Saturday, July 12, 2008

Next Position Please

What better way to follow up one of my biannual rants about the music industry than featuring one of my favorite out of print albums.

Next Position Please was produced by Todd Rundgren and released in 1983 and is currently out of print and a hard bugger to find. It was Cheap Trick's seventh studio album and eighth release overall. Next Position Please was produced unlike any other Cheap Trick album. Todd Rundgren focused more on the pop elements of Cheap Trick's sound by toning down the heavy guitars that usually characterized the band's music and giving the songs a slicker feel.

The title and album cover are a satire of Bruce Springsteen's pose on the cover of Born to Run.

The original vinyl record had only 12 tracks, with "You Talk Too Much" and "Don't Make Our Love a Crime" appearing only on the cassette version and later on the CD. The record was originally supposed to include both tracks plus another called "Twisted Heart," but Cheap Trick's label at the time, Epic Records, forced the band to include a cover of The Motors' "Dancing the Night Away" and the outtake "You Say Jump" in their place. Rundgren refused to produce "Dancing the Night Away," so the track ended up being produced by the band with Ian Taylor. "Twisted Heart" eventually surfaced on the box set Sex, America, Cheap Trick.

"You Talk Too Much" was actually one of Cheap Trick's earlier songs, prior to their debut album's release. It was actually titled "Punch Ya" back then.

In 2006 Cheap Trick and Epic/Legacy reissued Next Position Please as a digital download, calling it Next Position Please - The Authorized Version. The title refers to the fact that the 13 tracks intended for the original album were restored and sequenced according to the band's wishes, while "You Say Jump" and "Dancing the Night Away" were put at the end as "bonus tracks" along with another outtake from the era, "Don't Hit Me With Love." Of course, that is no longer available either as the Epic/Legacy site shows it as out of stock. How does a digital download go out of stock? I find that extremely funny and sad at the same time.

That may be all well and good, but this is still totally out of print as far as the cd is concerned and it shouldn't be.

I Can't Take It
Younger Girls

Funny Toon