Tuesday, December 28, 2021

"Ghost Town" by Cheap Trick

Song#:  3713
Date:  11/05/1988
Debut:  83
Peak:  33
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After a mid-80s slump, Cheap Trick roared back with their album Lap of Luxury. In addition to its first single, "The Flame," hitting #1, its follow-up "Don't Be Cruel" also found its way into the Pop Top 10 (#4). The pair of hits basically demanded that a third single be released from the LP and this track was selected. It couldn't keep up with the pace set by the other two hits and ended up locked outside of the Pop Top 30 while only reaching #32 Rock. While it didn't do all that well, it did mark the first time that the band earned three Pop Top 40 entries from one album.

ReduxReview:  While I don't think this song was destined to be a major hit, it was a standout track on the album and was a good choice for a third single. The power ballad featured a hooky chorus along with Robin Zander's yearning vocals. It was a solid pop/rock track that did about as well as it could on the charts.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was initially written and demoed by the band's lead guitarist Rick Nielsen in 1981. It was developed as a potential song for the band's 1982 One on One (#39, gold), but it got set aside in favor of other tunes. When gathering songs for Lap of Luxury, Nielsen revived the tune. Around that time, the label convinced the band to allow outside writers either contribute songs or help in their songwriting. One ringer that was brought in was Diane Warren. She assisted Nielsen in making "Ghost Town" a viable track for the album. In doing so, Warren earned a writing credit. The momentary partnership seemed to work as the song would end up becoming a Pop Top 40 single.  2) During the Lap of Luxury sessions, the band recorded several songs that didn't make the cut. A minor few of them would end up on film soundtracks or would be included on a Cheap Trick retrospective box. Several others remained on the shelf. However, one tune written by Rick Nielsen along with Journey's Jonathan Cain would end up getting picked up by another artist. The Japanese all-female hard rock/glam metal band Show-Ya would record "We'll Still Be Hangin' On" for their 1988 album Glamour. The band had been successful in Japan and with the advent of glam metal in the States in the late 80s, they began to gear some of their material towards a more international audience. They would perform in the US and their 1990 album Hard Way would be produced by Beau Hill (Ratt, Warrant, Winger) and Paul Winger, brother of Winger leader Kip Winger. While Show-Ya would never really gain a big US audience, they remained successful and influential at home.


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