I Just Want to Make Love to You

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"I Just Want to Make Love to You"
Single by Muddy Waters and His Guitar
B-side "Oh Yeh"
Released May 1954
Format 10" 78 RPM
Recorded April 13, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois[1]
Genre Chicago blues
Length 2:49
Label Chess (Cat. No. 1571)
Writer(s) Willie Dixon
Producer(s) Leonard Chess, Phil Chess
Muddy Waters and His Guitar singles chronology
"I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man"
"I Just Want to Make Love to You"
"I Don't Know Why"

I Just Want to Make Love to You is a 1954 blues song written by Willie Dixon, first recorded by Muddy Waters,[2] and released as Just Make Love to Me (Chess 1571). The song reached number four on Billboard magazine's R&B Best Sellers chart.[3]

Backing Waters' vocals on the single were Little Walter on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Otis Spann on piano, Willie Dixon on bass, and Fred Below on drums.[1] Waters recorded the song again for the album Electric Mud (1968).

Cover versions[edit]

Etta James version[edit]

"I Just Want to Make Love to You"
Single by Etta James
from the album At Last!
Released 1961 (1961) (b-side)
January 29, 1996 (1996-01-29) (single release)
Recorded 1960 in Chicago
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 3:03
Label Argo
Writer(s) Willie Dixon
Producer(s) Leonard Chess, Phil Chess

In 1961, Etta James recorded the song for her début album At Last!. Her rendition also served as the B-side to her hit of that name and became popular in the UK in 1996 after featuring in a Diet Coke advertising campaign. As a result, the song was released as a single there. The Etta James version contains lyrical changes that affect the meaning of the song. For example, "I don't want you to make my bed" becomes "I just want to make your bed". Instead of forgoing the traditionally female domestic chores eschewed in the original, the lyrics that Ms. James sings clearly state that she wants to perform all of those duties as well as "make love to you", whereas in the original, the male singer is essentially saying that his lover need not perform any of the traditional domestic duties—love making is all he needs.

CD single[4]
  1. I Just Want to Make Love to You
  2. Tell Mama
  3. Stormy Weather


Chart (1996) Peak
Dutch Singles Chart[5] 27
UK Singles Chart[6] 5
Chart (1998) Peak
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart[7] 31
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart[8] 15

Rolling Stones version[edit]

"I Just Want to Make Love to You"
US Cover
Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album England's Newest Hit Makers
A-side Tell Me
Released May 13, 1964 (1964-05-13)
Genre Rock and roll, rhythm and blues
Label London Records
Writer(s) Willie Dixon
Producer(s) Andrew Loog Oldham
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Not Fade Away" "I Just Want to Make Love to You" "It's All Over Now"
England's Newest Hit Makers track listing
"Route 66"
"I Just Want to Make Love to You"
"Honest I Do"

The Rolling Stones recorded the song, with slightly modified lyrics, for their 1964 debut album The Rolling Stones (titled England's Newest Hit Makers in the US) and released the song as the B-side to "Tell Me" in America. A live version was later released on Rarities 1971-2003. The personnel was Mick Jagger on lead vocals and handclaps, Brian Jones on harmonica, tambourine, and backing vocals (near the end of the song), Keith Richards on electric guitar, Bill Wyman on bass guitar and handclaps, and Charlie Watts on drums.

Foghat version[edit]

"I Just Want to Make Love to You"
Single by Foghat
from the album Foghat
Released 1972, 1977
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1972, 1977
Genre Blues rock, hard rock
Length 4:21 (1972 Studio)
3:56 (1977 Live)
Label Bearsville
Writer(s) W. Dixon
Producer(s) Dave Edmunds

Blues-rock group Foghat released a version of "I Just Want to Make Love to You" on their self-titled debut album in 1972 and released the song as a single the same year where it reached #83 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was their first hit.[9] A live version was released on Foghat Live and released as another 45 rpm single with "Fool for the City" as the b-side; the single was edited from over eight minutes to 3 minutes and 56 seconds.[10] This single version reached #33 on the Billboard Hot 100.[9]

Foghat's version of the song was used in the films Dazed and Confused and Halloween II. A version with modified lyrics was also used as introductory music to Wolfman Jack's radio show in the 1970s.

Other cover versions[edit]

The song was performed by a supergroup consisting of Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, and Little Walter on Super Blues in 1967.

The song has also been recorded by Adele, Willie Dixon, Barbara Dane, Chuck Berry, Etta James, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, the Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy, Mungo Jerry, The Kinks, Shadows of Knight, Robben Ford, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Lou Rawls, The Righteous Brothers, The Yardbirds, The Animals, Janis Siegel, Meat Puppets, Cold Blood, April Wine, Louise Hoffsten, Foghat, Lee Aaron, Saxon, Cold Sweat, Nanette Workman, Jimmy Smith, Smith, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, James Blood Ulmer, Junior Wells, Memphis Slim, Bo Diddley, Johnny Otis, Paul Rodgers, The New Orleans Radiators, Eddy Clearwater, Thornetta Davis, Botafogo, Louise Hoffsten, and Cash McCall.

A live version by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is featured on their career-spanning live set, The Live Anthology. The Bob Dylan song "My Wife's Home Town", from the 2009 album Together Through Life, is influenced musically by the song, and the album notes give credit to Willie Dixon. The song's lyrics however are entirely different. Spanish singer Soraya Arnelas released a Spanish version of the song, re-titled as "Tu Piel" on her 2005 album Corazón de Fuego.

The Dead Weather recorded live version of the song, and included it to a B side of their "Blue Blood Blues" single.

The Smashing Pumpkins covered the song live at The Double Door on the 28th of February 1995. This performance was included as a bonus track on the 2013 deluxe reissue of The Aeroplane Flies High.

The Violent Femmes' song "Gone Daddy Gone" on their 1983 eponymous debut album, contains an interpolation of lyrics from the song ("I can tell by the way that you baby talk...I could love you baby, it's a crying...")


  1. ^ a b The Definitive Collection (CD liner). Muddy Waters. Geffen Records. 2006. pp. 13, 15. B0006273-02. 
  2. ^ Koda, Cub. "I Just Want to Make Love to You > Song review". Allmusic. Retrieved February 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 613. 
  4. ^ "Etta James I Just Want To Make Love To You UK CD single (CD5 / 5") (85331)". Eil.com. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Etta James – I Just Want to Make Love to You". GfK Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Etta James | Artist". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ "ultratop.be – Etta James – I Just Want to Make Love to You". Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ "ultratop.be – Etta James – I Just Want to Make Love to You". Ultratop (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Thomas, Stephen. "Foghat - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". Allmusic. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ "I Just Want to Make Love to You" b/w "Fool for the City" 7" 45 RPM. Bearsville Records (BSS 0319).

External links[edit]