A gigolo is the only way to go: the best of Cheap Trick

In love in 1988, I gave “The Flame” more attention than it deserved. But Robin Zander sings the hell out of this make-or-break ballad, and Rick Nielsen’s mandocello is front and center. Thus began the most reviled period of Cheap Trick’s history, during which Zander recorded a duet with a Wilson sister not even as sharp as “Almost Paradise” and they competed with Poison and Whitesnake. But I’m no fan of power pop, so classing up hair metal ballads strikes me as no different. I wish I’d been there during their live peak. I rely on my knowledge of a couple studio albums and The Essential Cheap Trick.

1. Surrender
2. He’s a Whore
3. Heaven Tonight
4. If You Want My Love
5. I Want You to Want Me (live)
6. Dream Police
7. Ain’t That a Shame
8. On Top of the World
9. Hello There
10. The Flame
11. Tonight It’s You
12. Can’t Stop Fallin’ in Love
13. Ghost Town
14. Hot Love
15. She’s Tight
16. Stiff Competition
17. Voices
18. Southern Girls
19. On the Radio
20. Stop This Game

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