Cheap Trick At Budokan (live) (Sony Legacy) 'It was like some odd event that was happening to us,' says Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson about the group's 1978 shows at the famed Budokan in Tokyo. 'Nobody would ever believe this at home, and they didn't.' At the time, the Rockford, Illinois-based power pop act had released three critically acclaimed albums that didn't crack the Top 40 in the US. Yet in Japan, those same albums were big hits. That all changed following the release of Live at Budokan. The album itself was a Sony Japan initiative to record live shows at the venue, following the success of Bob Dylan's live recording there. The members of Cheap Trick barely remember the actual recording, but there was no doubt about the response. Band members experienced a frenzy that was akin to Beatlemania, with zealous fans watching the group's every move. It reached a point where band members were instructed not to look out of their hotel windows for fear that the mob outside might get hit by cars. Live, the group who had played 250 stateside club shows a year and opened for KISS and Queen, were no doubt surprised by the response as they launched into opener Hello There. 'When I hit the stage, I was hit by waves of white noise,' says lead singer Robin Zander. It wasn't a surprise that Japan took to a group that the US ignored. Japanese fans loved the quirkiness of the band. Guitarist Rick Nielsen was the joker who wore baseball caps and had an eclectic guitar collection. Bun E. Carlos was the odd-glasses-and-tie-sporting drummer. Combine that with the pin-up rock-star looks of Zander and Petersson and it was no wonder that Tokyo followers could sing the chorus to Surrender long after the group stopped playing it in the US. Ironically, the album became a slow grower in the US due to astute DJs who played import copies. On the new 30th-anniversary edition, those who were among the 10 million fans who bought the original release can finally hear the Budokan concert in its entirety, as well as see the show on DVD for the first time. Throughout, Zander's blond good looks are seemingly at odds with his incredible vocals. It's a voice that gives new firepower to the Fats Domino cover Ain't That A Shame and lends gravitas to the intro of I Want You To Want Me. 'This is the first single off our new album,' he says slowly before launching into the track. All that backed by an act who seemlessly blended the harmonies of the Beatles with a hint of the heavy metal crunch. By the time they released their already recorded album Dream Police the following year, Cheap Trick were one of the biggest and most respected rock acts in the world, and they knew all too well that they had the Budokan to thank for it.