I Can't Take It

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"I Can't Take It"
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album Next Position Please
B-side "You Talk Too Much"
Released December 1983
Format 7"
Genre Rock, Power Pop
Length 3:26
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Robin Zander
Producer(s) Todd Rundgren
Cheap Trick singles chronology
"Dancing the Night Away"
(1983)
"I Can't Take It"
(1983)
"Next Position Please"
(1983)

"I Can't Take It" is a single by American rock band Cheap Trick, released as the second single from their 1983 album Next Position Please.[1] The song was written solely by Robin Zander, his only solo credit on a Cheap Trick song.[2]

The single was released as a 7" vinyl in America only.[3] The song was not edited for the single release, using the song's album version, lasting a duration of 3:26. An American promotional 7" vinyl was also released, featuring the a-side on both sides of the vinyl.[4]

The b-side "You Talk Too Much" was featured on the cassette and CD version of the same album, written solely by Rick Nielsen.[5] The song had originally been written before the band's 1977 "self-titled debut" album. The track was titled "Punch Ya" and a bootleg recording of a live version in 1975 exists.[6] The track was originally supposed to be included on the original vinyl release, but Epic Records, forced the band to include other tracks such as a cover of The Motors' "Dancing the Night Away".

Both tracks were produced by American musician/producer Todd Rundgren who had produced the entire "Next Position Please" album.[5]

No artwork was created for the single, with the 7" vinyl itself being packaged in an official Epic Records sleeve.

Background[edit]

The single was released to commercial failure, and despite this, the song remains a fan favourite to date.

Subsequent to its original release on Next Position Please, "I Can't Take It" has appeared on several Cheap Trick compilation albums, including the 1991 compilation The Greatest Hits, the 1996 four disc box set Sex, America, Cheap Trick, the 2004 release The Essential Cheap Trick, the 2010 release The Music of Cheap Trick.[7]

"I Can't Take It" has become a concert staple over the years.[8]

A number of live versions of the song have been officially released. A live version was included on the 1999 live album Music for Hangovers, a previously unreleased live version on the 2000 compilation Authorized Greatest Hits, which featured 18 tracks picked by the band themselves, and the 2001 live album Silver where an acoustic version was performed.[7]

In 2011, Todd Rundgren released his own version of the song on his solo album (re)Production.[9]

Writing[edit]

After the band's original bassist Tom Petersson left in 1980, Pete Comita was hired as a replacement, only to leave the band by 1981. Later, Comita had stated that he co-wrote "I Can't Take It" and that Zander had stolen it from him.[10]

In a 2009 interview with guitarist Rick Nielsen, the interviewer asked if Nielsen would comment on the claim that Comita wrote the song. Nielsen replied "That's the first time I've heard about that. But it wasn't I Can't Take It. He did write "Reach Out (And Take It)" which was on the Heavy Metal movie soundtrack. But he wrote that song with a guy named Bob James. He originally told us he had written it, but we later found out, he didn’t write it (alone)."[11]

Promotion[edit]

Aside from a music video for MTV, the band performed the song on the American late night talk show Thicke of the Night,[12] hosted by Canadian actor and songwriter Alan Thicke, where the band also performed the "Next Position Please" album track "Borderline"[13] and the band's previous hit "I Want You to Want Me".[14]

The band performed the song live on the German TV show "Rockpalast" in 1983, along with numerous other tracks.[15]

In 1984, the band performed the song on the show Rock Rolls On (RRO), along with "I Want You to Want Me".[16] The particular episode was hosted by American singer/songwriter Laura Branigan and American guitarist/singer/songwriter Chuck Berry.[17]

Music Video[edit]

A music video was created for the song, where a bride sticks pins into a groom voodoo doll that resembles Zander. Further into the video, Zander is taken in by the rest of the band, only for Nielsen to reveal the groom voodoo doll. The final sequence sees Zander looking in horror at the rest of the band during the night - where Nielsen is firing a gun at a duck-shaped target practice set. The band notice Zander, which is when Zander seemingly wakes up from a nightware, only to find the wedding cake that the bride took the groom doll from. Zander grabs the bride doll and bites the head off, where the real-life bride just laughs as a result.[18]

In 1990, the music video was included on the VHS/DVD compilation "Every Trick in the Book" which gathered up all of the band's music videos up to that point, minus the videos made for the band's classic 1977 self-titled debut and the video for the soundtrack song "Up the Creek" of 1983.[19]

The video was officially uploaded to YouTube in mid-2009 and has gained 55,000 views since.[18]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "I Can't Take It" - 3:26
  2. "You Talk Too Much" - 1:55
7" Single (American promo)
  1. "I Can't Take It" - 3:26
  2. "I Can't Take It" - 3:26

Critical reception[edit]

In the review for the album "Next Position Please", allmusic.com wrote "The bright surfaces with the guitars and keyboards melding so tightly with the vocal harmonies they’re inseparable, produce a sound that is uncannily reminiscent of Oops! Wrong Planet, but Rundgren also helps keep an eye on quality control, letting Robin Zander’s terrific “I Can’t Take It” open the album"[20]

Allmusic.com picks the track as an AMG recommended track.[20]

Rolling Stone magazine spoke of the song in a review of the album "A better title for this album would have been 'Next Producer Please', because from the signature harmonies of "I Can't Take It" to the predictable chorus of "Heaven's Falling," it's clear that this album belongs as much to producer Todd Rundgren as to the members of Cheap Trick."[21]

In a review of the 1996 four disc box set "Sex, America, Cheap Trick", Billboard Magazine wrote of the band's decline in the early to mid-1980s, writing "Despite the dispriting times, Cheap Trick never ceased producing the occasional Beatlesque gem, such as "If You Want My Love," from "One on One" ('82); "I Can't Take It," from the Todd Rundgren-produced "Next Position Please" ('83); and "Tonight It's You" from "Standing on the Edge" ('85) - each included on the box."[22]

In the 2007 book "Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide", a section on Cheap Trick featured reviews on the top 20 stand-out tracks from the band. One track included was "I Can't Take It", where the author John M. Borack wrote "A Zander-penned goodie from "Next Position Please", this is pure, unfiltered power pop for the masses, with Todd Rundgren's bright 'n' shiny production, giving it a radio-friendly sheen. One of the great, semi-lost Cheap Trick numbers, and one they still perform live."[23]

Personnel[edit]

  • Robin Zander - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Rick Nielsen - lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Jon Brant - bass, backing vocals
  • Bun E. Carlos - drums, percussion

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Todd Rundgren - Producer, guitar, engineer, mixer
  • Paul Klingberg - Engineer
  • Writers of "I Can't Take It" – Robin Zander
  • Writers of "You Talk Too Much" - Rick Nielsen

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cheap Trick - Next Position Please at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  2. ^ "Cheap Trick Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  3. ^ "I Can't Take It / You Talk Too Much by Cheap Trick : Reviews and Ratings". Rate Your Music. 2010-05-01. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  4. ^ "I Can't Take It by Cheap Trick : Reviews and Ratings". Rate Your Music. 2010-05-01. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  5. ^ a b "Cheap Trick - Next Position Please (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  6. ^ "Punch Ya/You Talk Too Much (Live, 1975) - Bedazzled!". Bedazzled.blogs.com. 2005-06-14. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  7. ^ a b "I Can't Take It". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  8. ^ "cheap trick i can't take it". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  9. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Todd-Rundgren-ReProduction/release/4242410
  10. ^ "Pete Comita - eNotes.com Reference". Enotes.com. 1980-08-26. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  11. ^ "Cheap Trick: 'Usually The Song Will Dictate What We Do With It' | Interviews @". Ultimate-guitar.com. 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  12. ^ "Cheap Trick - I Can't Take It - live "Thicke of the Night"". YouTube. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  13. ^ "Cheap Trick - Borderline - 1983 Alan Thicke Show". YouTube. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  14. ^ "Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me - 1983 Alan Thicke show". YouTube. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  15. ^ "I Can't Take It - Cheap Trick - Live Rockpalast 1983". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  16. ^ "I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick - "RRO 1984"". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  17. ^ "I Can't Take It - Cheap Trick - "RRO 1984"". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  18. ^ a b "I Can't Take It - Cheap Trick". YouTube. 2009-07-04. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  19. ^ Prato, Greg. "Every Trick in the Book [DVD] - Cheap Trick". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  20. ^ a b Thomas, Stephen. "Next Position Please - Cheap Trick". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  21. ^ J.D. Considine (1983-10-13). "Next Position Please | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  22. ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 1996-08-10. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  23. ^ Shake some action: the ultimate power pop guide - John M. Borack - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 

External links[edit]