Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, Poison

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

With big hooks, roaring guitars and coy humor, Cheap Trick was America's answer to AC/DC, a catchy, hard-rocking act boasting arena-size heft. And the band crashed Big Star into Thin Lizzy, producing three end-of-the-'70s albums—Cheap Trick, In Color and Heaven Tonight—that dwarfed their contemporaries' output, though it took At Budokan and its live version of "I Want You to Want Me" to make the Illinois quartet stars.

A steep creative valley followed, as the sound got glossier and the hooks duller, culminating in 1988's chart-topping Journey-esque power ballad "The Flame." Despite a decent Steve Albini-produced self-titled release in '97, there was little to suggest the return to form of 2006's terrific Rockford, and the band's even hookier latest, The Latest. While Cheap Trick may never pen another "Surrender," both albums feature an unfussy energy and tunefulness that's been missing since those halcyon Budokan days.

Tourmates Def Leppard hasn't done much to recommend its blend of glam and British heavy metal since multiplatinum '80s successes Pyromania and Hysteria, besides an exceptional version of The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" on 2006's all-covers Yeah!.


Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, Poison

Finally, the less said about hair-metal has-beens Poison and front man Brett Michaels' televised pussy hunts, the better.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.