Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Favorite Songs #6: Mandocello

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, not just about Cheap Trick, but about many artists I love, the hits are usually my least favorite songs. "I Want You To Want Me?" Meh. . "The Flame?" "If You Want My Love?" "Can't Stop Falling Into Love?" Kill me now. And as much as I love "Surrender," it is not even in my Top 5 from "Heaven Tonight."

"Mandocello" is a masterpiece. It is unlike anything Cheap Trick has recorded, and it appears on their 1977 debut, so they had plenty of time to duplicate it. Thankfully, they didn't try. From the deliberate strum of the acoustic guitar intro, to the slow, subtle build of the band, and its dreamlike lyrics delivered by the one and only Robin Zander--a stunning vocal performance-- "Mandocello" is the one.

I, i can hear you laughing
You're a million miles away or you're here
I, i will never leave you
I'm a million miles away or i'm near
I, I'm the thoughts you're thinking
But you're a lifetime away from your home or you're here
I, i can see you crying
You're a million miles away or you're here
Look at me like i look at you
Think of me like i think of you
Speak to me like i speak to you
Dream of me like i dream of you
I, i can hear you thinking
You're a million thoughts away
I, i'm the dreams you're dreaming
I'm a million dreams away or i'm here
We can go down slowly like the rain
I could leave and be with you again, oh
I could be your lover, let's pretend


buzzbabyjesus said...

The acoustic guitar you hear is a Mandocello(!).
Mandolins are essentially violins with frets.
In the Early 20th century there were mandolin orchestras, with mandolas, mandocellos, and mandobasses. Crazily enough, there were also competing banjo orchestras at the time.
(I used to have an old banjo mandolin)

buzzbabyjesus said...

Rick Nielsen's Dad owned a big music store, and he is probably playing something cool and vintage on that song.
In the early '80's, at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, I passed up the opportunity to buy a 1909 Gibson Mandocello for $900, a bargain at the time. I was about to move cross country and just couldn't justify it.

Anonymous said...

It's their standout song for me, too. Something about the beat. Does not seem to be in their live set very often - I only have it on "Music for Hangovers."

Shriner said...

My favorite CT song:

"Heaven's Falling". Hands down.

Followed extremely closely by the power-pop glory of the one of the most amazing-choruses-of-all-time: "Tonight It's You" (the modulation to the chorus gets me. every. single. time.)

And, when I pull out the guitar to warm up, "Come On, Come On" is one of my go-to hand-stretchers. Simple, but lots of fun to play.

I've always loved this band. They never get the respect that they do for continually putting out consistently good-to-great albums.

Sal Nunziato said...

Heaven's Falling written by Todd Rundgren! And Shriner, you are dead on about Tonight It's You. I have chills just typing about that chorus.

Troy said...

Too many great CT songs to list. I completely agree on Heaven's Falling. I had created a top 10 post-Dream Police songs list (maybe even for one of the BW posts) and it was incredible. I'll have to see if I can dig that up and play them all again.

cmealha said...

"Mandocello" hooked me to Cheap Trick. It was a very unique track. Although I was lukewarm on most of the debut album I'm glad I stayed with it because of all the great music through the years.

itsok2beright said...

I've always liked Mandocello, not your typical Cheap Trick. Though, at first having this on a greatest hits album, I lost the significance of it being on their debut. Strangely, the song 'Swimming' by Little Dragon always reminded of Mandocello.

Though, my favorite Cheap Trick song might be more of a guilty pleasure, 'Please Don't Go'. If they shortened and finished writing 'Gonna Raise Hell', that might have been my choice.

kodak ghost said...

Coincidence. Just been watching CT Live from Daryls house! That looked like a heap of fun.

Todd said...

And it retains its magic in the cover version...

Chris Collins said...

I love Cheap Trick's first album to a scary degree. This song especially.

And I'm a TOTAL sucker for "Can't Stop Falling Into Love"