“Setlist: The Very Best Of Cheap Trick – Live” by Cheap Trick

Artist: Cheap Trick
Title: “Setlist: The Very Best Of Cheap Trick – Live”
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 7/13/2010
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

The “Setlist Live” releases are the latest batch of compilations delivered to the fans of the Hard Rock and Metal bands of the world and it’s an interesting premise since it takes in concert tracks from across the bands career and presents them to you in one handy package. Of course they are only meant to inspire you own research into the back catalog of the group and what better way to begin your poking around the musical happenings of Cheap Trick than with a collection like this one. To many, Cheap Trick is truly a band of road warriors and has continually set the bar very high about how to approach the Rock & Roll lifestyle. Their songs still withstand the tests of musical time and I cannot name a single Rock fan I know who does not own a copy of the legendary “Live at Budokan” album. Looking over the inclusions on the bands “Setlist” CD, I would have to say that this is more for the bands hard core followers than for the new ones because it really pulls some mystery tunes out of the closet and presents them to you. They open up with a Bob Dylan cover in “Mrs. Henry” which is interesting and a tune I never heard them do and “Ballad Of TV Violence” which each predate the “Budokan” release. With two years younger to his advantage, Robin Zander seems to have a little more power in his pipes. “At Budokan” gets the most tracks featured and gives fans the two staples and two lesser known tracks to those fans that might still only have the single CD version of the show. Do yourself a favor and lay out the extra cash and get the deluxe remaster of “At Budokan” because it leaves you breathless.

We get to hear bassist Tom Peterson singing a number with “I Know What I Want” and this tune comes from a Daytona Beach concert that was actually shown on MTV during one of their Spring Break specials back in 1988. I remember because I still have it on VHS tape somewhere. You kids might not remember those bulky things but we used them to capture shows and videos we loved the most during our youth on them. From the same show we get the seriously overplayed at the time “The Flame”. Don’t get me wrong, I loved hearing Cheap Trick on the radio and have it not be “Surrender” or “I Want You To Want Me” for a change. At the time of this tune’s presentation, the band was enjoyed some renewed success thanks to their “Lap Of Luxury” album. The album was one that found the return of bassist Peterson after a seven year absence from the lineup. It was great to find him once again working with Zander, Nielsen, and Carlos. In the end this is an interesting listen, but I would direct you first to the “At Budokan” release or perhaps a “Greatest Hits” package first as either choice will make you a fan for life. I did enjoy this release but my rating comes from the larger obscurity in its selections which I found to be half on point and half a little difficult to fathom.

About The Setlist Collection: These releases are packaged in what is termed Eco-Friendly cardboard sleeves and that means there is not much to the actual package and hence less impact on the environment. It opens like a book, and the CD fits neatly into a slot. There is a single photo and some track listings but to see more you need to put the CD in your computer. Doing this offers the buyer a PDF of the booklet that gives you a couple of additional photos and some liner notes about the track selection. There is also a complete discography listing and each reference leads you to the Sony online store so you can make a purchase. They also offer up “recommended selections” should you have some additional interest in what they are releasing. I liked this but felt with the use of the online side that a few secret tracks could have been offered and perhaps more photos as well. They are very reasonably priced.

Track Listing:
1. Mrs. Henry
2. Ballad Of TV Violence
3. Can’t Hold On
4. I Want You To Want Me
5. Need Your Love
6. Surrender
7. You’re All Talk
8. Downed
9. I Know What I Want
10. The Flame
11. The House Is Rockin’

Official Website: http://www.cheaptrick.com

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