Holiday Gift Guide: Cheap Trick and The Searchers

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick “Christmas Christmas”

Like an Energizer bunny, Cheap Trick has been firing on all cylinders this year with a new album and now it’s first ever Christmas album! Needless to say, this one is a real holiday gem with a combination of new and old songs. Robin Zander can belt it out unlike anyone else on  “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.”

As with most things CT, you get ringing guitars and a full production. A good mix of slower numbers (“Please Come Home For Christmas”) balance out the hard rocking crowd-pleasers (“Run Run Rudolph”). The only missteps are an odd remake of The Kinks “Father Christmas,” (the slower tempo just doesn’t work) and “Our Father Of Life” which sounded like filler. Otherwise a great soundtrack for your holiday.


The Searchers

The Searchers “Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981”

During the British Invasion, there was another Liverpool band topping the charts not named The Beatles. The Searchers had 11 Top 40 hits between 1963 and 1966 in the UK, with “Needles And Pins,” “Sweets For My Sweet,” “Don’t Throw Our Love Away”  and the US hit “Love Potion No. 9.” By the end of the decade, they toured Europe but never faded away. The band continued to develop musically, change personnel and eventually signed with Sire Records in 1979 for a revival. This was a rare case of an “oldies” band re-tooling to a new generation successfully.

“Hearts in Her Eyes,” (written by The Records’ Will Birch and John Wicks) was a vibrant new sound that still maintained the Searchers trademark harmonies. The band showcased this sound on the Sire recordings, as they covered many great bands (Big Star, Duck Deluxe, Tom Petty) and originals. “Feeling Fine,” is a lost link between those Merseybeat days and 80’s power pop, with its jangling chords, harmonies and catchy as hell chorus. Fans of supergroup Rockpile (with Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe) will really enjoy this collection, as the guitar work and even vocals make The Searchers very comparable. The music has no filler either, as most of the songs have a timeless quality with little of the cliched overproduction from the era. Fans of 80’s power pop will love this and its highly recommended. Thanks for the Christmas gift, Omnivore Records!