Cheap Trick – I Want You To Want Me —Powerpop Friday

I Want You To Want me is when I first started to notice Cheap Trick…the version off of the Cheap Trick At Budokon album

The song was included on their second album In Color, which was released later in 1977. This version had a medium tempo with a country feel and a honky-tonk piano throughout the song.

By 1978, the band had dropped this song from their setlist but restored it when they toured Japan that year since Japanese audiences loved the song. They played it on April 28 and 30 at their famous concerts that took place at the Budokan temple in Tokyo, which was a big deal because many Japanese citizens felt the temple was sacred and not appropriate for rock concerts. When the Beatles played at Budokan their were protests a decade before.

The song peaked at #7 on the Billboard 100 in 1979.

 

From Songfacts

This song has a long and intriguing history. It was written by Cheap Trick’s guitarist Rick Nielsen and recorded for their 1977 self-titled debut album, but it didn’t make the cut. 

 The concerts were released as the Live At Budokan album, which captured Cheap Trick’s live energy and turned their fortunes around in America, where the album was released in February 1979 and sold over 3 million copies. The extracted “I Want You To Want Me” became their first hit, charting at #7.

According to Rick Nielsen, the band considered this “sort of hokey pop” when they first recorded it, and the arrangement matched that sentiment, with finger snaps and a plaintive country feel. Robin Zander played up the schmaltz in the vocal, sounding like a woebegone cornpoke. This studio version fell flat, but when they played it as an earnest rocker, it worked.

The famous At Budokan version of this song was inspired by a French cover version (“J’attends Toutes les Nuits”) by a fairly obscure French synthpop artist named Niko Flynn, who sped up the tempo and put a beat to the song.

Many early Cheap Trick songs written by Rick Nielsen are from the perspective of characters who are a little unhinged (see: “Dream Police”), and the band played that up with their eccentric fashions and accessories. The guy in this song is a bit desperate and delusional, figuring a shoeshine and a new shirt will make the girl love him.

This is one of the few rock songs that starts with the chorus.

In 1978, this appeared as the B-side of Cheap Trick’s single “California Man.”

In 1997, the group recorded a new version of the In Color album (complete with this song), with producer Steve Albini, but it was never released.

The studio version

The live version

I Want You To Want Me

I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m beggin’ you to beg me
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me

I’ll shine up my old brown shoes
I’ll put on a brand new shirt
I’ll get home early from work
If you say that you love me
Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin, cryin’)
Oh, Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin, cryin’)
Feelin’ all alone without a friend
You know you feel like dyin’ (dyin’, dyin’)
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin’, cryin’)

I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m beggin’ you to beg me

I’ll shine up my old brown shoes
I’ll put on a brand new shirt
I’ll get home early from work
If you say that you love me
Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin, cryin’)
Oh, Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin, cryin’)
Feelin’ all alone without a friend
You know you feel like dyin’ (dyin’, dyin’)
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin’, cryin’)

Feelin’ all alone without a friend
You know you feel like dyin’ (dyin’, dyin’)
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin’, cryin’)
Feelin’ all alone without a friend
You know you feel like dyin’ (dyin’, dyin’)
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I
See you cryin’ (cryin’, cryin’)

I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m beggin’ you to beg me

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

6 thoughts on “Cheap Trick – I Want You To Want Me —Powerpop Friday”

  1. the original sounds very anemic after hearing the familiar live version. I have an idea that even if I had heard the studio version first, I’d have ended up liking the live version better. But as it was, I’d never heard of them before the live Budokan album.

    Liked by 1 person

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