Sex, America, Cheap Trick (Epic/Legacy)
by Scott Hefflon
This four-CD box set fills in some blank spaces (even for the avid fan) in Cheap Trick‘s illustrious career. Spanning all the Epic years (including outtakes, b-sides, and alternate versions), Sex, America, Cheap Trick shows the progression in much greater detail than the skimpy Greatest Hits (1991/Epic) or the combination of the classic Live at Budokan (1978/Epic) and the archive-pillaging cash-in Budokan II (1993/Epic). This could be retitled Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Cheap Trick, And A Whole Lot More (1996/Mo Money). Left out are the post-Epic songs from Woke Up With A Monster (1994/Warner Brothers), but no great loss there. With over 60 songs, all your favorites are probably here (in at least one form or another), and the 40 page booklet in the center is sure to give you plenty of reference as to the hows and whys of each songs inclusion. While it’ll deflate your budget considerably, and its vertical book format won’t fit neatly in your CD shelves, Sex, America, Cheap Trick tells the story of one of America’s most prolific, most influential rock bands. And they’ll still going strong.