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Cheap Trick - The Flame


Cheap Trick - The Flame - Meaning of the song


Cheap Trick had a huge breakthrough with their 1979 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan, which brought "I Want You To Want Me" into the Top 10. In 1980, bass player Tom Petersson left the group, and for most of the decade they had a hard time finding another hit, with none of their singles reaching the Top 40. Peterson returned to the group for their 1988 album Lap of Luxury, which included the big ballad that would get them back on the airwaves: "The Flame." This was the dawn of the hair metal era, when the likes of Cinderella and Poison were cracking the charts wide open with similar songs. Cheap Trick already had the MTV-ready look and the rock pedigree, they just needed the song. "The Flame" checked all the boxes, and although it wasn't something the band would whip up themselves, they liked it better than the other option. In an interview with Gerry Galipault, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos explained: "The vice president at Epic told us he had these two songs and they're both gonna be #1. He goes, 'We got one for you and one for the group Chicago, but you can have first choice.' He said, 'I think the one 'The Flame' would be good for you guys.' The other one was 'Look Away,' and it sounded like some girl singing on the demo. We really didn't like that song anyway, so 'Sure, we'll do 'The Flame.' We're game.'"

The song is a tender 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 or co-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."


The flame - Lyrics


Another night slowly closes in And I feel so lonely Touching heat freezing on my skin I pretend you still hold me I'm going crazy, I'm losing sleep I'm in too far, I'm in way too deep over you I can't believe you're gone You were the first, you'll be the last Wherever you go, I'll be with you Whatever you want, I'll give it to you Whenever you need someone To lay your heart and head upon Remember, after the fire, after all the rain I will be the flame I will be the flame Watching shadows move across the wall I feel so frightened I wanna run to you, I wanna call But I've been hit by lightning Just can't stand up for fallin' apart Can't see through this veil across my heart, over you You'll always be the one You were the first, you'll be the last Wherever you go, I'll be with you Whatever you want, I'll give it to you Whenever you need someone To lay your heart and head upon. Remember, after the fire, after all the rain I will be the flame I will be the flame I'm going crazy, I'm losing sleep I'm in too far, I'm in way too deep over you You'll always be the one You were the first, you'll be the last Wherever you go, I'll be with you Whatever you want, I'll give it to you Whenever you need someone To lay your heart and head upon. Remember, after the fire, after all the rain I will be the flame I will be the flame Whatever you want, I'll give it to you Wherever you go, I'll be with you And whatever you want, I'll give it to you


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