Sex, America, Cheap Trick

by: Cheap Trick

Sex, America, Cheap Trick is a classic example of a botched box set. Spanning four discs and 64 songs, the box contains nearly all of the group's hit singles and an amazing amount of rarities -- a grand total of 30 outtakes, live tracks, demos, single versions, soundtrack songs, and B-sides. Despite all of the abundance of material, there are still a lot of essential items missing, as well as several odd inclusions. Many of the group's biggest hits and concert staples are present, but Cheap Trick classics like "He's a Whore," "Downed," "Come On, Come On," "Taxman, Mr. Thief," "California Man," and several others are inexplicably absent. Furthermore, the final two discs bog down with slick radio-ready pop, even though they rescue all the highlights from the band's decidedly uneven '80s recordings. Still, the rarities -- particularly single versions of early tracks like "Oh, Candy" and "Southern Girls," demos like "Fan Club," and a ripping live set -- are usually worthy, even if they might have been better showcased on a double-disc rarities set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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