Song Spotlight: Cheap Trick – “If It Takes A Lifetime”

ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENTLY UNDERRATED, and often forgotten, albums in Cheap Trick’s catalog is 2006’s RockfordFrom the first track to the last, it hums and crackles with a great energy. It’s a true power pop gem, almost all upbeat, with several tracks bordering on great. One of those great songs is track 3, “If It Takes A Lifetime.”

“If It Takes A Lifetime” is Cheap Trick at its best, with soaring vocals thru the verses and  the triumphant, uplifting chorus.  Robin Zander sounds simply incredible on this song, with his trademark range in full effect – from gentle to soaring and back again. Rick Nielsen’s guitar work is just enough to move the song along – no need for crazy solos – it’s all in service to the song. There’s an insistent, in-the-pocket groove from Bun E. Carlos. And then there’s the “mvp” of this song, Tom Petersson and his 12-string bass (assuming it’s a 12-string; in the studio he’ll often play a 4-string) that drives the whole thing with a monster descending riff  in the  the chorus. And what a chorus, with those cool backing vocals!

All I want to do
Is just be with you
If it takes a lifetime
I’ll wait for you
All I want to do
Is just be with you
If it takes a lifetime
I’ll wait for you

Very often, the simplest sentiment is THE BEST!

I’m prone to often (perhaps all the time?) call a song like this an “Instant Mood Enhancer” because it simply IS. That’s what the best music should do. I’ve never listened to this song and not felt a little bit of a…”hitch in my giddyup” perhaps? Whatever you want to call it, it feels good.  Even when I’m in a terrific mood, this song adds a little bit more to whatever current situation. Today on the way to work, or several years ago on the way to a girlfriend’s house, or in the car with my son, “If It Takes A Lifetime” always lifts me up.

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