Cheap Trick: “Surrender” (1978)

This is the Eddie Haskell of Cheap Trick singles.

Kronomyth 3.1: Off Wienersehen.

As radio listeners surrendered to the charms of Cheap Trick and their new album, Heaven Tonight, that moment was crystallized in the single, Surrender. Once again, it was a calculated move to promote a cuddly pop image of a band that wrote some very dark songs. You just had to flip over the single and hear Auf Wiedersehen to meet the real Cheap Trick.

For most of the world, the band’s first three albums can be summed up in two songs: “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender.” Subliminal messaging? No doubt. Rick Nielsen, like The CarsRic Ocasek, knew exactly how the hit-making machinery worked after years in the business. Both bands also seemed to hit a creative wall after four albums, only to be surgically reconstructed as the megahit monsters they once caricatured. But that’s a story for a different day.

Of minor interest, the single version of “Surrender” edits about thirty seconds from the middle, which makes the key change that follows even more noticeable. The Japanese single featured the original elpee version of “Surrender” and a different album track on the B side, Stiff Competition. Maybe the references to hari kari and kamikaze on “Auf Wiedersehen” were deemed off color.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Surrender (Rick Nielsen) (3:39)
B1. Auf Wiedersehen (Rick Nielsen/Tom Petersson) (3:39)

Original Japanese 7-inch single version
A1. Surrender (Rick Nielsen) (4:13)
B1. Stiff Competition (Rick Nielsen) (3:38)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in June 1978* in the US and Canada (Epic, 8-50570), the UK (Epic, S EPC 6394), Australia (Epic, ES 299), Japan (Epic, 06SP 230), the Netherlands (Epic, EPC 6394) and New Zealand (Epic, BAC 461880) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #62 on the US charts (charted on July 22, 1978 for 8 weeks). (*First appeared in 6/24/78 issue of Billboard.) Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1978 in the US (Epic, 8-50570) feat. A only.

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