A funny thing happened to American rockers Cheap Trick on the way to stardom in the U.S.: they went to Japan. In much the same way The Beatles were surprised by the overwhelming response of Beatlemania when they stepped off their British Airways plane at JFK airport in 1964, Cheap Trick received the same pleasant surprise when they landed in the Land of the Rising Sun to play the Budokan Arena in 1978. The result was a brilliant live album that documented just how big this band could become if American fans got it the same way the Japanese did. Live At The Budokan was a smash worldwide, led by their massive hit, "I Want You To Want Me."
This highly energetic set from Cheap Trick was recorded at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ two years after the breakthrough of their live album. The group was on the road promoting Dream Police, an album which found the group experimenting with longer and more complex song forms. Much of the material that led to the band's initial success is also featured here, as is a preview of material destined for All Shook Up which would be produced by The Beatles longtime producer George Martin later that same year.
With several years of relentless touring behind them, Cheap Trick were by this point tight as a drum. Guitarist Rick Nielsen was the Harpo Marx of the band, usually silent, but incredibly funny and enormously talented. He was Pete Townshend to lead singer Robin Zander's Roger Daltrey. But the band would never have seen the success they did without the monster rhythm section of drummer Bun E. Carlos and bassist Tom Petersson. This same line-up of Cheap Trick has remained together now for well over three decades, and still tours the world to sellout audiences, a testament to their originality and longevity.