I Want You to Want Me

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"I Want You to Want Me"
Cheap Trick I Want You to Want Me 1977.jpg
Epic 50435
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album In Color
B-side"Oh Boy (Instrumental Version)"
ReleasedSeptember 1977 (1977-09)
StudioKendun Recorders, Los Angeles
GenrePower pop[1]
Songwriter(s)Rick Nielsen
Producer(s)Tom Werman
Cheap Trick singles chronology
"Oh, Candy"
"I Want You to Want Me"
"Southern Girls"
"I Want You to Want Me"
Cheap Trick I Want You to Want Me (1979).jpg
Epic 50680
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album Cheap Trick at Budokan
B-side"Clock Strikes Ten"
ReleasedApril 1979 (1979-04)
RecordedApril 1978
VenueNippon Budokan, Tokyo
GenreHard rock, power pop
Songwriter(s)Rick Nielsen
Producer(s)Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick singles chronology
"California Man"
"I Want You to Want Me"
"Ain't That a Shame"

"I Want You to Want Me" is a song by the American rock band Cheap Trick. It is originally from their second album In Color, released in September 1977. It was the first single released from that album, but it did not chart in the United States. Nineteen months later, a live version from the band's successful Cheap Trick at Budokan album was released as a single and became one of their biggest hits, peaking at number seven in the US, number two in Canada, and number one in Japan. It has since become Cheap Trick's signature song.


"I Want You to Want Me" was a number-one single in Japan.[2][3][better source needed] Its success in Japan, as well as the success of its preceding single "Clock Strikes Ten", paved the way for Cheap Trick's concerts at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo in April 1978 that were recorded for the group's most popular album, Cheap Trick at Budokan.[4] A live version of "I Want You to Want Me" from the album Cheap Trick at Budokan was released in 1979 and became their biggest selling single, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5] It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, representing sales of one million records. In Canada, it reached #2 in on the RPM national singles chart, remaining there for two weeks[6] and was certified Gold for the sale of 500,000 singles in September 1979.[7] It was also the band's highest charting single in Britain, where it reached #29.

Years later, Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson criticized the lightweight production of "I Want You to Want Me" as it originally appeared on their second album, In Color. Cheap Trick went as far as to mostly re-record that album in 1997, though this version hasn't been officially released. Producer Tom Werman explains:

"'I Want You To Want Me' was a fabulous dance hall type of song, and a perfect pop tune, and it was meant to be a little campy. I put the piano on—a guy named Jai Winding played it. I remember asking the band what they thought of it, and Rick Nielsen kind of shrugged and said, 'You're the producer.'" Further: "It was a burlesque song, like a 30s number. That is what they wrote it as."[citation needed]

Version differences[edit]

The live version has a faster tempo than the album version, which contributed to its success[citation needed]. However, the album version features an echo at the verse "Didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you cryin' (cryin)". This echo does not appear in the live version. The crowd, however, emulates the echo by chanting "cryin'". The studio version features guitar by Jay Graydon.[8] The live version consists of two guitar solos, while the studio version has a piano fill as a second instrumental. In early 1977, Cheap Trick recorded a version played in the style they played in concerts. It was played with dramatic vocals, high tempo and two guitar solos. It was later released in 1998 and is almost identical to the "alternate" version, with a slightly different song structure, that was released two years earlier in 1996, from "Sex, America, Cheap Trick".[citation needed] In 1997, the band recorded another version as part of a complete remake of In Color with producer Steve Albini. This version generally follows the live arrangement as heard on At Budokan.

33 years after the Budokan version became Cheap Trick's first Top Ten hit, the band recorded a festive version of the song with the same arrangement, but with slightly modified lyrics, called "I Want You for Christmas", included on A Very Special Christmas: 25 Years Bringing Joy to the World, in 2012.[9]

"Oh Boy"[edit]

The single is backed with the non-album track "Oh Boy (Instrumental)", which was later re-worked with vocals and released on a promotional single.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Cash Box said that it's "a slick piece of pop-rock written by its goofy guitarist, Rick Nielsen" and "though the lyrics are terribly original, it's a pleasant tune, impeccably produced by Tom Weman."[11]

Classic Rock critic Malcolm Dome rated it as Cheap Trick's greatest song, saying that although Nielsen conceived it as "an overblown pop parody" it became "a true pop rock classic."[12]

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 Want You to Want Me", where author John M. Borack wrote "the In Color version lacked anything resembling balls, but that was remedied on the hit version from the groundbreaking Cheap Trick at Budokan disc. A piece of history and a darned cool tune, to boot."[13] Billboard Magazine found the live version to be "high energy" with "an infectious melody and raspy guitar work."[14]

Chart history[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
Canada RPM 100 Top Singles [15] 97
U.S. Record World Singles Chart 101–150 [16] 119

All appearances[edit]

Letters to Cleo version[edit]

"I Want You to Want Me"
Letters To Cleo.jpg
Single by Letters To Cleo
from the album 10 Things I Hate About You
GenrePop punk[citation needed]
Songwriter(s)Rick Nielsen

Letters to Cleo recorded a version in 1999 for the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack. It was released as a single [27] but failed to chart.

Track listings and formats[edit]

  1. "I Want You to Want Me"  – 3:24
  2. "Cruel to Be Kind"  – 3:01


  1. ^ Lester, Paul (February 11, 2015). "Powerpop: 10 of the best". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  2. ^ McLane, D. (June 14, 1979). "Cheap Trick Finds Heaven". Rolling Stone. p. 49.
  3. ^ Wright, J. "Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick". Classic Rock Revisited. Archived from the original on 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  4. ^ "BUDOKAN! (30th Anniversary DVD+3CDs) insert booklet". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Cheap Trick singles Billboard performance". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  7. ^ "Gold and Platinum". Musiccanada.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  8. ^ "CRR Interview - Bun e. Carlos - Everything Works Out if You Let It.. Well, Sort Of."{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Song Search for "i want you for christmas"". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  10. ^ Lawson, Robert (2017-11-20). Still Competition: The Listener's Guide to Cheap Trick. FriesenPress. ISBN 978-1-5255-1227-8.
  11. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. September 3, 1977. p. 18. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  12. ^ Dome, Malcolm (June 28, 2016). "The top 10 best Cheap Trick songs". Classic Rock. Louder Sound. Retrieved 2022-06-19.
  13. ^ Borack, John M. (2007). Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide - John M. Borack - Google Books. ISBN 9780979771408. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  14. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. March 24, 1979. p. 135. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  15. ^ "RPM 100 Top Singles" (PDF). RPM. Toronto: RPM Music Publications. November 26, 1977. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
  17. ^ "Cheap Trick – I Want You to Want Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  18. ^ "Radio2 top 30: 8 oktober 2016 | Radio2". Top30-2.radio2.be. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  19. ^ "RPM 100 Singles" (PDF). RPM. Toronto: RPM Music Publications. August 11, 1979. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Cheap Trick" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  21. ^ "Cheap Trick – I Want You to Want Me". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Cheap Trick". officialcharts.com. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  23. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Cheap Trick – I Want You to Want Me (Live)". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Singles (1979)". RPM. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  25. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  26. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 29, 1979". Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  27. ^ "Letters to Cleo - I Want You to Want Me". Discogs.
  28. ^ I Want You to Want Me (European CD single liner notes). Letters to Cleo. Hollywood Records. 1999. 0104565HWR.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)

External links[edit]