Real Gone Records Plays A Cheap Trick

Article Contributed by Real Gone Music | Published on Monday, March 13, 2017

Real Gone Music is on top of the world about its late Spring schedule! Headlining the slate is a rarities collection from Rockford, Illinois’s own Cheap Trick, 18 tracks taken from the 1975-1979 early days of the band. Much of the material is taken from original drummer Bun E. Carlos’ own archive, and indeed Bun has (with Ken Sharp’s able assistance) written track-by-track notes for our release. A must for Cheap Trick fans.

Then, Real Gone has collectors buzzing about a new girl group collection curated by Sheila Burgel, producer of (among other releases) Rhino Records’ Grammy nominated One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found box set and Ace Records’ ’60s Japanese girl-pop compilation series, Nippon Girls. Honeybeat: Groovy 60s Girl Pop presents 19 tracks (14 on the limited edition violet vinyl LP) taken from nine labels hidden in the dim recesses of the Sony vaults…fantastic annotation, rare pictures, and remastering by Vic Anesini make this one a gotta-have for girl group mavens.

And, once again proving that no vault is safe from a Real Gone spelunking expedition, the label has pulled a cult classic extraordinaire from the Vanguard catalog, the 1972 debut album from Marc Jonson (later known as Mark Johnson of power pop fame). Our expanded edition of Years includes four bonus tracks featuring a non-LP side.

If a group’s made up of two genuine rock star types, a Huntz Hall lookalike with a guitar fetish, and a guy who looks like an accountant, which one d’ya think would keep track of its recording archive? Don’t worry, it’s not a “trick” question—it is indeed the bespectacled Bun E. Carlos, the drummer for the original line-up of Cheap Trick, who has not only commented on every song (as faithfully transcribed by Ken Sharp) but provided much of the source material for this collection of rarities from the band’s early days, 18 tracks that reconfirm that the singular blend of classic rock, power pop, and glam—and inspired visual style—wielded by this outfit from Rockford, Illinois places them among the first rank of American rock ‘n’ roll bands. First up on The Epic Archive Vol. 1 (1975-1979) are three 1975 demos (of “Come On, Come On,” “Southern Girls,” and “Taxman, Mr. Thief”) they cut at Ardent Studios in 1975 prior to signing a record deal, followed by early, 1976-1977 studio takes (produced by Jack Douglas) of “You’re All Talk” and “I Want You to Want Me,” an outtake, “Lookout,” from their debut record, and an alternate (and nasty) version of “I Dig Go-Go Girls.” On deck are an instrumental version of “Oh Boy” (the B-side to “I Want You to Want Me”) and live versions of “You’re All Talk” and “Goodnight” from a 1977 stand at the Whiskey, and a pair of alternate takes from the Heaven Tonight album, “Stiff Competition” and “Surrender.” Also inside are five rarities from the band’s famed Japanese tours, including the single version of “Ain’t That a Shame,” the promo-only release “Lookout,” and three tracks from the out-of-print Budokan II album, “Stiff Competition,” “How Are You,” and “On Top of the World.” The “no strings” version of “Dream Police” rounds out the collection in fine style. Compiled by producer Tim Smith, remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in New York, and featuring photos by Robert Alford, The Epic Archive Vol. 1 (1975-1979) takes its place as a key release in the august Cheap Trick discography.


1.   Come On, Come On (Ardent Studios Demo)

2.   Southern Girls (Ardent Studios Demo) 

3.   Taxman, Mr. Thief (Ardent Studios Demo) 

4.   You're All Talk (Early Studio Version)    

5.   I Want You to Want Me (Early Studio Version)    

6.   Lookout (Studio Version)

7.   I Dig Go-Go Girls (Outtake)

8.   Oh Boy (Instrumental Version)       

9.   You're All Talk (Live at The Whiskey)

10.  Goodnight (Live at The Whiskey)

11.  Stiff Competition (Alternate Version)

12.  Surrender (Alternate Version)        

13.  Ain't That a Shame (Live Single Edit)

14.  Lookout (previously unreleased alternate version)

15.  Dream Police (No Strings Version)

16.  Stiff Competition (Live at Budokan)

17.  How Are You (Live at Budokan)

18.  Top of the World (Live at Budokan)