't Be Cruel 7.Wrong Side of Love 8.All We Need is a Dream 9.Ghost Town 10.All Wound Up


The comeback album for Cheap Trick. Sort of. After the disastrous release of The Doctor, you can only imagine the pressure the guys were under at this time. Say what you want about major record companies, but at least they didn't give the guys the boot at this point. What they did do is insist the band record a new album with a lot of outside writers. Half the album isn't written (nor co-written) by the band, and only one song is written exclusively by the band themselves. The sound on this album still has a very slick sound to it, but thankfully is straightforward - something they missed out on the last few releases. Also, it was nice that original Bassist Tom Petersson was back in the band.

The irony of this album is that it was a huge success. It produced not only two top ten singles, but the band's first number one song ever. However, this accomplishment should have an asterisk by it since these two songs were among the songs that band didn't write themselves. Normally that shouldn't matter, but when you consider that the number one smash The Flame sounds nothing like what this band became famous for, it's very easy to dismiss. Even the band themselves look at this song as a bit of mixed blessing. If the song did prove anything, it shows that Robin Zander sings like an angel (an angel with balls>, that is. The song wouldn't have done nearly as well as it did had it been sung by anyone else. Perhaps that's why producer Richie Zito chose the song? The other hit song is another that most of the band's fans aren't particularly fond of, a remake of Elvis Presley's Don't Be Cruel. A bit ironic, since you could argue that this song sounds a little bit like Cheap Trick, and some would argue that it's actually better than the original.

The album itself though, is not without its charms, but nothing to write home about either. Another minor hit, Ghost Town, was also written by an outside writer and sound nice, but, well, sounds like it was written by an outside writer. Not surprising, two of the songs written (mostly) by band members Never Had A Lot to Lose and All Wound Up are the most welcome things here. Still, you can't argue with the album's success.

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