Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace
Cheap Trick's debut just might be the heaviest power-pop album ever produced. A tension exists between saccharine-soaked hooks ("Oh Candy") and brute strength ("ELO Kiddies") that's downright exhilarating. It's a concept their heroes The Move innovated in the early 1970s, only Cheap Trick blows it out in dramatic fashion. On "The Ballad of TV Violence (I'm Not the Only Boy)" the group goes absolutely atomic. While bass-n-drums lay down a black-boot military march, blonde heartthrob Robin Zander screams, howls and wails. On Cheap Trick you understand why Big Black were such huge fans.