Song #26: “Reach Out” — Cheap Trick (1981)
I ran one marathon in my life. It is one of the few things I’ve ever finished (4:12 in case you were wondering). While I was training, I looped a tape of Cheap Trick’s “Reach Out” and played it over and over. The day of the race, this played in my head for all 26 miles — see? OCD is good for something.
“Reach Out” appeared on the soundtrack album for the “Heavy Metal” movie and was released as a single, but has the distinction of not being on any of Cheap Trick’s albums. This is unfortunate, as it — along with the b-side tune “I Must Be Dreamin‘” — were two of the best things the band ever released. (It is doubly unfortunate because the songs were pretty much wasted in the movie.) Of course, maybe it’s appropriate it was a single. Except for their best-selling smash “Live at Budokan,” Cheap Trick wasn’t exactly known as an album band — and even the live album was them playing their singles, which then became hits. As tenacious as the group has been (hell, they’re playing Durham next week as part of their 40th anniversary tour), Cheap Trick was always hit or miss: their songs either rocked or sucked. (Even they hate ‘The Flame’).
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It’s also appropriate that this song marks the half-way point of the 50/50 countdown. Writing this list of favorites is a marathon of another sort, and one that’s taken more time than I expected. Given recent events, and more important things in the persistent now that require my attention, I’m unsure I’ll be able to finish this stroll through the past. I might finished the race, but it will have to be with shorter blurbs and faster research. Stay tuned.