Best Song Ever of The Day: Cheap Trick "Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace"!



Is there a better rock song on the face of this earth?

Sure, others have gone on to greater popularity and are beloved by multiple generations of rock & roll fans, but I challenge you sit down and listen to this song from Cheap Trick's often overlooked 1977 debut album and not walk away humbled.

As I wasn't a fan of "Hot Love", "Speak Now" has always been "the first song on side two" to me. What I've always dug about the song is how, in the span of four-and-a-half minutes, it covers the entire history of rock up to '77 (and beyond).

A simple strummed guitar is the first thing you hear, giving it that "fly-on-the-wall" vibe of being there in the room with the band as the tape starts rolling.  Strums become a stylized blues chug further propelled by Bun E. Carlos' tom and snare attack.  It's almost a minute into the song before Nielsen's guitar shows up to rip the joint.

Zander's vocals in the first verse are candy sweet - not that far removed from Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night" or Shaun Cassidy's "Da Do Ron Ron" - and you're immediately wondering why this wasn't all over the radio too.  And where the chorus should come in, the band just takes over, pounding out the music as it waiting for Zander to rejoin them.

Then right into the second verse, which is just the first verse repeated with heaping fist of steroids for good measure; visceral, muscular.  And then when they go to what should be the chorus, again, but this time they're now chugging along at quite a nice pace.  Where other songs resort to the chorus to elevate the song from the set-up of the verse, "Speak Now" uses the chorus as a sort of cathartic release, albeit a forceful exhale of sorts.

And back into the verse again - same lyrics as the last two verses - but Zander's vocals are completely unhinged.  Oh, he's in full control, don't get me wrong, but the urgency that;'s being conveyed here is off the charts.

Then the song ends with a bridge that appears at no other point in the song.  Was that supposed to be the chorus?



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