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4.5 out of 5 stars
Dream Police
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
The surprise success of "At Budokan" bumped this album, which was already complete, to the back burner while the hits ran their course. Likely because of a budding backlash from the post Budokan overexposure and increased expectations, "Dream Police" took an unjust drubbing at the time. But it was really the sound of the band evolving. The almost disco thump of "Gonna Raise Hell" and the nightmare vision of the title track proved Cheap Trick still had the brains, "Way Of The World" and "Need Your Love" provided the brawn.

It was just that the band had become so competent that some of the edgy charm had slipped away. "Voices" was the kind of ballad that Cheap Trick might not have been able to pull off prior to this, and there were a few who viewed this kind of open balladeering as selling out. They missed the point.

Cheap Trick was exploring their range on "Dream Police." Be that in Robin Zander's polished vocal on "Voices" or in that Tom Petersen took to the mike for the stunning "I Know What I Want," "Dream Police" became a showcase for the boys from Rockford IL. If you compare the Tricksters' sound here to new wave acts like Blondie and the Cars that were now in the same arena (Blondie's "Eat To The Beat" arrived roughly the same time as "Dream Police" and covers a lot of the same ground), you'll see how "Dream Police" remains an excellent album from a band in their prime.

For the bonus tracks, I actually like the live material, particularly Tom's live stand on "I Know What I Want." The "no strings" version of the title cut is a misnomer, essentially it's just a demo. Regardless, "Dream Police" is a great record, and I am glad to have the brighter and better remaster.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I was in high school when Cheap Trick first popped on my personal radar screen. My friends and I had just a formed a band and religiously poured through Creem, Circus & Guitar Player magazines. 2 of the guys in the band were always buying new albums by new groups and they had discovered Cheap Trick when the first album came out. They introduced me to the band when the "new" album "In Color" came out and I ran out and snatched up the 1st 2 albums and wore them out before Heaven Tonight was released. I've been a Cheap Trick fan ever since.

On to the album and music - This re-master is a great improvement over the previous CD release but still suffers a bit from the album's original thin sound. Unfortunate, as I'd really like to get more of the 12 string bass punch from Gonna Raise Hell and Need Your Love. Still, this is a welcome improvement in audio quality. Things pop out of the mix when playing in a room that I generally have only noticed when I've got cans on my head. As for the songs - we all have our personal takes - and opinions are like - well, you know.

Dream Police - It's a good tune, certainly not one of their best. A little too bubblegum on the chorus and I've always been put off by the strings. Would've sounded great had the string parts been Rick's overdubbed guitars.

The Way Of The World - Love it. Cheap Trick in near perfect POP mode.

The House Is Rockin' with Domestic Problems - one of my all time favorites from Cheap Trick. Built around a cool guitar phrase that's longer than the usual "hook" the song drives and builds right through to the fade out. Rick unleashes 3 great guitar solos in the course of this one song and even gets a trademark Beatles "quote" tossed in to the middle of one solo. And of course major nod to the Beatles 'She's So Heavy' on the bridge vocals.

Gonna Raise Hell - love hearing the bass exposed in the intro - my only qualm with this song has always been (like Dream Police) the inclusion of the strings.

I'll Be With You Tonight - not great, not bad. catchy little in-offensive tune.

Voices - yep. Pretty much a classic. Can't understand why this wasn't a Top 10 hit. Was it even released as a single?

Writing On The Wall - Cheap Trick reflecting on their sudden fame and fortune (they went from long touring road dog nobodies - to road dog international stars in about a 6 month span of time time). Replete with sound effects of jets, cheering crowds, and screeching tires - the song is an attempt to capture the madness they were going through. Robin's "rap" at the end about their sudden fame is brilliant.

I Know What I Want - Tom gets a shot at singing. For a song made up of maybe 4 chords it's pretty catchy. His nasally vocals take a bit of getting used to. Nothing special but it's still a fan favorite in concert because Tom gets to sing.

Need Your Love - What can I say? This is what Cheap Trick music is all about. This song has everything - cool guitar riffs, Bun E.s steady groove, Robin's ethereal vocals - then changing to one of his more menacing tones, crunchy 12 string bass up the wazoo and Rick layering guitars upon guitars in the solo sections. Yet the song is so simple it's spooky - it is a near perfect example of the many elements that create the Cheap Trick sound. In concert this song is an unrelenting machine that builds and builds - the boys improvise within certain confines - yet the song remains structured. There's a handful of songs like this that sum up Cheap Trick, songs that I play for people when I want to let someone know that Cheap Trick is NOT that pop band that sings "I Want You To Want Me" and "The Flame". Great album closer, more restrained than live versions of the song.

As for the Bonus stuff - it's not bad. I have several Cheap Trick concerts on CD - the live stuff here sounds better than some - not as good as others.

This album has plenty of good ol fashioned, catchy mid-West American rock n roll. The way it was meant to be sang and played. Buy it!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2006
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
No matter what another reviewer may have written, if you like this album, this is the one to own. Before calling someone a hack (the remasterer,) you need to have your speakers examined! (and yes, I have the Japanese version.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I love this album. Probably my favorite in the CT catalog. I was so happy to hear that they were finally remastering this. What took them so Long?!! Anyway I'm glad they did because they do it justice. It sounds way better than the original version released on CD in 1990. No matter how many times I hear the title track I never grow tired of it. It rocks!! But I really enjoy "Gonna Raise Hell" for it's quirky CT approach and Robin really stretches his vocals here. Pure genius!! Not to mention the pop rock perfection of "Voices". This is truly a calssic! I love it!! Oh, yeah! And there's bonus tracks too! The live version of "I know what I want" sounds great!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I give it 5 because it brings back great memories and because it rocks from start to finish.

This release was hard pressed to follow the massive success of the Budokan release. However it held it's own and made Cheap Trick a house hold name for years to come.

This remaster has one big advantage over the original release in that the sound as one reveiwer said, jumps out of your speakers. It really brings this classic to life. The entire mix is louder and the bass is firmer and more supportive.

The extra's are alright, but nothing fantastic!

It's a great listen, pick it up!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This CD reminds me of an old, ratty white tee shirt to which I applied a "Super Sugar Crisps" iron on. I miss that shirt. This CD fills the void perfectly. It's wonderful. The title track is worth the price of the CD alone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For many Cheap Trick fans this marks the end of the "classic era." While the follow-up to this one, All Shook Up, is arguably their best work, it also marked their decline in the pop music industry and fall from the top of the charts for a few years until they returned with a couple of power ballads. Anyway, Dream Police is a must have for tricksters and contains some of their best songs. Like the album before it, Heaven Tonight, Dream Police kicks off with a pop rock masterpiece as the opener and doesn't really contain a bad song all the way through. Some are better than others but there's nothing to skip on this CD. Standout tracks include: Way of the World, Gonna Raise Hell, I'll Be With You Tonight, Need Your Love.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"DREAM POLICE" was recorded in 1979 after the band finally scored big with the classic "Live at Budokan." Cheap Trick was a band that came out with a sound all their own with a unique image to compliment that originality. They created little masterpieces consisting of witty lyrics and a magical knack for potent melody. Cheap Trick could not be classified or limited to one type of music. They incorporated punk,new wave,rockabilly,metal,pop,and rock into their sound resulting in a one two punch of pure sonic bravado. "Dream Police" was not as electric as their previous efforts due to the more radio friendly commercial approach but was still a worthy and successful achievement. "I Know What I Want" rages with punk rock attitude and features Tom Petersen on lead vocals. "I'll Be With You Tonight" is perfect pop melody played with ecstatic delight. "Need Your Love" slithers along with a grinding desire that locks you down and holds you in its spell.
"Writing on The Wall" is a raving urgent rocker that displays Cheap Trick's musical chemistry at its finest. "Dream Police" also includes the melodically intoxicating "Way Of The World" and the sinister onslaught of "Gonna Raise Hell." Buy a copy and enjoy some interrogation from the Tricksters. You'll be happy you did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album after buying the reissues of their first three albums, the Budakon remaster and their 1997 Red Ant album. These albums sound rich and alive. This CD sounds flat and lifeless. The material is also lower tier to these other albums.
Hey, CBS, find the original masters and give this album a new lease on life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
The surprise success of "At Budokan" bumped this album, which was already complete, to the back burner while the hits ran their course. Likely because of a budding backlash from the post Budokan overexposure and increased expectations, "Dream Police" took an unjust drubbing at the time. But it was really the sound of the band evolving. The almost disco thump of "Gonna Raise Hell" and the nightmare vision of the title track proved Cheap Trick still had the brains, "Way Of The World" and "Need Your Love" provided the brawn.
It was just that the band had become so competent that some of the edgy charm had slipped away. "Voices" was the kind of ballad that Cheap Trick might not have been able to pull off prior to this, and there were a few who viewed this kind of open balladeering as selling out. They missed the point.
Cheap Trick was exploring their range on "Dream Police." Be that in Robin Zander's polished vocal on "Voices" or in that Tom Petersen took to the mike for the stunning "I Know What I Want," "Dream Police" became a showcase for the boys from Rockford IL. If you compare the Tricksters' sound here to new wave acts like Blondie and the Cars that were now in the same arena (Blondie's "Eat To The Beat" arrived roughly the same time as "Dream Police" and covers a lot of the same ground), you'll see how "Dream Police" remains an excellent album from a band in their prime.
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