I fancy Cheap Trick a lot. Saw many of their promotional videos from their album The Dream Police way back then especially Voices and the title track and I immediately fell for the group. Just last year, got hold of this CD, Japan-made, from second-hand store and enjoyed it immensely. Still do. Over the years, on and off I will listen to the group and I always held them in high regard. Years later passed and I got hold of their hits album and there I discovered The Flame, which was written by some songwriters not from the group for which reason Cheap Trick felt skeptical about it as Wikipedia puts it. But putting it out as a single proved a brilliant decision and it topped the American Billboard chart.
From songfacts, “This was Cheap Trick’s only #1 hit. It was written by songwriters Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham. The song is a soft ballad where the singer tells a girl he will always be there for her. It was not typical of Cheap Trick’s sound, and was also their only hit not written by their guitarist Rick Nielsen. The song succeeded in exposing the band to a much larger audience. Another example of a ’70s Rock band that brought in outside writers and had a successful ballad was Heart, who had a similar breakthrough with “These Dreams.”
Apart from the lyrics, it’s the melody that hooks, a powerful ballad very much like Love Hurts. Just like any other classic popular song, this was revived recently, which listeners, i would like to believe, will think to be the original version. Can’t blame them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5U_2pct4pI, the video with lyrics; the next link is the live version with the group at their peak in 1988, the year of the song’s release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag-b7NNzjXk