Cheap Trick at Budokan

Cheap Trick at Budokan is a live album released by Cheap Trick in 1978 and their best-selling recording. It 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.

Cheap Trick at Budokan
CheapTrick Live atBudokan.jpg
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
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[3]

It was ranked number 426 in the 2003 edition of Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[4] In 2020, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[5] 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.


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.[6] 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 a failure.

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]


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]


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."[5] 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."[1] 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."[12] 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.[13]

The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[14]

Track listingEdit

All songs by Rick Nielsen, except where noted.

Side oneEdit

  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 Petersson) – 9:07

Side twoEdit

  1. "Ain't That a Shame" (Antoine "Fats" Domino, Dave Bartholomew) – 5:10
  2. "I Want You to Want Me" – 3:38
  3. "Surrender" – 4:40
  4. "Goodnight Now" – 2:42
  5. "Clock Strikes Ten" – 4:11


Cheap TrickEdit


Sequel and re-issuesEdit

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     [15]
Chicago Tribune    [16]

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.[17]

Budokan II track listingEdit

  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 listingEdit

Disc oneEdit

  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 twoEdit

  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 listingEdit


  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 tracksEdit

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


  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 performanceEdit

2017 reissueEdit

Chart Peak


Oricon (Japan)[25] 106


Year Single Chart Position[26]
1979 "I Want You To Want Me" Billboard Hot 100 7
1979 "Ain't That A Shame" Billboard Hot 100 35


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "At Budokan - Cheap Trick". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "426: Cheap Trick, 'At Budokan'". Rolling Stone. Published November 1, 2003. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "National Recording Registry Class Produces Ultimate 'Stay at Home' Playlist". Library of Congress. March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  6. ^ Kozak, Roman. "Now Cheap Trick Eyes Europe" Billboard August 25, 1979: 68
  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. ^ Berman, Stuart (2008-11-19). "Cheap Trick: Budokan!". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  13. ^ "The Sounds Of America: "Cheap Trick At Budokan"". WAMU. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Budokan II – Cheap Trick". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  16. ^ Kot, Greg (May 19, 1994). "Cheap Trick Woke Up With a Monster (Warner); Budokan II (Epic)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  17. ^ Cheap Trick Live at Budokan 30th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD. Cheap Trick Online Store. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  18. ^ " – Cheap Trick – At Budokan" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  19. ^ " – Cheap Trick – At Budokan". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  20. ^ " – Cheap Trick – At Budokan". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  21. ^ "Cheap Trick | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  22. ^ "Cheap Trick Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  23. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1979". Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1979". Billboard. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 – Cheap Trick". Retrieved November 6, 2017.

External linksEdit