Cheap Trick has achieved an incredible career milestone as the band has released their 20th full-length album, In Another World. The band celebrated their new project by performing some of the new songs live, as well as listened along to the record with some lucky fans via Zoom during their exclusive iHeartRadio Album Release Party, hosted by Jim Kerr.
In Another World follows 2017's Christmas Christmas and 2016's We're All Alright!, and showcases 13 new songs, including previously-released tracks like "The Summer Looks Good on You," John Lennon's"Gimme Some Truth" and "Light Up the Fire."
On the release of their 20th album, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen said, "It can't be true, I can't believe it, I'd better count them. A lot of things come to mind. But, let's make more. This is only 20!"
During their iHeartRadio Album Release Party, the band performed "Gimme Some Truth," "Another World," "Surrender," as well as fan favorite "I Want You To Want Me." Nielson and Robin Zander also listened along to more songs, including "The Summer Looks Good On You," "Quit Waking Me Up," "Light Up The Fire," "Boys & Girls and Rock N Roll," "The Party," "Final Days," "So It Goes" and "Passing Through."
In Another World features a cover of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth," and Robin Zander explained of the decision to include the song on their new album, "First of all, I'm a big John Lennon fan, as you know, but at the same time, this song is one of those songs that means more now than it did then. The last few years the country's been going through division, and a lot of nothing, really. And that sort of describes where we're at. And I thought, why not put that on there, we're not a very politically-oriented band. But, I think it was time to say something."
Speaking of John Lennon, Nielsen has a connection to the late legend, and he told Jim Kerr about one of his studio sessions with the Beatle. He recalled, "John Lennon had been out of the business for a while, and he was doing a comeback record with Jack Douglas in New York, which turned out to be Double Fantasy. During that recording, he wanted a harder edge to some of the songs, Jack did with John, and so they recruited Bun E., our ex-drummer, and myself to go and fatten up the tracks. And so, we were on tour, and we were going to Japan around that time, and we went into the studio, flew to New York, and walked into the studio and did two songs with John Lennon and Yoko." He laughed and added, "and it didn't make it on the record."
Later on in the Album Release Party, Rick elaborated on the studio session after a fan asked him about it, and he revealed that he had actually missed his son's birth while in the studio with Lennon. He said, "I treated it like it was musician to musician, guy to guy. When I was there, I called him John. And, when he walked in the studio and saw me, he goes, 'It's you! It's you!' So, he knew who I was, but I think he thought I was Ricky Nelson. But I wasn't. When I was doing the guitar bits in there, because I really heavied it up, he said to Bun E., and to Jack and Yoko, 'I wish I would have had Rick on 'Cold Turkey' And, what a compliment. We talked about guitars, too. I mean, I gave him a guitar, which I got back after he was murdered three years later, and I also had a guitar built for him because I loved his playing, I loved his songwriting, I loved his voice. I didn't love him as much as Yoko did. But, it was pretty cool. And that was the day that, actually, our drummer, Daxx, was born. August 12, 1980. I wasn't in the hospital for him being born, but he gave me a hall pass because, it was John Lennon."
John Lennon isn't the only Beatle that Nielsen is connected to as he revealed that Paul McCartney has one of his guitars. He explained, "Paul McCartney plays my left-handed Les Paul that I got years and years ago. I had it, it was beautiful, and I'm a guitar collector, and I had it, and I said, I think I mentioned to a guitar magazine that I shouldn't have it, Paul McCartney should have it, somebody who could actually play left-handed. And, at first he wasn't interested, but then he was, and so I mentioned it in the magazine, and then they contacted me, and now that's what McCartney plays."
Rick and Robin also answered several fan questions, and talked about some of their favorite shows they've ever played, what Rick's favorite guitar is, and more.
And if you're a Cheap Trick fan, then you can look forward to listening to their music and seeing them play live for a long time, because the band doesn't plan on retiring anytime soon — anytime ever in fact. When asked how long they plan to continue to tour, Zander answered, "However long we can stand up, and they'll let us go out and play. That's the thing right now. There's not many places yet that are open yet for us to play."
Rick added, "But, it's a thrill to do it. I don't ever plan on retiring." Then he asked Robin, "Do you?," to which Zander replied, "No."