Back in 1977, you only had to look at this album's cover art to realize that Cheap Trick was a band cut from a different cloth. On the front were the group's two pretty boys----singer Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson----sitting astride imposing motorcycles. Straddling puny motor-scooters on the back were drummer Bun E. Carlos and guitarist Rick Nielsen, who looked more like discombobulated mathematician/nerds than rowdy rock 'n' rollers. The self-deprecating humor of this group from Illinois was a refreshing -- and fairly unique -- quality coming from a mainstream band in one of rock's more self-important eras. Still, it's the music that stands out when fans and critics and fans look back on Cheap Trick's brief but memorable heyday. Of the band's early studio albums, none better reflects its eminently smart brand of melodic rock than "In Color," a work that seems to have a little bit of everything -- flat-out rockers like "Come On, Come On," a striking electric ballad ("So Good to See You"), even a dose of '50s-styled escapism, the piano-accented "I Want You to Want Me." Other numbers like "Downed" and "Oh Caroline" bring to light the group's uncanny knack for fusing Beatlesque pop craft with the heavier guitar crunch of the Who. Consistently appealing songs--written primarily by Nielsen--form the sturdy foundation of "In Color," but it's hard to underestimate the importance of the musicianship on this album. As exhibited by such tracks as the playfully rambunctious "Clock Strikes Ten," Nielsen was one of the more propulsive guitarists of his day, and Carlos' rock-solid time keeping and Zander's charismatic vocals add significantly to the musical mix on the durable "In Color."