Sick Man Of Europe Lives!
(62:54): I Want You To Want Me, Carnival Game, Dream Police, Say Goodbye, Surrender (The Hard Rock Cafe 1997), He’s A Whore, Please Mrs. Henry (Stanley Theater, Pittsburgh 1977), Black N Blue (Santa Cruz 1990), Wrong Side Of Love (Daytona Beach 1988), I Will Survive, Spring Break, Money (only available on soundtracks), Don’t Blame It On Love (Hall & Oats cut with Rick on guitar/vocals), Everything Works If You Let It (original version from Roadie), Wild Thing (from Encino Man)
Sick Man Of Europe Lives! is a strange collection of Cheap Trick documents taken from excellent sounding sources running twenty years of their career between 1977 to 1997. Instead of focusing upon one type of tape, it’s a collection of live, studio and outtake rarities that are otherwise hard to find.
The first five songs come from a promotional gig at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York on March 12th, 1997. The band recorded their “comeback” album Cheap Trick (aka Cheap Trick II and Cheap Trick ’97) in nearby Glen Cove, Long Island. This fragment contains three of their best known older hits from the seventies, “I Want You To Want Me,” “Dream Police” (with Rick Neilsen really getting into character in the middle) and the impossible-to-hate “Surrender.”
Among this are two of the best new songs, “Carnival Game” and the first single from the new album “Say Goodbye.” This is sourced from an excellent radio broadcast. A DJ’s comments can be heard at the very end of the tape.
The next fragment contains two songs from the November 14th, 1977 show in the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh. The entire show exists on soundboard but Tendolar include these two songs. “He’s A Whore,” starting off with the talents of drummer Bun E. Carlos, is a rarely played punkish song from Cheap Trick. The second Pittsburgh track is a strange cover of Bob Dylan’s “Please Mrs. Henry.” The basement tape track is treated as a vague vehicle for a ten-minute jam session. It’s fun to hear and makes one wish they would have jammed more often as they became more popular.
Pittsburgh is followed by two more live tracks. “Black And Blue,” from the 1990 album Busted, is taken from a soundboard recording of a show in Santa Clara, California (not Santa Cruz mentioned on the artwork) on October 28th, 1990 at the Redwood Amphitheater It’s followed by “Wrong Side Of Love” from the March 25th, 1988 show at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida (right during spring break festivities to be sure).
The next three songs come from various soundtracks. “I Will Survive” comes from the soundtrack of the 1992 film Gladiator a boxing film starting James Marshall (Twin Peaks, A Few Good Men) and Cuba Gooding Jr. A straight forward pop song, it’s definitely at odd with the grunge sound they were going for on their next LP Woke Up With A Monster. “Spring Break” comes from the 1983 teen flick Spring Break and “Money” is a cover of the Barrett Strong classic from the 1988 Caddyshack II soundtrack.
“Don’t Blame It On Love” is taken from the Hall & Oats 1978 LP Along The Red Ledge. It features both Rick Neilsen and Robert Fripp on guitar. The final two songs on the disc are “Everything Works If You Let It” from the 1980 film Roadie and a cover of “Wild Thing” from the 1992 film Encino Man. Their version owes some to the famous version by The Troggs, but they lend their own pop gloss to the melody.
Sick Man Of Europe Lives!, so called because Sick Man Of Europe was an early name for the band before they became Cheap Trick, is a typical cheap Tendolar production. The inserts are printed on one side and recycle well known photos from the official releases. But the sound quality is excellent on all the tracks (except for the Daytona Beach song which is really only very good) and is a nice collection to have for the rarities.
Agree on the subject of Tendolar and I recall, having bought, a couple of titles way back, that the editing was really poor and beginnings and endings of songs would be cut.
I usually avoided Tendolar releases ( and no, they never cost ten dollars ) because they were like this title: a hodgepodge of stray bootlegged and pirated tracks. Good maybe for the collector who wants to acquire things quickly and in one place, but true collectors will already have the officially-released material. The label did issue a handful of worthy titles, like the Joe Jackson reviewed on this site, or Pete Townshend Brixton ’85. As for Cheap Trick, I’d save me money for Hello Windy City!