on 19 March 2002
Of the bands I liked when I was small, Cheap Trick had to be one of my all-time favourites, and a serious re-appraisal of their work is due by the media. This second album by Cheap Trick(In Color...and in Black and White) is a near perfect album, and probably one of the most consistent releases they put out. Why "Southern Girls" never became a "radio standard" boggles me. Even when I was 10 (when this album came out) I repeatedly had to play that song because it was so catchy. It still is. There are absolute classics on this album, like "Big Eyes", "You're All Talk", the original version of "I Want You To Want Me", and so much more. I cannot think of a weak song on this effort, and the re-master supplies some extra demos worth having if you're a collector.
on 3 January 2010
Good grief...haven't you got this? If you like well crafted rockin' songs with great sing-a-long hooks then look no further. To simplify things you could say they'e a cross between The Beatles and AC/DC. BTW: they have the best drummer in World...we love you Bun E.
Also check out their first album, Cheap Trick (first album), Heaven Tonight, Dream Police, The complete Live at Budokan..then no doubt you'll want all the albums. I think they take a bit of a dip in the mid '80s/early '90s however when they lose the shackles of Epic and go their own way the output is top notch again.
Check 'em out you won't be sorry. After that there's Tinted Windows....
'In Color' will always be a special album to Cheap Trick fans as it includes so many of the bands most iconic tracks. Perennial concert opener, 'Hello There' is always a rousing start, 'Big Eyes' and 'Downed' definite fan favourites and that's without mentioning three minute rock/pop classics like 'Southern Girls' and 'I Want You To Want Me'...
It is worth noting, however, that while 'In Color' is a great Cheap Trick album it is NOT one of their very best. In honesty, the live version of 'I Want You To Want Me' is far superior to the studio version for example and 'Your All Talk' may kick a fair bit of ass musically but its a bit of a mess lyrically. Compare 'In Color' with the bands very best studio albums ('Dream Police', 'Heaven Tonight' and 'The Latest') and you will see what I mean. 'In Color' is the sound of a band finding their stride, honing their sound but not quite yet at their peak.
This said, if you are looking for an album to take a first ever listen to the group you would be better off with this album than the bands self titled debut. That record was great but had little of 'In Color's' commercial edge and is thus a rather misleading beginning to a career that would ultimately embrace pop for all its rock n' roll credibility.
As for the remastering, its cool in the main. The sound quality does dip a bit during the demo tracks but that's understandable. It is also nice for fans to see the b side only 'Oh Boy' included here. To my mind though the demos and live tracks are simply 'more for your money' as none really add much to what we didn't already know about the band and are really more of interest as 'curiosity pieces' than as an addition to a proud CT collection.
Still, if by some miracle you are still a CT virgin and haven't sampled the delights of Mr. Rick Nielsen and co yet, 'In Color' is a good place to start a love affair that will last a lifetime.
on 31 May 2000
'In Color (And In Black and White)', to give the album its full title, was Rockford Illinois' finest sons finest hour (give or take a few minutes). All of the elements that made the band great - sweet melodies atop a bedrock of power chords and immaculately structured commercial rock songs make for a textbook on Power Pop and How To Do It. As Noel Coward once said, 'Funny how potent cheap music can be'. he could've been talking about Cheap Trick; their music has a 'disposable' quality that makes their punchy power pop songs all the more insistent, more difficult to shake. Tracks like 'Southern Girls', where a Beach Boys style lyric a la 'California Girls' is wedded to a crunching three-chord (Cheap) trick are classic pop, and 'Big Eyes', with its monster riff, show that they could rock out, albeit in a controlled, poptastic way. 'In Color' highlights band leader Rick Neilsen's grip on what constitutes a great song, and Robin Zander's vocals are matchless. The man can scream in perfect pitch! Magnificent, no record collection should be without it, etc etc.
on 10 April 2009
In his book 'Educating Peter' the author Tom Cox takes his friend's son on a rock tour of the UK. He also chooses various favourite records to act as 'homework' for Peter and to bookend each chapter.
This is how I came across one of the 70s forgotten gems....listen, enjoy and then go and buy the expanded 'Live At Budokan'. I promise you won't be disappointed.