While over the years I’ve dipped my toes into the ever-raging waters of what is currently called EDM, I’ve only been baptized a couple of times. So therefore, like when I write about hip-hop and country and jazz, you probably should assume that in no way do I consider myself an expert in any of this: I’ve heard a tiny fraction and love an even tinier fraction.
The unexpected success of Cheap Trick Live at Budokan was an interesting phenomenon to watch, as it wasn’t even released here until after it sold 30,000 copies and was already getting significant radio airplay. But while it made sense to the general public as a great introduction to Cheap Trick, it has always left me cold, and I got incredibly sick of hearing Robin Zander intone “I want YOU … to want ME!” every five minutes on the radio.
One of the greatest songs about suicide ever written – along with The Replacements “The Ledge” and Big Fun’s “Teenage Suicide (Don’t Do It)” – “Auf Wiedersehen” gets across on sheer power and conviction. As big-sounding as Cheap Trick ever got, the verses are Robin Zander singing various phrases for “goodbye” and then describing the consequences of death. (more…)
Here’s another one that’s difficult to write about. I loved “Surrender” unconditionally the very first time I heard it – probably on KKDJ – and have never ever gotten sick of it for even a moment all these years later. If The Jam were able to emulate the style and sound of mid-1960s Who with their early albums, then “Surrender” packs nearly everything I loved about The Who’s entire first decade – power chords, teen anthem lyrics, drum roll hooks, even the synthesizer – into a single song.
Let’s talk about The Handclap Rule. The Handclap Rule – which was handed down by the gods of rock ‘n’ roll – goes like this: “Handclaps always make a good song great and a great song immortal.” And there may not be a song that invokes The Handclap Rule as well as Cheap Trick’s “Southern Girls.”
So when “Southern Girls” launched into its chorus: