Gonna Raise Hell
|"Gonna Raise Hell"|
|Song by Cheap Trick from the album Dream Police|
|Dream Police track listing|
"Gonna Raise Hell" is a song written by Rick Nielsen and originally released on Cheap Trick's 1979 album Dream Police. It was reputed to have been about the Jonestown massacre, but was actually written prior to that event. Cheap Trick's version contains a backwards message that "You know Satan holds the keys." "Gonna Raise Hell" was used in an episode of the TV show Freaks and Geeks. It has also been covered by Sam Kinison.
Cheap Trick version
The subject of "Gonna Raise Hell" has been disputed. Some authors, such as Ira Robbins of Trouser Press, have believed that the song was about the Jonestown Massacre. However, the song was written before that event. Allmusic critic Tom Maginnis claims that the song is about having a good time despite the apathy in the world; since we can't change the world "we might as well raise some hell." Composer Rick Nielsen
"Gonna Raise Hell" has a disco beat. At one point the band was planning to issue a 12" disco record of the song. The guitar melody played by Rick Nielsen mostly follows that of the vocals. Both Allmusic's Maginnis and Trouser Press' Robbins praise Tom Petersson's strong bass line. The song contains an interlude for violins and cellos that was scored by Rick and Jai Winding. According to drummer Bun E. Carlos, producer Tom Werman enhanced the snare drum sound on the recording by overdubbing the sound of two wooden boards hitting each other.
Allmusic's Maginnis praises aspects of the song, including its "nice build ups, breakdowns and solos," but does not think that the string interludes work as well in "Gonna Raise Hell" as they did in the title track of the Dream Police album. Maginnis also criticizes the song's length, at over nine minutes. Carlos has explained the length by stating that the song was originally intended to be about five minutes long, but when the band decided to go for a disco interpretation , they improvised an additional five minutes during the recording. According to Carlos, the first take of the improvised music sounded good enough to the band to be left in.
Fellow Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine praises "Gonna Raise Hell" as an "epic rocker" that ranks "among Cheap Trick's finest." Rolling Stone Magazine critic Dave Marsh sees the song as a "variation on 'Helter Skelter'" by The Beatles, and believes that the layering of the vocals was inspired by The Beatles' Abbey Road. Mojo Magazine claimed that "Gonna Raise Hell" and "Need Your Love," another song from Dream Police, "proved the Trick could do heavy, freaky rock jams as well as any of their peers." Audio Magazine found the track amusing but complained that Cheap Trick was willing to go so far as to record a disco track in order to be successful. Author Mike Hayes claims that with this song, producer Tom Werman achieved "the definitive Cheap Trick sound," even though the song's style differs from typical Cheap Trick fare.
The song has been popular live at Cheap Trick concerts.
Since its original appearance on Dream Police, "Gonna Raise Hell" has been included on a number of Cheap Trick compilation albums, including Sex, America, Cheap Trick in 1996 and The Essential Cheap Trick in 2004. It was also included on the live album Silver in 2001. "Gonna Raise Hell" was used in the soundtrack of the television show Freaks and Geeks in the episode "Tricks and Treats."
- Hayes, M. & Sharp, K. (1998). Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Poptastic. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0-9662081-0-8.
- Robbins, I. (1991). The Trouser Press Record Guide. Collier Books. p. 119. ISBN 9780020363613.
- Maginnis, T. "Gonna Raise Hell". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Green, P. (April 14, 1979). "Everyone's Jumping on Disco Bandwagon". Billboard Magazine. p. 6. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Erlewine, S.T.. "Dream Police". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Marsh, D. (November 29, 1979). "Dream Police". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Mojo Issues 150-153 (Mojo Magazine).
- "Dream Police: Cheap Trick". Audio 64. 1980.
- Feig, P. & Apatow, J. (2004). Freaks and geeks: the complete scripts. Newmarket Press. pp. 170, 183. ISBN 9781557046451.
- "FAQ for Freaks and Geeks". IMDB. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Adams, B. "Leader of the Banned". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-16.