After the truly abysmal (worst of their career) 'Special One' album, I as a long standing CT fan had begun to fear the worst. Had my beloved hero's finally lost it? Had so long out of the studio taken it's toll? Well, I am SO glad to be able to tell you that the answer to both questions on this evidence is a resounding NO! From the opening bars of 'Welcome To The World' to the last chord of the last track, this record is a triumph. 'Rockford' quite simply has put the rock back into CT! Back are the glorious melodies, back are the great harmonies, back are the chaotic, crazy and energetic performances and the bands timing, but best of all.. back are the SONGS. 'If it Takes A Lifetime' for example is EVERYTHING you've EVER LOVED about CT and has got to be one of the best trick songs ever (should have been a hit single too). Most of the songs on this record see the band in rockin' mood and the groups pop sensibilities once again match perfectly with some good old fashioned 'dirty rock n' roll'. Robin Zander sings like he really means business again and most of all the group sound like their enjoying themselves. Such freshness and vitality you would have expected to come from the band at the start of their careers, but after the dismal disappointment of 'Special One', it is indeed a tribute to the guys that with this record they've come back stronger than ever! ESSENTIAL!
This is by far their greatest record since "Dream Police", bar none.
Sure, "Cheap Trick" (1997) may have been a return to their hard rocking sound, but "Rockford" is where it's at. There are no bad songs on the entire album, and they stick to their "Heavy Beatles" formula, just the way it should be.
Here's another amazing thing about this album: Even if you're not a Cheap Trick fan, this is a good place to start. It beats most of their other records, more than 30 years into their career.
It's pure joy to hear that Cheap Trick still rocks the socks off of most other bands today.
If you haven't bought this record yet, now's the time.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Welcome to the World", "Perfect Stranger", "If It Takes a Lifetime", "Come on Come on Come on", "This Time You Got It", "Dream the Night Away".
Thirty or so years have evolved since I lost track of Cheap Trick. While searching for iconic albums from my teens, namely 1979' "At Budokan" and "Dream Police" albums among others, I stumbled onto something new (to me) too; a series of more or less 20 albums from the early 80's onwards!!! A lot of catching up to do!!! Getting to know how they sounded now, by comparison, would be a fair enough criterion. Thus, the acquisition of 2006' "Rockford". As it turned out, expectations were met. That familiar rocking sound is still there as in "Come on Come on Come on" as well as great ballads as in "O Claire"! In short, Cheap Trick are still Cheap Trick, fortunately! For late "rediscoverers" of Zander and co. "Rockford" is undoubtedly a good start.
Rockford is the best Cheap Trick album since their heyday in the late 70's. It sounds contemporary and retro at the same time. Most songs are uptempo without any of those wet ballads they started getting bogged down by in the late 80's early 90's. They rock loudly and tunefully which is what every real Cheap Trick fan wants. It's much better than their 'The Latest' and much much better than the, best forgotten, 'Special one' so if you were put off by those then don't hesitate to buy this one. Genuinely worth 5 stars.
I'll hold my hands up and admit I did not 'get' this album upon it's release. Coming after what I regarded as 3 on the whole strong albums most of Rockford just didn't hit the spot for me.
However after revisiting Rockford a reappraisal is certainly due. It may not have the diversity of its predecessors however this unity upon reflection is one of its strengths.
Welcome To The World sets the tone for the album followed up by the evergreen Perfect Stranger. After the sublime If It Takes A Lifetime the album has its only dip in quality with the 'by the numbers' Come On, Come on, Come On & O Claire which for me is spoilt by the backing vocals (pity Robin didn't sing the whole thing).
The album roars back into life with This Time We Got It & the blistering Give It Away. One More throws a curveball to the listener however is highly enjoyable. Every Night & Every Day along with Dream The Night Away are another couple of nuggets that set you up nicely for the penultimate gem of a ballad All Those Years. Guitar solos are in short supply on this album however there's a cracker here and Robin Zander, perhaps the most naturally gifted singer on the planet, certainly amongst the most underrated shines even more so than on the so called 'classic era' albums of the late 70s.
The closer Decaf is an appropriate no nonsense end to an aural treat. The whole band delivered some stunning performances on Rockford and rather than several producers muddying the end product if anything they enhanced it.
Cheap Trick are one of the most frustrating bands going. Their last few records have not been anything to shout about and after seeing them live in London a few years ago I thought it was time for them to hang up their guitars BUT... I am so pleased to be wrong... Rockford is an absolute cracker of a record.
This is the best record from CP since Heaven Tonight and Dream Police. "If it takes a lifetime" is a classic, swooning harmonies and Robin Zander on even better form with "Decaf" and "Every night and every day".
It's not one of those - get it and judge for yourself - CD's. It's a "take my advice - buy it" CD. My faith has been restored.
Anyway. If you like good, rockin' Cheap Trick of old, you will love this. Theres not a filler in sight!