Pumpkin patches were being plucked far and wide. Soon, seasonal decorations would be displayed prominently on porches and patios of homes from coast to coast. With the much-loved Halloween holiday looming large came the promise of untold tasty treats, as well as the realization of one particularly pleasant “trick.”
After slogging through the global rock trenches for three full years, Cheap Trick sparked a surprise sensation with their mammoth fourth album, Cheap Trick at Budokan. Bursting with irresistible soon-to-be staples, the high-octane single-record live set was an instant platinum-selling chart-buster when the 1978 Japanese release finally arrived domestically in the spring of 1979. And in short order, the Chicago-based power pop combo was brought to the forefront of the international scene.
Just six months later, Cheap Trick scored their second consecutive Top Ten million-seller with their iconic slab, Dream Police. And 40 years ago this week (October 24, 1980), the band unleashed their next monster via Epic Records.
Overseen by legendary Beatles producer, George Martin, the album All Shook Up brought together all of Cheap Trick’s signature-style treats and crammed them into one tempting mixed bag. Long acknowledged as being inspired by the British Invasion of the 1960s, Cheap Trick succeeded here in harnessing not only the pop flavor of the Fab Four, but also in channeling the raucous appeal of The Who, along with the sexy hookiness of Slade.
But, while All Shook Up reached out earnestly to the past for a measure of inspiration, it also remained focused on the future — an eruption of authentic punk energy, unembarrassed by its glossy new wave veneer.
More than a massive platform on which to announce where the band now had arrived as a world-class rock collective, All Shook Up served as an impressive vehicle in which to display the individual members’ increasingly vital contributions. Poster boy frontman Robin Zander was at the top of his vocal game, while co-founder and chief songwriter Rick Nielsen provided Les Paul-meets-Marshall guitar fury from start to finish. The throaty 12-string chug of original (and about-to-depart) bassist Tom Petersson oozed gusto and the urgent drum work of Bun E. Carlos crackled throughout.
The spectacular Nielson/Zander-penned “Stop This Game” was a coliseum-sized opener and has been since recognized as a band classic. The heart-stopping two-minute “Just Got Back” also would enjoy a lengthy shelf life, as it was featured in Cheap Trick concert setlists for years to come.
Of the record’s numerous highlights, “Baby Loves to Rock” resided somewhere between My Generation Boulevard and Zoso Street, while the big and buzzy “I Love You Honey but I Hate Your Friends” could have been corralled down at the Cadillac Ranch. Additionally, the mid-tempo epic, “World’s Greatest Lover” smacked with John Lennon-style splendor and Nielson’s soaring solo ranks easily among his all-time best. Conversely, “High Priest of Rhythmic Noise” was a frenzied square peg, along with the tribal-driven drum track, “Who D’King.”
The record’s curb appeal was enhanced in 2006 with the release of a deluxe re-issue that boasted “Everything Works If You Let It” — a featured tune from the soundtrack to the 1980 film, Roadie, as well as the four selections from the now lost mini live/studio cocktail, Found All the Parts.
To put it in a Biblical context, despite certain critical assertions to the contrary, All Shook Up was faultless and blameless. 40 years later, it remains one of the shiniest gemstones in the vast Cheap Trick treasure trove catalog.
All Shook Up Track Listing:
1. Stop This Game – 3:57
2. Just Got Back – 2:05
3. Baby Loves to Rock – 3:17
4. Can’t Stop It but I’m Gonna Try – 3:31
5. World’s Greatest Lover – 4:52
6. High Priest of Rhythmic Noise – 4:13
7. Love Comes a-Tumblin’ Down – 3:08
8. I Love You Honey but I Hate Your Friends – 3:50
9. Go for the Throat (Use Your Own Imagination) – 3:04
10. Who D’King – 2:18
*2006 Bonus Tracks:
11. Everything Works If You Let It – 3:29
12. Day Tripper (live) – 3:41
13. Can’t Hold On (live) – 5:55
14. Such a Good Girl – 3:04
15. Take Me I’m Yours – 4:34
Original Run Time: 33:53
Release Date: October 24, 1980
Record Label: Epic Records