Tom Petersson left Cheap Trick following the George Martin-produced All Shook Up, and the band was somewhat left in a lurch, recording 1982’s One on One largely without a bassist; eventual replacement Jon Brant is on record and on the cover, but he’s obscured by a picture of Rick Nielsen, possibly because the guitarist handled the bulk of the basslines on the LP. In any case, One on One finds Cheap Trick rebounding from Martin with a slick, punchy, AOR record, hemmed in a bit by stiff sequenced rhythms – you can almost feel Bun E. Carlos straining against the metronome – but sparkling in its analog synths and pumped-up guitars. No, it’s not as ballsy as Cheap Trick’s best, but its glossy glimmer is appealing, a combination of heavy metal roar and new wave strut, and would be more so if the songs were just a bit tighter.
Hot on the heels of his commercial breakthrough Touchdown, which contained the monster hit "Angela (Theme from Taxi)," Bob James teamed up with acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh for the first of two hit duet albums. One on One is not strictly a duet side, however. The pair is accompanied by a band of crack studio types that includes James' former CTI mates acoustic bassist Ron Carter and drummer Harvey Mason and a host of others as well as string and woodwinds sections. The fare is light, breezy, and barely there in places. Out of these sessions came "The Afterglow," which lit up the charts right after "Angela" did, making James the hottest jazz commodity on the scene.