The 45th anniversary of Cheap Trick's iconic "Live At Budokan" album is being celebrated by the syndicated radio show In The Studio With Redbeard: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands.
The show's host Redbeard shared this synopsis for the special episode: There is the myth which has now become legend, repeated with so many assumptions that the revisionist history is now cited as fact across countless internet sites. But my guests Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander were there onstage in 1978 when American perennial opening act Cheap Trick from Rockford Illinois, with three studio albums, rave critical press clippings, but no US radio play due to powerful consultants perceiving them as a punk band, played the prestigious Tokyo Budokan and were greeted with screaming mobs of teen adulation, plus media saturation not seen in the usually reserved society since Beatlemania a dozen years earlier. Meanwhile, back in the homeland? Crickets.
Eventually Rolling Stone magazine writers would rank it at #426 on their "Top 500 Albums of All Time", and Cheap Trick At Budokan has been added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." But now the final cosmic giggle: veteran producer of Cheap Trick At Budokan Jack Douglas contends that the actual recording from the Tokyo Budokan was determined to be inferior in performance or techically, and so originally the decision was made to use the Osaka recording from the same 1978 tour. So apparently, with the exception of the stage manager's introduction of "All right Tokyo! Are you ready?", the joke's been on us. Stream the episode here.