In 1978 Cheap Trick were at the top of their game, and this December broadcast recording catches them at razor-sharp rockin' perfection. The venue was Passaic, New Jersey's Capitol Theater that was a popular stop on almost every major rock band's North American tour schedule during the 1970s and early 1980s. Cheap Trick's origins lay in a band called Fuse, formed in Rockford, Illinois, in 1967 by guitarist Rick Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson, who recorded a poorly-received album for Epic in 1970. Eventually they returned to Rockford, linked up with drummer Bun E. Carlos and later vocalist and guitarist Robin Zander, and recorded a demo as Cheap Trick in 1975. They signed to Epic and released their first, eponymous record in February 1977. Domestically the album sold just adequately, but overseas the reaction was stronger and Cheap Trick had a European hit single with ELO Kiddies and began to recruit a veritable army of fervent fans in Japan. Keen to maintain momentum, the band quickly issued a second album, 'In Color' later that year. They released a series of singles from it, to little acclaim in the USA. However, in Japan, the anthemic I Want You To Want Me and Clock Strikes Ten were both hits. Cheap Trick toured Japan for the first time in April 1978 and were received like conquering heroes, with the fans reactions reaching hysterical proportions. It was May 1978's game-changing 'Heaven Tonight' however which was Cheap Trick's real break-through album, which was of course huge in Japan, where Cheap Trick were by now considered megastars, but subsequently it went platinum in both the USA and Canada too. Two gigs at the 14,000 seater Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo were recorded in 1978 and put out as the 'Live At Budokan' album. Originally intended as a Japan-only release, overseas demand was massive and ultimately went triple-platinum when a domestic version came out, the success of which boosted Cheap Trick's status to that of international super-stars.