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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."
They Might Be Giants
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.
Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?
Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.