Greatest Songs, #465: “Surrender” by Cheap Trick

Album: Heaven Tonight (Epic Records)
Year: 1978
Written by: Rick Nielsen
Billboard Hot 100: #62

 From Rolling Stone:

Cheap Trick provided the ultimate Seventies teen anthem in “Surrender,” complete with a verse about a kid who catches his parents making out and getting stoned to his Kiss records. How did guitarist-songwriter Nielsen do it? “I [had] to go back and put myself in the head of a fourteen-year-old.”

From the original Rolling Stone review in 1978:

Given Cheap Trick’s boisterous indebtedness to rock & roll history, you could argue that the members of this foursome are not so much creators as dedicated fans. Exactly. Heaven Tonight, the band’s third and best album, practically synthesizes the music of the Beatles, the Who, et al., into a series of superbly crafted and cleverly arranged original songs. While Cheap Trick may not be remembered as lovingly as its primarily British antecedents–the price one has to pay for musical kleptomania, I suppose–the group’s intelligence, verve and charm will do just fine for now.

Not since the Move…or the Raspberries has a band hammered out power pop as irresistibly and snappily as Cheap Trick. Heaven Tonight has enough gorgeous harmonies, zealous melodies, two-fisted riffs and heavy-metal chords to scare the kitsch right out of Queen or Kiss. […] If Cheap Trick now plays with more force and precision–guitarist/chief songwriter Rick Nielsen slashes away with Pete Townshend vengeance – it also comes on with more innocence in its bubbly harmonies. And that’s where the tension in the group’s music resides.

Some of the vocals on “Surrender” (whose electronic guitar effects and power chords re-create Who’s Next) duplicate those from the Hollies‘ “Carrie-Anne.”