Rick Nielsen formed the band Fuse in 1967 with Tom Peterson (later known as Tom Petersson), who had played in another Rockford, Illinois band called The Bo Weevils with drummer Bun E. Carlos. According to Rolling Stone, the band adopted the name “Cheap Trick” on August 25, 1973. There are a few stories as to where the name came from including that it was inspired by the band’s attendance at a Slade concert, where Petersson commented that the band used “every cheap trick in the book” as part of their act.
The band was signed to Epic Records in early 1976. The band released its first album, Cheap Trick, in early 1977. Their second album, In Color, was released later that year. When Cheap Trick toured Japan for the first time in April 1978, they were received with a frenzy reminiscent of Beatlemania. During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts at the Nippon Budokan. Ten tracks taken from both shows were compiled and released as a live album entitled Cheap Trick at Budokan in 1978. It is listed as one of “the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine.