In a decade when Cheap Trick allowed their usually high standards to drop alarmingly, 1985’s Standing On The Edge was a rare exception. Moreover, it’s good enough to stand up against much of their 70s records.
Back working with producer Jack Douglas (whom they worked with on their self-titled debut), the group rediscovered their hard edge, something that gave the songs a genuine lift. In reality, after fighting for a reason to exist, here the band simply gave in to their instincts – and if there had been a little more belief at the label, then the likes of Tonight It’s You would have reinvented Cheap Trick for the MTV generation.
CHEAP TRICK: Standing on The Edge [On side one we’re faced with a pair of raunchy yet melodic high tech rockers in the form of ‘Little Sister’ and he Got Motion’, but it the “”Beatles gone AOR”” power ballad ‘Tonight It You’ that steals the show
along with the lilting, even ethereal midtempo AOR of ‘Love Comes’. ‘How About You’ is an energetic rocker which improves with repeated listening.
Side two kicks off with the title track, very big on tempo changes this one, but those sweeping melodies will melt your heart. ‘This Time Around’ could easily define the phrase “”haunting mid tempo AOR””. Robin Zander shows off his vocal versatility on this one, carrying the chorus alone and with style. Rick classy acoustic picking adds something special to make this track case for classic status very strong indeed. ‘Cover Girl’ brings on the infectious layered vocals, a very rewarding listen, while the album closer ‘Wild Wild Women’ sounds something like a more melodic AC/DC with a superior singer.
Cheap Trick LP Standing on the Edge, which peaked at number #42 on Billboard Hot 100 LP chart in 1985, saw the band return to their standard hard-rocking sound with this album. The album was produced by Jack Douglas, who produced the band eponymous debut album as well as the Found All The Parts EP. The original plans for the album called for band to return to the rough sound of their first album. However, Douglas backed out of mixing process due to legal issues he was having with Yoko Ono. Mixer Tony Platt was called in, and as a result, the album production featured keyboards and electronic drums more prominently than before.
The album most successful single “”Tonight It You””, is the most well-known track from the album and also appears on numerous greatest hits compilations. Two promotional music videos were made for the song and both clips received much airplay on MTV.
“”Little Sister”” (R. Nielsen) â€“ 3:55
“”Tonight It You”” (M. Radice/J. Brant/R. Nielsen/R. Zander) â€“ 4:47
“”She Got Motion”” (R. Nielsen/M. Radice) â€“ 3:17
“”Love Comes”” (R. Zander/R. Nielsen) â€“ 4:40
“”How About You”” (R. Zander/R. Nielsen/M. Radice) â€“ 3:00
“”Standing on the Edge”” (R. Nielsen/R. Zander/M. Radice) â€“ 4:44
“”This Time Around”” (J. Brant/M. Radice/R. Zander/R. Nielsen) â€“ 4:33
“”Rock All Night”” (R. Nielsen/R. Zander/B. Carlos/M. Radice) â€“ 2:51
“”Cover Girl”” (R. Nielsen/M. Radice) â€“ 3:41
“”Wild Wild Women”” (R. Nielsen/R. Zander/B. Carlos/M. Radice) â€“ 4:16
(1985) “”Tonight It You/Wild Wild Women”” – #44 US, #8 US Mainstream Rock
(1985) “”Little Sister””
(1985) “”How About You””
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hard Rockin Cd ..The essential LP of the 1980…….
Ok Listen up…This is a true 1980 essential LP. It starts out with a hard pumpin song “”Little sister”” written by the man Rick N. It leaves no stone un-turned. We all know how great”” Tonight it you”” is but if you want a hard rockin jam than “”Standing on the edge”” does it, Robin Zander voice takes over you and you wonder did he ever take a breath”” I get pysched up going over the lyrics in my head. This time around”” is a great tuned down song with some great lyrics as is “”Love comes around””..For the finisher “”Cover girl”” is fun and has great sing along lyrics that will make you remember why the 80 really were so much fun. This LP needs to have more attention to it, spread the word..
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap Trick is often described as a Power Pop band, so this album shouldn’t disappoint any buyer. It is the best power pop I’ve heard (tell me, who are the other bands in this genre?). All band members contributed on songwriting, and it shows. Every song has a powerful chorus that provides an excellent hook. The choruses make it a great album that you and your friends will sing along to. “”Tonight It You”” is a powerful tune that builds into an exciting chorus, and “”How About You”” delivers the same effect. “”Love Comes”” and “”This Time Around”” are great, original sounding ballads. A few songs have risque lyrics that may offend some, and “”Rock All Night”” is plodding, but this is an excellent album from start to finish.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of,
I wish I could give it more than 5 stars! I hear any song on this album and go crazy! And I’ve owned it since it was released. Every song is great! Better than anything before or since…Buy it. You won’t be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Standing On The Edge,
After Cheap Trick 1983 minor hit album Next Position Please, the band went back to the studio to record the next album. The original plans for the new album was to see the band return to the rough sound of their 1977 self-titled debut album. Songwriter Mark Radice was brought in to help the band with the songwriting process. Radice also played keyboards and co-wrote eight of the ten tracks from the album. Producer Jack Douglas was called in to produce the album who produced the band 1977 debut album as well as the 1980 Found All The Parts EP. However, producer Jack Douglas backed out of mixing process due to legal issues he was having with Yoko Ono. This resulted in mixer Tony Platt mixing the album and as a result, the album production featured keyboards and electronic drums more prominently than the band and Douglas had intended. Platt went on to producer the band 1986 album The Doctor which featured plenty of synthesizer and is now regarded as the band worst album. Nevertheless this album contained elements of hard rock, power pop and some strong 80s influence. The finished result was Standing On The Edge.
The album opens with the energetic Little Sister which is the only track credited to guitarist Rick Nielsen alone. Nielsen was always the primary songwriter for previous albums. The song opens with strong percussion and some solid vocals from Robin Zander which begin seconds into the track. Guitar weaves a solid melody under the track. The verses flow nicely with some fun lyrics about a wild female character. The pre-chorus features some great backing harmony vocals and synthesizer whilst the chorus itself is very infectious, consisting of strong backing vocals and great guitar. The entire song is good fun, making a strong album opener. “”Something flowing through my veins, what it is I don’t know. It a three alarm fire in my heart, hope it doesn’t show…””
The lead single Tonight It You is a perfect example of 80s power pop with the Cheap Trick style. One of the few songs that give any writing credit to ex-bassist Jon Brant, it is clear that Mark Radice writing presence has helped the band write such a powerful tune. Written by Brant, Radice, Nielsen and Zander, the track begins with some strong guitar licks which carries the vocals through the verses. Zander vocals are at their peak here, perfectly creating the mood of the track. The following section builds the track up with some strong guitar chords and dominant vocals. The pre-chorus is fantastically energetic with some more strong guitar, thunderous percussion and larger than life vocals. The chorus flows nicely and allows the message in the lyrics to fully emerge. “”All I want is a place in your heart to fall into, all I need is someone to love and tonight it you…”” Synthesizer appears throughout in the background, the solo and the ending – all perfectly constructed. A strong track and a memorable highlight of Cheap Trick career. “”I don’t know why you mean that much to me, you don’t know what it feels like loving you. We all know a change is good for you, that all right, gotta do what you gotta do anyway…””
She Got Motion is a strong piece of 80s material, featuring the band at their best, written by Radice and Nielsen. The track jumps into the vocals within seconds after a rhythm of electronic drums and background guitar. This follows with the vocals and some great guitar licks in-between lines. The lyrics are rather lusty which the smirking vocals help to convey the image further. The verses flow nicely whilst the chorus is very infectious with an uplifting sound, backing vocals and strong vocals from Zander. An interesting solo consisting of synthesizer blasts, vocals effects and strong percussion features. Typical energetic 80s production is present throughout. “”See it all, special view, over, under, sideways with you. Took a chance, some romance, it was good for me, was it good for you?””
Next is the ballad Love Comes was written by Nielsen and Zander which was an rare collaboration at the time but proves here to be a strong songwriting team. The following album The Doctor had many more Nielsen and Zander tracks. This song begins with a sweet and memorable synthesizer melody. Zander vocals capture the right level of emotion through the verses nicely which are carried by strong percussion and synthesizer. The highlight of this song is the chorus which features some strong vocals from Zander, hint of light guitar, backing vocals and strong percussion to lead the way. Production is brilliant throughout and the song ending features a nice guitar solo, perfectly capturing the mood. A strong album ballad. “”Love comes round just in time, something that hard to find. Oh, no one knows what I’ve been going through. Same old song, how does it go? Same old line, is it all we know? And love comes round in time to rescue me…””
How About You? is a powerful slice of rock on the album, written by Radice, Nielsen and Zander. The song starts with a hard-hitting guitar riff and a memorable chant. The verses flow nicely with some strong guitar. The pre-chorus features more energy through vocals and guitar whilst the chorus features some synthesizer blasts, strong guitar and lively vocals. Zander vocal performance is solid throughout. There a great guitar solo here, a showcase for Rick Nielsen talent. The song ending has the same amount of high energy as the rest of the track, making this song one of the album full-paced and strongest rockers. “”Never started out first, never finished last. Like to change the pace, like to change it fast, and I’m ready to try. Just can’t sit around here too long, I can feel the wheels are spinning strong…””
The following track titled Standing On The Edge is another example of strong 80s power pop which is again written by Radice, Nielsen and Zander. The vocals start almost immediately, carried by a powerful guitar riff and more solid percussion from Bun E. Carlos. The lyrics are slightly lusty, directed at a strong female character. Piano is featured further on in the verse along with more strong guitar. The chorus is memorable with the highlight of solid vocals and powerful guitar. The section just after the second chorus features more strong piano and a hint of synthesizer whilst the ending for this track features a lively band performance with strong vocals. “”Standing on the edge of my bed, she said “”come here, don’t be afraid””. Her tongue opened like a shot, oh, bang, bang. Ten feet tall, laser eyes, killer body, killer thighs, she drew me a fine line, what wrong, what right…””
Next is This Time Around which features another writing credit to Brant. Like Tonight It You, this song is written by Brant, Radice, Nielsen and Zander. This song is a mid tempo number with some meaningful lyrics. The track begins with some fine guitar licks. Percussion follows along with a memorable chant, synthesizer finished with some light and smooth sounding guitar. The verses flow nicely with Zander vocals dominant over a guitar riff. The chorus flows from the verse nicely and features some strong vocals, plenty of energy and more light guitar. A next section following the second verse features some nice backing synthesizer. “”Well it different this time around, I won’t look back cause I found, that gone are the days, long are the nights. It feels right turning this time around…””
Rock All Night is a strong and energetic rocker written by Carlos, Radice, Nielsen and Zander. The song immediately begins with the yelling of the word “”rock!”” This follows with a strong guitar riff and lively backing vocals used as call and response with Zander`s vicious vocal. The verses flow along nicely with a strong guitar riff and more backing vocals. The lyrics are self-explanatory, simply about rocking. The entire song is a showcase for Nielsen guitar and Zander vocal which is performed professionally. Despite this, Rock All Night is probably the weakest track on the album due to the simplicity of the track. Compared to the more strongly constructed songs of this album, the track sounds rather dull, particularly lacking in melody. Regardless, this song is still a fun rocker. “”Now it time to settle the score, I won’t come knocking, I’ll just kick down your door. I don’t know what you’re waiting for, this is war, yeah…””
Next is a strong highlight titled Cover Girl which was written by Radice and Nielsen. This song opens with a strong and infectious guitar melody, seconds after follows Zander vocals. The verses are memorable with some strong vocals and melodic guitar riff. The chorus is just as catchy with some memorable lyrics, solid vocals and more great guitar. The lyrics refer to a dream girl and work nicely with the guitar. A strong solo is featured in the track. Production is strong throughout and still stands the test of time today. A brilliant melodic song although vastly underrated. “”Well the first time that I saw her it was 1979. Couldn’t see her walk, couldn’t hear her talk, still wish she were mine. I saw that face and saw that smile and in a little while, I fell into a dream come true, oh, she a cover girl…””
The album closer is Wild Wild Women which was written by Carlos, Radice, Nielsen and Zander. The track opens with another strong and very memorable guitar riff. Percussion enters the track and the verse begins with another great vocal performance. The verses flow nicely, carrying the vocals with the guitar riff. The pre-chorus bursts with energy and more strong guitar whilst the chorus is anthemic, melodic and memorable. The song features another great guitar solo and finishes with plenty of energy. A fantastic album closer. “”Worked all week, now that it over, yes I’m ready to bring it on. Try and tempt me, I’ll be easy, after all that what it for. If the fire too hot, get out of the kitchen or do it, do it, do it on the floor…””
Standing On The Edge was a fair success, peaking at #35 in America which was the band most successful since 1980 All Shook Up. The lead single Tonight It You peaked at #44 on the singles chart and #8 on the mainstream rock chart. The band biggest hit single since 1980 Everything Works If You Let It from the soundtrack for the film Roadie starring Meat Loaf. Standing On The Edge had plenty to offer with some strong and solid songwriting throughout. The album production is fantastic and still sounds great today. The mixing from Tony Platt is also strong which makes fans question why Platt production was so poor on the following 1986 album The Doctor. Most likely that Jack Douglas’ production skills are much stronger and the fact that Platt only mixed on this album. There also some strong album artwork which remains a personal favourite from the group.
On the whole I highly recommend this album to any 80s rock or power pop fan. This album features many great rockers as well as some ballads. This was Cheap Trick taking the energy from their 1977 debut and adding a more up-to-date sound at the time. Standing On The Edge is a great example of strong 80s power pop.
5.0 out of 5 stars THEIR BEST !!!,
Of all their albums (and there are many) this is the one that ties it all together. Great music, great lyrics, great singing. The only thing it was missing was a true “”single””