13 Incredible Bands Similar To Cheap Trick

Welcome to the vibrant world of power pop and hard rock, where Cheap Trick has long been a beloved fixture. Since their creation in 1973, they’ve been delighting fans with songs such as “The Flame” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”

But guess what? They’re not the only ones who can serve up these musical treats! Many bands across the globe echo their style and became great in their own right.

And that’s where we come in—we’ve handpicked 13 incredible bands like Cheap Trick, that you’re sure to love. Let’s get started.

1. The Cars

Emerging from the heart of Boston in 1976, a unique wave of sound was about to wash over the music scene. The band at the center of this sonic revolution was none other than The Cars.

With their blend of pop rock and power pop styles similar to Cheap Trick, The Cars quickly made a name for themselves. They released several timeless hits since their debut in 1978, like “You Might Think,” “Drive,” and “Tonight She Comes.”

In recognition of their contribution to the rock genre, The Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. This honor is a testament to their enduring influence and a nod to their place in music history.

2. REO Speedwagon

Formed in 1967, REO Speedwagon is an American rock band that has been captivating audiences for decades with their infectious tunes and energetic performances.

Sharing a similar musical style to Cheap Trick, this classic rock band amassed chart-topping hits throughout the 1970s and ’80s, including “Keep on Loving You,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another track that hit the top of several charts is the 1984 “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”

Today, REO Speedwagon continues to tour and produce music. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to their music, REO Speedwagon’s expansive discography offers a rock-and-roll journey that continues to resonate with listeners around the world.

3. Boston

Hailing from the city that shares their name, Boston is a revered rock band sharing a similar blend of hard rock and power pop like Cheap Tricks. They also played a crucial role in shaping the American music scene during the late ’70s and early ’80s.

As one of Boston’s most influential bands, they earned international acclaim thanks to tracks like “More Than a Feeling” and “Don’t Look Back.” These songs showcased lead guitarist Tom Scholz’s masterful playing style while highlighting frontman Brad Delp’s soaring vocals.

In addition to Aerosmith and Extreme—other massively popular rock acts hailing from Beantown—it’s no wonder why this city remains rich in musical history. Both Boston and Cheap Trick contributed significantly to the hard-rock/power-pop dynamic that has resonated with generations of listeners worldwide.

4. The Knack

Next up, The Knack is a band that emerged in the late 1970s as part of the power pop movement. The band’s rise to fame all began with their first single, “My Sharona,” which became an international #1 hit in 1979, catapulting the group into the global limelight.

Aside from “My Sharona,” The Knack had other notable releases, such as “Good Girls Don’t,” which also gained significant popularity. Their music, characterized by its power pop style, had a certain charm that connected deeply with listeners.

Though The Knack is no longer active, having disbanded following the death of frontman Doug Fieger in 2010, their legacy lives on through their music. “My Sharona” remains popular, covered by artists like HammerFall and Royal Blood, and created into parodies.

5. The Romantics

American rock and power pop band, The Romantics, originated from the vibrant music scene of Detroit, Michigan. Formed in 1977, the band was made up of Mike Skill, Wally Palmar, Rich Cole, and Jimmy Marinos, each bringing their unique talent to the group.

Their rise to fame was a product of their energetic performances and catchy melodies. With singles such as “What I Like About You,” “Talking in Your Sleep,” and “One in a Million,” The Romantics soon found themselves gaining popularity not just in Detroit but throughout America.

Success, however, came with its challenges. Tensions arose within the band, leading to a few lineup changes over the years. To the delight of fans, The Romantics remain active today, though.

6. Foreigner

Like Cheap Trick, the NYC-based music group Foreigner is a hard rock band. Composed of Mick Jones, Ian McDonald, Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood, Ed Gagliardi, and Dennis Elliott, the band was formed in 1976.

Similar to other bands on this list, Foreigner’s debut in 1977 was successful. This eponymous album landed at #4 on Billboard 200 and became certified 5x Platinum.

They followed this with the release of numerous albums that achieved significant success, like Double Vision (1978), Head Games (1979), and 4 (1981). Each album demonstrated the band’s musical evolution and ability to create catchy, melodic rock anthems.

As of 2023, Foreigner continues to tour and entertain fans around the world. Even after decades in the music industry, the band’s timeless music continues to be loved.

7. Toto

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, we have next the rock band Toto. This group drew audiences with their pop, rock, soul, and funk-inspired music after they formed in 1977. Similar to Cheap Trick, Toto has maintained its popularity over the years, thanks to their catchy tunes and impressive live performances.

Toto’s rise to fame was as remarkable as it was rapid. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1978 and quickly gained traction. However, it was their fourth studio album, Toto IV, that served as their breakthrough, catapulting them into international stardom.

Released in 1982, Toto IV featured the smash hits “Rosanna” and “Africa,” songs that not only defined the year but also became timeless classics. The former song received not one but three Grammys in 1983, including Record of the Year.

8. Journey

When talking about classic rock, you can get any better than Journey. Formed in San Francisco in 1973, the band initially had a different sound, mixing jazz fusion and progressive rock, but they eventually found success with their melodic hard rock style akin to Cheap Trick.

Over the years, Journey has been prolific in releasing studio albums and singles, resulting in numerous fan-favorite tracks. “Open Arms,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and “When You Love a Woman” are just a few examples worth listening to!

In terms of accolades, Journey’s achievements are numerous. They have sold over 45 million albums in the United States alone, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. Moreover, in 2017, Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

9. Styx

Originating from the South Side of Chicago in the late 1960s, Styx is a band that has etched its name in the annals of rock music history. The band was formed by Dennis DeYoung, James Young, Tommy Shaw, and Chuck Panozzo.

Styx’s rise to fame began in earnest when they signed their first record contract with Wooden Nickel Records in 1972. This milestone marked the beginning of a journey that would see them become one of the most successful arena rock bands of all time.

Over the years, Styx has released 17 studio albums, each showcasing their musical evolution and growth. Their albums from the late 1970s and early 1980s were particularly successful, cementing their place in the rock music scene. From these releases, songs like “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto” became enduring hits.

10. The Tubes

Emerging from San Francisco’s music scene in 1972, The Tubes became renowned for their fusion of rock music, performance art, and social satire.

Their breakthrough came with their self-titled debut album in 1975. The album featured the single “White Punks on Dope,” a satirical take on American youth and consumer culture that quickly became a favorite among fans.

Over the years, The Tubes released several other albums, demonstrating their musical versatility and their ability to evolve with the times. Notable releases include Remote Control, a concept album satirizing television and mass media, and Outside Inside (1983), which featured the hit single “She’s a Beauty.”

“She’s a Beauty” is perhaps one of The Tubes’ most recognizable songs. The song reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, cementing The Tubes’ place in rock history.

11. The Babys

British rock band The Babys was born in the heart of the 1970s. With their melodic, guitar-driven sound, they rose to popularity during the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Like Cheap Trick, The Babys were influenced by classic rock music from the ’60s and ’70s and became the epitome of hard/pop rock and power pop.

Their breakthrough came with the release of their hit songs “Isn’t It Time” and “Every Time I Think of You.” Both songs landed at #13 on Billboard Hot 100 and became defining anthems of The Babys’ career.

The band separated in 1981 as members either joined other bands or started a solo career. In 2013, The Babys reformed with new members and, since then, have been performing and releasing new music.

12. Loverboy

Formed in Calgary, Alberta, in 1979, Loverboy is a Canadian rock band that originally consisted of vocalist Mike Reno, guitarist Paul Dean, keyboardist Doug Johnson, drummer Matt Frenette, and bassist Scott Smith. Soon their hard rock sound became known and quickly put them on the map.

Their debut in 1980 was a commercial success. The album, a self-titled one, peaked at #5 on the ARIA Charts and #13 on Billboard 200. Its tracks, like “The Kid Is Hot Tonite” and “Turn Me Loose,” gained substantial radio airplay and high chart positions.

Loverboy continued to build on their success over the years, and though they have had several breaks in activity, today, they continue to wow fans with new material.

13. Kansas

Formed in the same year as Cheap Trick, we have our last band: Kansas. With their distinctive blend of progressive rock and heartland rock, the band became a massive success, rising in popularity throughout the ’70s and beyond.

Their fourth studio album, Leftoverture, catapulted them into the spotlight. Released in 1976, this album featured the timeless classic “Carry On Wayward Son,” which quickly became a staple on rock radio stations and gained 4x Platinum status. Another notable song of theirs is “Dust in the Wind.”

Kansas’ contributions to music have not gone unnoticed. In 2015, coinciding with the celebration of their 40th anniversary, they were inducted into both the Kansas Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Cheap Trick

It’s clear that Cheap Trick has had an undeniable influence on the world of music, inspiring countless other musicians along the way. So when it comes to finding bands like them, there are plenty of options.

We hope this article has been a musical journey for you as it was for us. Hopefully, it also introduced you to new bands to add to your playlist.

There are always more bands to discover and more songs to fall in love with. If we missed a band (or two) that should be on this list, let us know so we can add them for you!

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Written by Dan Farrant
Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.