If you're looking for a Cheap Trick primer, this proabably your best bet. Out of all the odd-ball hits collections that CBS/Sony dumped on the market, this is the only one that the band had a hand in. With the exception of the remastered version of the original "The Greatest Hits," those other CDs were, anyways, pretty much junk. The sound upgrade makes it worth having over any of the other budget line discs glutting the market. "Authorized Greatest Hits" also boasts a beefier song selection than the 14 to be found on the remastered "Greatest Hits."
It is a well established fact that Cheap Trick HATES "The Flame." But did they have to substitute a lackluster live version for the superior studio one? And even if "That Seventies Show (In The Street)" is driving us crazy on TV, it is not a very inspired recording. Still, you get "Surrender, "I Want You To Want Me (Live)," and "Dream Police," three of the best songs to rock a radio during the seventies. Plus, there are a couple overlooked goodies here, such as "She's Tight," "Walk Away," "Stop This Game," and "Everything Works If You Let It" to make you covet this CD. Had the single version of "The Flame" been included, this would have been the 5-star retrospective of Cheap Trick that we've been waiting for.
on April 30, 2003
Cheap Trick's AUTHORIZED GREATEST HITS is very close to being the definitive compilation of this underrated heavy pop band. Here's a rundown of the tracks selected and my personal opinions on the choices:
"I Want You To Want Me" - It's hard to argue with this choice; this is the top 10 hit from the group's 1979 breakthrough live album, AT BUDOKAN. This track originally appeared on the group's second LP, IN COLOR (1977) in a more pop-oriented version that failed as a single in the U.S.
"Ain't That A Shame" - Another AT BUDOKAN track, this cover of the Fats Domino classic made the top 40 after the success of "I Want You To Want Me", which merits its inclusion here. It's also a good representation on the band's technical ability.
"Southern Girls" - The 45 mix of the IN COLOR track, which has a shorter drum intro than the LP mix, and a fade at the end. An excellent choice; this version was only previously available on the group's box set (SEX, AMERICA, CHEAP TRICK).
"Surrender" - Another no-brainer, this track (still heard occasionally on classic-rock radio) represents the group's most accomplished album, 1978's HEAVEN TONIGHT.
"Stop This Game" - Another great choice. Taken from the George Martin-produced ALL SHOOK UP, this song bottomed out on the charts in 1980 and began Cheap Trick's fall from popular grace. One of the band's greatest tracks.
"Dream Police" - Riding high on the success of AT BUDOKAN, "Dream Police" and the accompanying album of the same name charted high in 1979. This schizophrenic track embodies Cheap Trick better than any single song.
"If You Want My Love" - Another alternate version that was only available previously on the box set. This version features a rougher mix, a bridge, and no keyboards. Although the 1982 ONE ON ONE mix is better, it's nice gesture to include this one for long-time fans.
"Tonight It's You" - One of the few good songs that can actually be classified as a "power ballad". This track, culled from 1985's deleted STANDING ON THE EDGE, was a minor hit.
"Everything Works If You Let It" - My personal favorite Cheap Trick song. Since this is another track only otherwise available on the box set, this song alone warrants the purchase of this CD if you don't have the box. This amazing track was produced by George Martin during the ALL SHOOK UP sessions, but included on the soundtrack to the film ROADIE instead. As a single, it didn't quite make it to the top 40.
"Mandocello" - This track represents the group's 1977 self-titled debut album, and is undoubtedly the highlight of that LP.
"I Can't Take It" - A 1998 live rendition from MUSIC FOR HANGOVERS of this excellent track from the Todd Rundgren-produced NEXT POSITION PLEASE (1983). Again, the original is superior, but this one fits better.
"She's Tight" - a highlight from 1982's ONE ON ONE that was apparently an MTV favorite.
"That `70s Song" - 1999 recording of the theme song from THAT `70s SHOW. Actually, it's pretty good and has never been issued on a Cheap Trick CD until this one.
"Walk Away" - The inclusion of this track is puzzling. While it's certainly not bad, there are many superior songs that could have been included instead. Which brings me to ...
"Can't Stop Falling Into Love" - Although this track (the weakest on the CD) charted at #12 in 1990, its inclusion over several better hits cannot be ignored. "Voices", one of the band's all-time best songs, made the top 40 in 1979. "Don't Be Cruel" (top 5) and "Ghost Town" (top 40) all received major radio/video airplay in the late `80s and are also absent. While these are not representative of Cheap Trick's best work, they were "hits". If the group were choosing should-have-been-hits over actual hits, then "Say Goodbye" from their 1997 comeback album (self-titled, like their first) would have been a better choice. Perhaps there were licensing problems.
"The Flame" - The studio verision on this song from the group's 1988 LAP OF LUXURY album went to #1 (!), but this previously unreleased live rendition from the same year features more energy and passion.
AUTHORIZED GREATEST HITS is a great collection that works well as an excellent introduction to the band (although IN COLOR or HEAVEN TONIGHT will serve that purpose just as well) or as a supplement to the group's regular albums for the more familiar fan.
on August 9, 2005
Cheap Trick always seemed like three bands rolled up into one, and most of their career has been spent trying to find a balance between the different styles. You have your Beatlesque power pop tunes, which brought the band deserved hits in the 70's and a place in the heart of indie rockers from Nirvana to Guided by Voices. You have the 80's AOR years, filled with ballads that are musically pleasing with great choruses but artistically less interesting, and often heavily produced. And finally, you have the side of the band that was capable of cranking out menacing rockers with dark lyrics such as "Auf Wiedersehen" and "I'm Not The Only Boy".
While the third side of Cheap Trick is pretty much ignored here, the first two are covered pretty well. The first single-disc greatest hits album Cheap Trick released REALLY ignored the early years, but this one takes a few steps to rectify that problem. Here you get "Southern Girls" in all of its power pop glory, as well as the quirky "Stop This Game" and gorgeous "Mandocello". You also get later years gems like "That 70's Song" (nothing special, but a fun Big Star semi-cover). All of the big hits are here, including the two songs that guaranteed Cheap Trick their place in the classic rock pantheon - "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me". And don't forget the fact that the band is really tight - Robin Zander is one of the top vocalists of all time, and we have Tom Petersson to thank for the 12-string bass.
If you're looking for a disc that captures Cheap Trick as you heard them on the radio, this is a good single-disc encapsulation of their biggest hits. But if you really want to find out what Cheap Trick was all about, and still get most of their big hits, splurge for all five of their first records - Cheap Trick (self-titled), In Color, Heaven Tonight, At Budokan, and Dream Police. While Dream Police is the weakest of the bunch, all of these albums are absolute classics and really cover ALL sides of Cheap Trick - one of the most misunderstood bands of all time.
I had the pleasure of seeing Cheap Trick live about fifteen or so years ago whenever they were touring with Aerosmith, who was on the road supporting their album "Honkin' On Bobo." Few bands can dazzle a crowd like Cheap Trick can when it comes to live shows, and I walked away appreciating them much more than I did before witnessing them in concert.
Prior to the concert, I was mainly a fan of the band's radio hits like "The Flame," "Can't Stop Falling In Love," "If You Want My Love," and "Surrender." My favorite song, however, was "I Want You To Want Me (Live at Budokan)." It is ten times better than the album cut in my opinion. Thankfully that version of the song is included on "Authorized Greatest Hits." All of the other tracks I've mentioned are also included in this collection, as well as other hits like "Dream Police," a live version of "Ain't That A Shame," and "She's Tight."
This album is an excellent collection for new fans of the band who aren't quite ready to plunk down cash for the group's albums. I must admit that I'm also a bit shy about buying Cheap Trick's albums because despite loving a lot of their radio tracks, I'm not entirely sold on their entire catalogue.
Two drawbacks prevent me from giving this album five stars. The big drawback is the fact that the version of "The Flame" included on this album is a live version that does nothing to add to the song but definitely takes away from it in my opinion. Sure, you can purchase the original track on "Lap of Luxury," but when purchasing a greatest hits compilation, I'm betting that most people are either completionists or new fans who only know the band's bigger hits. Whether or not Cheap Trick likes the track (they supposedly hate it) does not matter here. Like it or not, "The Flame" was a massive hit, and I believe that it wouldn't have hurt to include the original track in this collection.
The second drawback isn't that much of a big deal, but I really would have loved to see the band's cover of "Don't Be Cruel" on this album. Their interpretation of one of Elvis' signature tunes is spot on, and it was also a big hit for the group.
In closing, this collection is, as stated before, the perfect album for new fans and for folks like myself who really enjoy the band but aren't full on completionists for the group who set out to buy every one of their album's.
on December 19, 2005
CHEAP TRICK-AUTHORIZED GREATEST HITS: CHEAP TRICK successfully mixed a BEATLE-esque power pop sensibility with crunchy guitar riffs and a welcome sense of humor. Two guys that looked like rock star pin ups, and two that looked like BOWERY BOY member HUNTZ HALL and a used car salesman, they unleashed radio-ready diehards including SURRENDER (complete with klassic KISS reference), the LIVE AT BUDOKAN rave-up I WANT YOU TO WANT ME, and slick power ballad THE FLAME. This tight overview also trots out a volcanic rendition of FATS DOMINO's AIN'T THAT A SHAME, (though not their percussive treatment of ELVIS' DON'T BE CRUEL), bouncy shoulda-been-a-hit SOUTHERN GIRLS, and the theme to THAT 70'S SHOW (THAT 70'S SONG), a revamp of an old BIG STAR effort. Numerous worthy tracks like 'ELLO KIDDIES, VOICES, and CALIFORNIA MAN are missing in action, but that's due more to a wealth of strong material than to careless selection. All in all, AUTHORIZED is a pretty neat trick.
RATING: FOUR GUITAR NECKS
on October 26, 2005
Cheap Trick's Authorized Greatest Hits is an improvement over the earlier greatest hits album from the 90s. First of all the Authorized Greatest Hits contains more songs than the earlier hits complation. Second, Cheap Trick themselves, were involved in the compling of this collection.
If a single disc, is all the Cheap Trick that you are looking for I recommend this over the other greatest hits. Really, Authorized Greatest Hits will probably please fans, who do not want to buy the individual albums, but like all hits collections there are always a couple of personal favorites missing. I think "Hot Love" from their first album should've been on here. Also, there is a live version of "The Flame" in place of the studio version, but still if you're looking for a single disc of Cheap Trick to add to your collection this is a good choice.
Hits include: Southern Girls, I Want You to Want Me, Surrender, The 70's Song, etc, very good stuff. A good cd to listen to in the car.
on June 21, 2015
I bought tickets to an upcoming Cheap Trick/Peter Frampton concert for my husband for father's day and while we grew up on Cheap Trick's music it has been some time since we've listened to it. I purchased this so hubby could get re-acquainted with the tunes we love. This cd has all their greatest hits and some we've never heard which is great since we already know what the set list is and this cd contains a lot of what they'll be playing. I also love that this compilation has been authorized by the band. Overall a perfect way to set the stage for a great show.
on February 26, 2001
Made in USA in 2000, Serial# EK-66015, Playing Time 66:22
Cheap Trick left the Sony Music stable back in 1990, after the release of "Busted". Since then, as is usually the case when a band switches recording company, the former company releases various items so that they can sell their "catalog".
Remember 1991's "The Greatest Hits", which was also released in Japan as a 2-disc set; how about "Budokan II" in 1993? And 1996's "Sex, America, Cheap Trick" 4-disc set, as well as the double set from 1998 "At Budokan: The Complete Concert"?
This latest offering follows in that tradition; and, as usual, they include 1 or many "previously unreleased" tracks to lure the consumer into buying the album. In this case, there's "That 70's song" from "That 70's Show", plus a live version of "The Flame" recorded during the "Busted" tour, as well as 2 other tracks (#7 and #9) only available on the 4-disc set mentionned earlier. Which also explains why any material from the "Woke Up With A Monster" and "Cheap Trick (1997)" are completely absent from this retrospective.
Bottom line is: "Is this disc any good?" - Yep!; and does such a scheme from record companies work? I bought it, didn't I!
And guess what? "Silver", a new 2-disc compilation from their latest record company (Cheap Trick Unlimited), is just about to come out! Maybe they should call that one "Really Authorized Greatest Hits"...
on February 28, 2002
When I first heard "I Want You To Want Me" I felt the same emotions as I did when I first saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. My other favorites are: "Ain't That A Shame, Dream Police, Southern Girls, Surrender, The Flame".
Lots of us are aware of this band because of the theme music of "That 70's Show" but that is the weakest song on this CD.
A great band who plays "feel good" music. Rock on.
on October 24, 2012
This CD, "Cheap Trick - Authorized Greatest Hits", is a compilation CD of the bands "hits" picked by members of Cheap Trick themselves. Cheap Trick is a power pop/rock band that has been in existence since early 1977, but had their most successes during the period of 1978-1990. Cheap Trick has toured almost continually since they began, and are known for their legendary live stage performances. This CD contains many of their best recordings, including their mega-hits "I Want You To Want Me"; "Aint That A Shame"; "Surrender"; "Dream Police" and "The Flame". Also included is the theme song from the hit TV comedy show "That 70's Show", called (appropriately enough) "That 70's Song". I think you will enjoy this compilation CD whether you are a long time Cheap Trick fan, or someone who is looking to sample their work. You won't be disappointed in this band... I can assure you of that. I hope this helps.