How many bands claim to be big in Japan? Only one band can truly make that claim. Cheap Trick.
Cheap Trick is so popular in Japan that the press often refer to them as the "American Beatles." While their first three albums - Cheap Trick, In Color and Heaven Tonight - failed to make it into the Top 40 in the United States, all three albums went gold in Japan.
In April 1978, Cheap Trick toured Japan for the first time amidst a frenzy that was reminiscent of Beatlemania. Robin Zander (vocals), Rick Nielsen (guitar), Tom Petersson (bass), and Bun E. Carlos (drums) were treated by the press and rabid fans as if they were John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Cheap Trick recorded two concerts at Nippon Budokan (4/28/78 & 4/30/78) that were attended by 12,000 fervent fans that occasionally drowned out the band. Cheap Trick at Budokan was intended to be released only in Japan, but the import sold an estimated 30,000 copies that Epic Records released the album in the United States in February 1979. Cheap Trick at Budokan went triple platinum in the U.S., reached #4 on the Billboard 200, and became the group's best selling album.
The album's hit single "I Want You to Want Me," which had originally been released on In Color, reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Cheap Trick's biggest-selling single. The second single, "Ain't That a Shame" reached #35. The album introduced two previously unreleased songs, "Lookout" and "Need Your Love"; the latter was scheduled for the group's next record, Dream Police, but At Budokan was such an enormous success that Epic Records postponed the release of Dream Police.
Budokan II was released in 1993, consisting of the remaining tracks from the concert that were not included on the original album along with three cuts that were recorded on their follow-up tour in 1979, "Stiff Competition," "On Top of the World," and "How Are You?" A 30th Anniversary Edition, Budokan!, the complete concert, was released in 2008.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine at Allmusic wrote: "With their ear-shatteringly loud guitars and sweet melodies, 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, and it was At Budokan that captured the band in all of its power."
Original Track Listing:
Come On, Come On
Need Your Love
Ain't That a Shame
I Want You to Want Me
Clock Strikes Ten