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I Want You To Want Me


Cheap Trick

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

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 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 honkey tonk piano throughout the song. By 1978, the band had dropped it from their setlist, but restored it when they toured Japan that year, since Japanese audiences loved the song. They played it on April 28th and 30th 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. 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.
The famous At Budokan version of this song was inspired by a French cover version ("J'attends Toutes les Nuits") by by a fairly obscure French synthpop artist named Niko Flynn, who sped up the tempo and put a beat to the song.
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."
Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick Artistfacts
More Cheap Trick songs
More songs that were recorded live
More songs that start with the chorus

Comments (31):

One main reason for the song's popularity: it gives voice to that often felt emotion that's not always spoken: "I want YOU to want...ME". And it is stated/sung in such a way that it seems humorous and fun. I love to say it jokingly, occasionally to my husband, with hand motions and over-the-top exclamations.
- Camille, Toronto, OH
The budokan is an arena, not a temple. It was built for the 1964 summer olympics for martial arts competitions. It is also used for sumo competitions. The Beatles were the first rock group to perform there causing a great deal of controversy at that time. I quess to some of the older Japanese people holding modern western rock music concerts in the same venue where traditional martial arts are held could be considered sacrilegist. Thirty plus years later this song still rocks!
- carlo, san francisco, CA
It's also been covered by Alyson Michalka (of ALy & AJ) for the "Bandslam" soundtrack. She does the song justice with Cheap Trick members Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen playing back up for her on the track so it sounds almost like the original live version.
- Louie, San Antonio, TX
This song is great and part of what makes it great is how strait forward it is. It doesn't beat around the bush or anything, just I want you to want me I. Says what it means and means what it says.
- Kathleen, Chatham, NJ
amazing song...sums up a lot of feelings at times
- emma, Adelaide, Australia
I read somewhere that Rick did write it about his father - definitely makes the song more interesting. I play it on my acoustic at my gigs - it's always a big hit.
- Johnnys Cousin Steve, Villas, NJ
I forgot to mention that Lisa Loeb does a good cover of this.
- Carrie, Roanoke, VA
I've only heard the live version, and from what i hear; its the best version and i think it is.
- Allie, a little ol' town in, MI
The live version is a treat. The studio version? They could have called it "I sorta want you to want me"
- Jennifer, Los Angeles, CA
Yeah, good song. cant get it out of my head!!!! lol
- Mel, Minneapolis, MN
This song is so awsome live! The sudio version sucks, though. Still awsome live, though!!!
- Max, Laconia, NH
Anyone ever hear the studio version of this song? 2 words: LA-ME!
- Ed, Incognito, IL
Apparently, Cheap Trick was the original choice for the band to be featured in "Rock And Roll High School", which of course later went to The Ramones. True, The Ramones' look and sound would have signified ultimate rebellion at the time, but seeing the teenagers in the film, it's more likely they would have been into Cheap Trick....
- Kent, Toronto, Canada
Funny but true serendipity story. I came to this page because "I want you to want me" was playing on the radio, and I was reading the comment about it being one of the few songs that starts with the chorus. Right while I was reading that the song ended and the next thing they played was "Ramblin' Man" by the Allman Brothers. Trip, eh?
- msouth, cary, NC
This song was billed as the "greatest song ever" in a '90s Diet Coke ad where a girl is watching a guy singing this in the shower. Anyone remember it?
- Brandon, Peoria, IL
Yeah, it may be kind of corny, but I still like it.
- Jon, Oakridge, OR
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that this song was about his father? This song is so great, the chorous is so obvious, but when you figure out that it's about his father it's so much better. Peace.
- Johnny, Los Angeles, CA
This song exemplifies summer to me; it's very sunny and has awesome guitar riffs. The singer has such a simple earnestness in his voice that it doesn't even matter that the lyrics repeat themselves. A person really can't get any more sincere than this. When I was at an NC State football game this fall, I heard the song playing on a commercial for the NBC prime time lineup. I couldn't tell you what happened on the commercial, but the song instantly put me in a perky mood.
- Carrie, Roanoke, VA
It was previously stated: This is one of the few Rock songs that starts with the chorus. Actually other Cheap Trick songs have started with the chorus. Their song "If You Want My Love" also starts with the chorus. Cheap Trick was a great band with some great hits and I am sorry to see songs like "Surrender", "Dream Police", and "She's Tight" didn't make it to Song Facts. They would be interesting to discuss.
- Roger, Los Angeles, CA
excellent band very overplayed song. not even in their top 20 best toons. id advise all you malldwellers to pick up the cds "in color" or "heaven tonight"
- tango fistula, gila bend, AZ
No Doubt also have done a cover
- Jo, Sydney, Australia
At the Budokan, this was the second best song they performed, besides 'Surrender.'
- Conor, Vancouver, Canada
The studio single version of this song was already a hit in Japan when they recorded Live at Budokan. That is why the crowd sings along so enthusiastically. The "cryin-cryin-cryin" part is done as an echo effect on the single, and the crowd mimics the echo.

This song is a great example of how a flawed live performance can easily kick ass all over a polished studio recording. (U2's Bad, McCartney's Coming Up, etc.) I wish the R.E.M. had recorded most of their recent albums live, as the studio seems to suck the life out of them.
- Rob, Santa Monica, CA
I love cheap trick!
- Joe, North Arlington, NJ
Ya I saw that Cold Case episode, it was kinda weird but super sad. Cheap trick is really good, rock on
- Shana, Pembroke, Canada
UM NOFX is not punk rock, their just punk or political punk. Their not something corporate, now theirs punk rock.
- Kristen, Campbellville, Canada
it was covered by punk rock band NOFX as well
- tim, RL, Israel
Originally, the album wasn't going to be released, because Epic records thought it would be a flop.
- Kevin, Austin, TX
Dwight Yokum also did a cover
- Deana, Indianapolis, IN
Covered by the band Letters To Cleo for the "10 Things I Hate About You" soundtrack. Is used in the ending credits with the band playing live on the roof of the school.
- Krie, Ft. Drum, NY
We're sorry for the inconvenience. Comments are closed for update.
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As a 5-year-old, Brandi was writing lyrics to instrumental versions lullabies. She still puts her heart into her songs, including the one Elton John sings on.
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