Cheap Trick At The Movies, Part 2: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly!


Last week, we covered our Top 5 Cheap Trick Soundtrack Appearances, but no such discussion would be complete without also delving into the should-be hits and obvious misses of Cheap Trick's other soundtrack work. 

First the good:



Up The Creek

The minute Cheap Trick recorded a song with the words "Spring Break" in it, all bets were off and the band cemented its reputation as a once-credible band willing to do anything and everything to "get a hit". Only three years prior, they'd turned in two of the better songs on the uniformly excellent Heavy Metal soundtrack and now here they were humiliating themselves to an audience of maybe five.

Now, let's get just one straight before we go any further: There has never been an awesome rock song with the word "creek" in it. That didn't stop Nielsen from giving it the ol' college try and coming up mostly a winner. Too bad his effort went mostly unnoticed because nobody except the most die-hard of Trick fans ever saw the movie "Up The Creek", Sure, you had two guys from "Animal House" in the cast (Stephen Furst and Tim Matheson), but the script was, in a word, awful and, as a result, this kind of mindless teenage romp quickly went the way of the dinosaur.

As for the song, you literally could not ask for a better song to kick off a movie than the one Cheap Trick turned in, unfortunately it was for a movie that didn't deserve it. A Kevin DuBrow burrito fart would have been too good for this movie. Still, "Up The Creek" is better than it has any right to be...musically, of course. The lyrics, however, leave a lot to be desired, which is why it didn't make it onto our Top 5 Best Cheap Trick Soundtrack Tunes.



You Want It

Not a great song, not a bad song by any stretch, obviously a leftover that CBS simply stuck on the "Say Anything" soundtrack album. Even so, Zander sings the absolute shit out of Nielsen's phoned-in lyrics and succeeds at making us almost forget what a forgettable song it is. Here's the thing that bugs me, though: I know this is from the Lap Of Luxury sessions. It woulda made more sense to use this tunes as the non-LP B-side to "The Flame" and place the superior "Through The Night" (the non-LP B-side they used instead) on the "Say Anything" soundtrack because I remain convinced that THAT tune would have been a hit if given half a chance. As it was, you had to hope the teenage girls who bought "The Flame"got around to flipping the single over and discovering a true gem.


Now the bad:




I Will Survive

It's an okay Trick tune married to horrible Frank Stallone-level lyrics attached to a movie nobody gave a rat's ass about. Not exactly a recipe for success, but yet again, Cheap Trick were desperate for a hit and saying "yes" to every offer that landed on their desk, it would appear.

With an opening line like "The battle line is drawn", unless the next line is "America, Fuck yeah!", you just know it's only gonna get worse and it does, much worse. Plus, isn't there already a very popular song with this title already? Trick would have been better served recording that one instead.




Mighty Wings

It pains me even more to write about this musical atrocity than it does to listen to it. When it first appeared on the shelves, I was working in a record store and my manager, knowing how much I loved the band, immediately opened a copy for in-store play, breezing past the Kenny Loggins track straight to the Cheap Trick song.

"Hey, stop kidding around," I said. See, my manager used to always tell me he was playing something new by one of my favorite bands but then he'd put on Sly Fox or Bang Tango just to see me lose my shit.

Whoever it was singing, though. they sure sounded a lot like Robin Zander. When it finally sunk in that this really was Cheap Trick performing the tune, I consoled myself with the fact that this was truly rock bottom and that nothing they did from here on out could possibly be any worse.

I was wrong.

And, last but not least, the ugly:


Wait, wait, this ham-fisted cover of a song that should never be re-recorded by ANYBODY still isn't the worst...there's one soundtrack tune that Cheap Trick recorded in 1988 (in the midst of their resurgence post "The Flame" when they really should have been more choosy than this) that is even worse and, unfortunately, it is nowhere to be found on YouTube.

The movie was "Caddyshack II", starring Jackie Mason, and Cheap Trick's knuckle-dragging contribution to the soundtrack was a version of "Money (That's What I Want)" that is without equal, and not in a good way.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

3 comments:

  1. I'm singing with Rick and Robin on the vocal counter point of "Gladiator"
    That was a fun night... Robin is awesome and like the tune or not and sonically the track sounds great. Darren you know my voice well enough to hear it in the song.It was a total blast... "Spring Break" was going around with just a title Adamany had me write one but they picked Ricks "Spring Break" instead although somehow Robin had heard mine and told me he liked it... Graham Elvis

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    1. Yes, Graham, that's right, your voice is evident on the backing vocals. Would love to hear YOUR "Spring Break".

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  2. Big fan of the Elvis Brothers here, and in my only time in Milwaukee, somewhere around 1991, I saw the three of you blow my socks off outdoors at Summerfest, playing before perhaps 100 folks. And to me, your HERE WE GO AGAIN is one of my favorite songs of all time.

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