Cheap Trick at Budokan

Cheap Trick at Budokan (or simply At Budokan) is the first live album by American rock band Cheap Trick, and their best-selling recording. Recorded at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, the album was first released in Japan on October 8, 1978, and later released in the United States in February 1979, through Epic Records. After several years of constant touring but only middling exposure for the band, At Budokan steadily grew off radio play and word-of-mouth to become a high-selling success, kickstarting the band's popularity and becoming acclaimed as one of the greatest live rock albums of all time and a classic of the power pop genre.

Cheap Trick at Budokan
Live album by
ReleasedOctober 8, 1978 (Japan)
February 1979 (U.S.)
RecordedApril 28 & 30, 1978
VenueNippon Budokan, Tokyo
ProducerCheap Trick
Cheap Trick chronology
Heaven Tonight
Cheap Trick at Budokan
Dream Police
Singles from Cheap Trick at Budokan
  1. "I Want You to Want Me"
    Released: April 1979
  2. "Ain't That a Shame"
    Released: July 1979

It was ranked number 426 in the 2003 edition of Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[1] In 2019, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[2] An album featuring leftover tracks from the band's 1978 Budokan set, plus additional material from their 1979 tour of Japan, was released in 1994 as Budokan II, and a two-disc reconstruction of the complete original Budokan performances, titled At Budokan: The Complete Concert, was released to commemorate its twentieth anniversary in 1998.

Overview edit

Cheap Trick found early success in Japan, and capitalized on this popularity by recording Cheap Trick at Budokan at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on April 28 and 30, 1978, with an audience of 12,000 screaming Japanese fans nearly drowning out the band at times. The album was intended for release only in Japan but with strong airplay of the promotional album From Tokyo to You, an estimated 30,000 import copies were sold in the United States and the album was released domestically in February 1979.[3] The album also introduced two previously unreleased original songs, "Lookout" and "Need Your Love". As stated by producer Jack Douglas, the audio from Live at Budokan is actually not from the Budokan, but from Osaka, which was a smaller show. The recording of the Budokan show was deemed unsuitable for release.

An unusual aspect of the album release in the UK was the use of coloured vinyl, then primarily restricted to singles and EP's, and soon replaced as a marketing gimmick by so-called "picture discs". A prominently displayed sticker on the sleeve of Live at Budokan announced that it had been released on "kamikaze yellow vinyl", and, unlike most coloured discs, which were usually as opaque as the conventional black vinyl records, the disc in the album is translucent.

When Cheap Trick at Budokan was first released on compact disc in the U.S., the first pressing contained a slightly different, possibly unpolished mix of the concert. Notably the guitar trade-offs of "Ain't That a Shame" were different from the vinyl release.[citation needed]

Reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Christgau's Record GuideB−[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [6]

In the U.S., the album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200[7] and became the group's best selling album with over three million copies sold. It also ranked number 13 on Billboard's Top Pop Albums of 1979 year-end chart. The single "I Want You to Want Me" reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The second single, a cover of Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame" also charted, reaching number 35.[8] Cheap Trick at Budokan was certified triple Platinum in 1986 by the RIAA.[9]

In Canada, it went to number one, hitting the top of the RPM 100 Albums chart on August 11 of the same year.[10] By November 1979, it had achieved quintuple platinum status (500,000 units) in that country.[11]

The album received mostly positive contemporary reviews. In the UK, Sandy Robertson from Sounds, while critical of Jack Douglas' production, concluded that "Cheap Trick are melodic enough to please pop-obscurity fans, heavy enough to net the Aerosmith mob, wacky enough to be eye-catching and good enough to take on the world. Possibly the best hard rock band in the USA."[12] Nick Kent in NME was more muted in his praise, writing that "Though it doesn't match up to In Colour as the best Cheap Trick initiation, Budokan is no disgrace. A live album of the old school – like The Kinks Live At Kelvin Hall or Got Live If You Want It – it's nothing essential or ground-breaking; just a fair approximation of the band in a live context."[13] In the US, Billboard, marking the album as a Top Album Pick, wrote that "With the fans behind them, the members of Cheap Trick put out its best, playing good hard and steady rock. Unlike so many current live LPs, the audience is always there, giving it more of a sense of space. The slight echo doesn't hurt the music."[14]

Impact and legacy edit

In its official press release upon the album's entry into the National Recording Registry, the Library of Congress stated that, along with its success in the Japanese market, Cheap Trick at Budokan "proved to be the making of the band in their home country, as well as a loud and welcomed alternative to disco and soft rock and a decisive comeback for rock and roll."[2] Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine has also stated that with this album, "Cheap Trick unwittingly paved the way for much of the hard rock of the next decade, as well as a surprising amount of alternative rock of the 1990s."[4] In Pitchfork, Stuart Berman wrote on the album's success and influence, respectively, that "At Budokan, is not just one of rock's greatest live albums, but also one of its most triumphant underdog tales, an exemplar of pre-internet viral phenomena," and that "for the Foo Fighters, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, Ted Leo, the Raconteurs—basically any band that's ever tried to weld a Beatlesque melody to a power chord—all roads lead back to Budokan."[15] Further invoking comparison to the Beatles, Nwaka Onwusa, director of curatorial affairs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, spoke with 1A on the parallels between Beatlemania in the United States and Cheap Trick's reception in Japan:

Sure we have the story about the Beatlemania hit the United States, but to have Cheap Trick then go overseas and do that same very Tokyo. The girls, the screaming, throwing flowers at the plane. That’s total ‘Trickmania,’ for’s actually a beautiful story that [doesn’t] get a lot of shine or recognition because it didn’t happen here, but we have an American band...that created such tidal waves that then boomeranged back here in the United States.[16]

The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[17]

Track listing edit

All songs by Rick Nielsen, except where noted.

Side one
1."Hello There" 2:27
2."Come On, Come On" 3:03
3."Lookout" 3:15
4."Big Eyes" 3:47
5."Need Your Love"Nielsen, Tom Petersson9:07
Side two
6."Ain't That a Shame"Antoine "Fats" Domino, Dave Bartholomew5:10
7."I Want You to Want Me" 3:38
8."Surrender" 4:40
9."Goodnight Now" 2:42
10."Clock Strikes Ten" 4:11

Personnel edit

Cheap Trick edit

Technical edit

Sequel and re-issues edit

Budokan II
Live album by
ReleasedFebruary 1994
RecordedNippon Budokan, Tokyo, 1978 and 1979
GenreRock, hard rock, power pop
LabelEpic / Sony Music
ProducerCheap Trick
Cheap Trick chronology
Voices (Int'l Marketing Grp)
Budokan II
Woke Up with a Monster
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [18]
Chicago Tribune    [19]

Budokan II was released in February 1994 as a sequel of the first album, consisting of the remaining tracks from the concert not included on the original album and the tracks "Stiff Competition", "On Top of the World", and "How Are You?", recorded in 1979 during their follow-up tour.

An expanded version of the original album was released in 1998 as At Budokan: The Complete Concert, remastered and fully restored to include all the concert tracks left off the original album. This version of the album was performed in full at the Metro in Chicago on April 30, 1998, to coincide with the Complete Concert CD release.

A 30th Anniversary Edition, Budokan! was released on November 11, 2008, as a four-disc set. In addition to the two-disc "Complete Concert", it includes a DVD and CD version of the concert from April 28, 1978. The filmed concert had originally been shown on Japanese TV, and was not previously commercially available. The original vinyl album is also to be reissued in conjunction with the 30th anniversary.[20]

Budokan II track listing edit

  1. "ELO Kiddies" (Nielsen) – 5:41
  2. "High Roller" (Nielsen, Petersson, Robin Zander) – 5:58
  3. "Southern Girls" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 5:35
  4. "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" (Terry Reid) – 4:34
  5. "California Man" (Roy Wood) – 5:45
  6. "Downed" (Nielsen) – 6:51
  7. "Stiff Competition" (Nielsen) – 4:02 (from 1979 tour)
  8. "How Are You?" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 4:14 (from 1979 tour)
  9. "On Top of the World" (Nielsen) – 4:02 (from 1979 tour)
  10. "Can't Hold On" (Nielsen) – 5:55
  11. "Oh Caroline" (Nielsen) – 2:59
  12. "Auf Wiedersehen" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 3:41

At Budokan: The Complete Concert track listing edit

Disc one edit

  1. "Hello There"
  2. "Come On, Come On"
  3. "ELO Kiddies"
  4. "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace"
  5. "Big Eyes"
  6. "Lookout"
  7. "Downed"
  8. "Can't Hold On"
  9. "Oh Caroline"
  10. "Surrender"
  11. "Auf Wiedersehen"

Disc two edit

  1. "Need Your Love"
  2. "High Roller"
  3. "Southern Girls"
  4. "I Want You to Want Me"
  5. "California Man"
  6. "Goodnight"
  7. "Ain't That a Shame"
  8. "Clock Strikes Ten"

30th Anniversary Edition track listing edit

DVD edit

  1. "Hello There"
  2. "ELO Kiddies"
  3. "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace"
  4. "Look Out"
  5. "Downed"
  6. "Can't Hold On"
  7. "Oh Caroline"
  8. "Surrender"
  9. "Auf Wiedersehen"
  10. "Southern Girls"
  11. "I Want You to Want Me"
  12. "California Man"
  13. "Goodnight"
  14. "Ain't That a Shame"
  15. "Clock Strikes Ten"

Bonus tracks edit

  1. "Come On, Come On" (1978 performance)
  2. "Voices" (2008 performance)"
  3. "If You Want My Love" (2008 performance)
  4. "Looking Back" – 2008 interviews

CD edit

  1. "Hello There"
  2. "Come On, Come On"
  3. "ELO Kiddies"
  4. "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace"
  5. "Big Eyes"
  6. "Look Out"
  7. "Downed"
  8. "Can't Hold On"
  9. "Oh Caroline"
  10. "Surrender"
  11. "Auf Wiedersehen"
  12. "Need Your Love"
  13. "High Roller"
  14. "Southern Girls"
  15. "I Want You to Want Me"
  16. "California Man"
  17. "Goodnight"
  18. "Ain't That a Shame"
  19. "Clock Strikes Ten"

Chart performance edit

2017 reissue edit

Chart Peak


Oricon (Japan)[29] 106

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[30] Gold 20,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[31] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[32] Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References edit

  1. ^ "426: Cheap Trick, 'At Budokan'". Rolling Stone. Published November 1, 2003. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "National Recording Registry Class Produces Ultimate 'Stay at Home' Playlist". Library of Congress. March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Kozak, Roman. "Now Cheap Trick Eyes Europe" Billboard August 25, 1979: 68
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "At Budokan - Cheap Trick". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: C". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 23, 2019 – via
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 157. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. rolling stone cheap trick album guide.
  7. ^ "At Budokan Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  8. ^ "At Budokan Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  9. ^ "RIAA Database Search for Cheap Trick". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on June 26, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 31, No. 20, August 11, 1979". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on January 1, 2013. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  11. ^ Music Canada, Gold Platinum Database: Cheap Trick
  12. ^ Robertson, Sandy (December 2, 1978). "Cheap Trick: At Budokan". Sounds. Rock's Backpages. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  13. ^ Kent, Nick (February 17, 1979). "Cheap Trick: Live At The Budokan (Epic)". New Musical Express. Rock's Backpages. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  14. ^ "Billboard's Top Album Picks". Billboard. Google Books: Google. February 10, 1979. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  15. ^ Berman, Stuart (2008-11-19). "Cheap Trick: Budokan!". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  16. ^ "The Sounds Of America: "Cheap Trick At Budokan"". WAMU. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  17. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  18. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Budokan II – Cheap Trick". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  19. ^ Kot, Greg (May 19, 1994). "Cheap Trick Woke Up With a Monster (Warner); Budokan II (Epic)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  20. ^ Cheap Trick Live at Budokan 30th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD. Cheap Trick Online Store. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  21. ^ " – Cheap Trick – At Budokan" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  22. ^ " – Cheap Trick – At Budokan". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  23. ^ " – Cheap Trick – At Budokan". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "Cheap Trick | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  25. ^ "Cheap Trick Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  26. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1979". Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  27. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1979 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  28. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1979". Billboard. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  29. ^ "チープ・トリック at 武道館(ザ・コンプリート・コンサート)+3 | チープ・トリック".
  30. ^ "Cheap Trick in Sydney" (PDF). Cash Box. January 5, 1980. p. 22. Retrieved December 3, 2021 – via World Radio History.
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Cheap Trick – At Budokan". Music Canada.
  32. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick At Budokan" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved July 16, 2022. Enter Cheap Trick At Budokan in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1979 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick at Budokan". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links edit