Monday, December 24, 2018

W.O.C.K on Vinyl: Cheap Trick - Christmas, Christmas (2017)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers Cheap Trick rocked in the Yuletide season with the release of their first holiday-themed album, Christmas Christmas, released October 20, 2017 on Big Machine Records. Arriving mere months after their critically acclaimed eighteenth studio album, 'We're All Alright!', Cheap Trick co-produced the holiday collection alongside their longtime collaborator, Grammy Award winner Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, Fastball). In addition to three-new original tunes, the album features the band's take on the standard, "Silent Night," along with such yuletide classics as the Kinks' "Father Christmas," Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run," the Eagles' "Please Come Home For Christmas," Harry Nilsson's "Remember (Christmas)" and the Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight), among others.

This isn't the first time Cheap Trick has spread holiday cheer. In 1996, the band released a holiday-themed fan club EP Gift featuring the songs "Come On Christmas" and "Christmas Christmas." In 2012, the band also and reworked their most famous song, "I Want You To Want Me," as "I Want You For Christmas" to commemorate the 25th anniversary of A Very Special Christmas album franchise, complete with a bizarre marionette-themed music video.

Asked about the band's creative drive, Petersson said: "It just seems very natural for us - I can't really explain it. People will ask for advice and I just don't have any. We love recording and writing together, and we always search for that perfect record you can never achieve, so I guess that might be one of those things that keeps us going. There's always room for improvement and change." 

Combining a love for British guitar pop songcraft with crunching power chords and a flair for the absurd, Cheap Trick provided the necessary links between '60s pop, heavy metal, and punk. Led by guitarist Rick Nielsen, the band's early albums were filled with highly melodic, well-written songs that drew equally from the crafted pop of the Beatles, the sonic assault of the Who, and the tongue-in-cheek musical eclecticism and humor of the Move. Their sound provided a blueprint for both power pop and arena rock; it also had a surprisingly long-lived effect on both alternative and heavy metal bands of the '80s and '90s, who also relied on the combination of loud riffs and catchy melodies.

So once again in December, the C in WOCK is for Christmas with a little bit of Cheap TricK thrown in for good measure, making this another well deserved candidate for this month's WOCK on Vinyl post. Ripped to MP3 (320kps) and including artwork, this post should fit nicely into your Christmas stocking this year. Merry Christmas everyone and have a Safe & Happy New Year.
01.  Merry Christmas Darlings (3:45)
02.  I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (3:35)
03.  I Wish It Was Christmas Today (3:13)
04.  Merry Xmas Everybody (3:17)
05.  Please Come Home For Christmas (3:29)
06.  Remember Christmas (3:00)
07.  Run Rudolph Run (3:58)
08.  Father Christmas (3:55)
09.  Silent Night (3:56)
10.  Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) (2:06)
11.  Our Father Of Life (3:16)
12.  Christmas Christmas (2:16)
Robin Zander - lead vocals, guitar
Rick Nielsen - lead guitar, background vocals
Tom Petersson - bass, background vocals
Daxx Nielsen - drums

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