Artist: Cheap Trick Track: "Big Eyes" Album: In Color Listen

Been hearing a lot of album reviewers compare contemporary bands to Cheap Trick -- especially in discussion of punk that's not really punk and any pop with an edge. To understand the genius of Cheap Trick, you must understand the band's seemingly paradoxical purpose in rock music: to make music for men who want to ride motorcycles and sport blond manes manicured with a blow-dryer.

This is a fine line not achieveable simply by losing or gaining more edge than a certain genre is supposed to allow. It is difficult, and few have done it as well as the infamous Budakon-rockers. (Nor have many been able to play this.) "Big Eyes," one of the band's many songs about the women Robin Zander landed in bed, is a good start to understanding the genius.