Yesterday, we told you about Real Gone’s upcoming reissue of The Quick’s Mondo Deco. Today, we’ve got the news of another Real Gone project featuring a group with power-pop roots. This time it’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Cheap Trick with The Epic Archive Vol. 2 (1980-1983), due June 1. The Epic Archive is a 3-part series which debuted digitally in 2015, collecting rarities from across the band’s Epic tenure from 1979 to 1992. Last year, Real Gone debuted the first volume on CD (and LP for Record Store Day) and now the label is continuing the series with its second installment.
By 1980, Cheap Trick, made up of Robin Zander (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar/keyboards), Tom Petersson (bass) and Bun E. Carlos (drums), was riding high due to their success in 1979. That year saw them release their two highest-charting U.S. albums: the live Cheap Trick at Budokan and Dream Police (two live cuts of songs from this album are featured on Real Gone’s CD.) Their popularity had skyrocketed. The first project they released in 1980 came in June: the EP Found All The Parts, consisting of live and studio material. Three tracks from this EP open the compilation and two further outtakes are included as well (“Oh Boy (Vocal Version)” and “Loser (Demo”).
One of the tracks on Found All The Parts was a cover of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper.” This certainly proved appropriate as Cheap Trick turned to The Fab Four’s famed producer George Martin to helm their next album All Shook Up, released in October, 1980. It would be their first album not produced by Tom Werman and would be more experimental than previous efforts. Two singles from this time are included on the compilation: “World’s Greatest Lover” and “Everything Works If You Let It” which was featured on the soundtrack to the film Roadie. Shortly before the album’s release, Petersson announced he was leaving the band and was replaced by Pete Comita.
The band then recorded several songs for soundtracks, and two from the movie Heavy Metal are included: “Reach Out” and “I Must Be Dreamin’.” Comita left the group before their next album amid some acrimony and was replaced by Jon Brant. They turned to another new producer (Roy Thomas Baker, whose credits included Queen, The Cars, and Dusty Springfield) for One on One. Released in April 1982, the record had a harder-rocking sound. One of the singles, “If You Want My Love,” is included on this new set in demo form and another song from this album also makes this rarities compilation: a 12″ remix of “Saturday at Midnight.”
In August, 1983, Cheap Trick issued their next album, Next Position Please, produced by Todd Rundgren and going back to a more pop-oriented direction. The version here of its “Dancing the Night Away” comes from a 12″ single. The new set concludes with both sides of a single (that was actually on Warner Bros.), whose A-side “Spring Break” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie of the same name. Cheap Trick would continue on Epic until 1992 and then move onto several different labels. They were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
Real Gone’s new physical version of The Epic Archive Vol. 2 features liner notes from Ken Sharp which include track-by-track quotes from Carlos, Nielsen and Petersson. Rare photos from long-time band photographer Robert Alford are also included. The set has been remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in New York.
If you would like to explore the deeper side of Cheap Trick’s Epic tenure, we’ve the full tracklisting and preorder links for The Epic Archive Vol. 2 (1980-1983) , due June 1, below.
- Day Tripper (Live) (EP Version)
- Such A Good Girl (EP Version)
- Take Me I’m Yours (EP Version)
- Oh, Boy (Vocal Version)
- Loser (Demo)
- The House is Rockin’ (With Domestic Problems) (Live at the LA Forum)
- Way of the World (Live at the LA Forum)
- World’s Greatest Lover (Single Version)
- Everything Works If You Let It (Single Version)
- Reach Out
- I Must Be Dreamin’
- If You Want My Love (Demo)
- Saturday at Midnight (Super New Dance Re-Mix)
- Dancing the Night Away (Short Version)
- Spring Break (from Spring Break Original Soundtrack)
- Get Ready (B-side)
Tracks 1-3 from Found All the Parts, Epic EP 4E 36453, 1980
Tracks 4, 12 from Epic/Legacy Promo single ES7 58323, 2004
Tracks 7-8 from Dream Police: Expanded Edition, Epic/Legacy CD 82796 94485 2, 2006
Track 8 from Epic single 19-50970, 1981
Track 9 from Epic single 9-50887, 1980
Tracks 10-11 from Heavy Metal – Music from the Motion Picture, Asylum Records/Full Moon LP DP-90004, 1981
Track 13 from Epic 12″ single 49 03402, 1982
Track 14 from Epic UK 12″ single AS 1731, 1983
Tracks 15-16 from Warner Brothers single 7-29723, 1983