Music For Hangovers (1999)

1.Oh Claire 2.Surrender 3.Hot Love 4.I Can't Take It 5.I Want You To Want Me 6.Taxman, Mr. Thief 7.Mandocello 8.Oh Caroline 9.How Are You? 10.If You Want My Love 11.Dream Police 12.So Good To See You 13.The Ballad of T.V. Violence 14.Gonna Raise Hell


Give Cheap Trick credit for realizing that the best part of their career was well in the past. They could have arrogantly snubbed the idea that was behind this album. The idea was for them to play 4 concerts at Chicago's House of Blues - each night playing the entirety of one of their first four albums (including At Budokan). Fortunately for the fans who don't live in Chicago (or couldn't attend the shows), they released a live package highlighting the four shows.

Since each of the first three albums probably only consists of maybe 45 minutes of material, the band added about five songs to each night's performance which is why not everything on this cd is from those first few albums. There isn't a single disappointment on the whole release. Every song on here has passionate energy and dedication behind each performance. They even do "extended" versions of Taxman, Mr. Thief and If You Want My Love (not "extended" meaning long live jams, but they present the songs how they were originally intended before they were snipped).

The one negative thing you could say about Cheap Trick's live shows around the time of this record, was that they only played about 75 minutes tops. (They seemed to fix this when Neilson's son, Daxx, replaced Carlos behind the kit for the live shows. Whether or not that was the reason for the replacement, though, remains in question. The band really isn't talking.) It is ironic that the running total of this CD is just about that long. Many, inclduing myself, would have gladly shelled out a few extra bucks for a double CD (or triple even) if they would have released all of the songs on one package for these shows. As far as their live recordings go, they may be best known for their "Budokan" shows, but this record is equally special.

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