Indiana Wants Me

Album: I Think, Therefore I Am (1970)
Charted: 2 5


  • In this song, a man is in trouble with the law after murdering another man who said something insulting about a woman who is either his wife or lover (Talk about overreacting!). The man is lonely and scared. He's tired of running and hiding from the Indiana police, and he misses his wife/lover and their child.
  • On early copies of this song, it opens with the wail of a police siren, which is later heard during the instrumental bridge. The siren sounded (for its time) so realistic that some drivers pulled over to the side of the road when they heard the song on their car radios. When the confusion was discovered, Rare Earth (the record company that Taylor was signed with) gave radio stations (particularly those that were too skeptical and/or scared to play the song) a second version without the siren. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2
  • When this song hit the charts, Taylor become one of the few white artists to score a hit for Motown Records. He was already a successful songwriter for the label, with a hand in writing the hit "Love Child." "Indiana Wants Me" was his only American hit, but in England, he also scored with "Gotta See Jane," "There's A Ghost In My House" and "Window Shopping."
  • Indiana wanted him because he defended his lady's honour, apparently with a gun. In the July 6, 1974 issue of Melody Maker, Taylor explained the inspiration for the song.
    'I was living in a fleabag hotel and one night I heard these sirens and somebody was breaking in a store below. I looked out and police had surrounded this store and I turned my tape-recorder on. I saw Bonnie and Clyde a couple of times and with those two things that's how I came to write "Indiana".'
  • Although there are no sirens on the later release of this song, it does include a police radio. Along with "There's A Ghost In My House" this was unarguably Taylor's biggest hit, and unlike "Ghost..." it sold well on both sides of the Atlantic, topping the singles chart in his native Canada.
  • This was released on the Rare Earth label backed by "Love's Your Name" and also on Tamla Motown backed by "Gotta See Jane". >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

Comments: 28

  • John K. from IndianaThe voice on the bullhorn is Steve Dahl speaking over the intercom. Dahl would later become a radio DJ famous for the Disco Demolition event in 1979.
  • Danl from Burien WaBou from Bloomington In while the death penalty was still in effect IN MANY STATES, not all in fact there were no executions for approximately 12 years, resuming in 1977. The last person executed in the electric chair before this song was written was James French in Aug 1966 on Oklahoma.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI never had a problem with the siren, but the gunfire sounds at the end are stupid.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1971 {May 30th} "Indiana Wants Me" by R. Dean Taylor peaked at #2* {for 1 week} on the United Kingdom's Official Top 50 Singles chart...
    It reached #5 {for 1 week} on U.S.A. Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart on November 8th, 1970...
    As noted above, besides "Indiana Wants Me", the Toronto, Canada native had three other records on the U.K. Singles chart; "Gotta See Jane" {#17 in 1967}, "Window Shopping" {#36 in 1974}, and "There's A Ghost in My House" {#3 in 1974}
    Richard Dean Taylor celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this month on May 11th, 2019...
    * The week "Indiana Wants Me" peaked at #2 on the UK's Singles chart, the #1 record for that week was "Knock Three Times" by Dawn...
  • Gregory from Fayetteville, NcIt's a catchy tune and a heart-wrenching story of bad decisions and senseless death. There could be more to the story than would make sense to include, but because the police will not go into another state to have a shootout with a suspect, Indiana could only want him in the sense of wanting him to be extradited after committing a crime in another state. Extradition can happen for a capital murder case but is not a guarantee in most crimes, as reported in a recent USA Today article: "Each fugitive's case is chronicled in a confidential FBI database that police use to track outstanding warrants. In 186,873 of those cases, police indicated that they would not spend the time or money to retrieve the fugitive from another state, a process known as extradition."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 30th 1970, "Indiana Wants Me" by R. Dean Taylor entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #86; and on November 1st, 1970 it peaked at #5 {for 2 weeks} and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    The Canadian singer had three other Top 100 records; "Ain't It A Sad Thing" {#66 in 1971}, "Gotta See Jane" {#67 in 1971}, and "Taos New Mexico" {#83 in 1972}...
    Richard Dean Taylor will celebrate his 76th birthday come next May 11th {2015}.
  • David from Vancouver, BcCan someone please help? I swear I recall hearing this song get airplay on a family trip to California in August of '69, yet everything I've read about it says it was released in 1970. Could this be possible? Also, if you get a chance to listen to another song of R. Dean Taylor's, called "Taos New Mexico," I recommend it!
  • Rick from Belfast, MeThis song, along with songs such as ...I Think I LOve You,If You Could Read My Mind,.... was rocking the airwaves of AM radio back when I was 13 in 1970......the 70's music is "funtastic"
  • Katie from Princeton, WvBou(Bloomington): Oddly enough, I didn't hear it that often. Of course, I'm only a teenager, so that may explain quite a bit.

    And I'm from Bloomington. Great place to live.
  • Bou from Bloomington, InLinda's comment about "why Indiana?" is--pardon the bad pun--dead wrong. The death penalty was still in force nationwide in 1970, when the song was released, and electrocution was widespread as an execution method. The first lethal injection did not occur in the US until 1982, so my guess is that electrocution was even the main method of execution in all US states at that time. Furthermore, Indiana abandoned electrocution in the mid-nineties, and electrocution remains an option in a couple of states even today.

    All that said, I'm no judge of the song. You can well imagine it got played here in Hoosier Land until we were all sick of it!
  • Celia from Maui, Brazili know for a fact that he was in love with a girl in Indiana who returned there from Detroit to go to school
  • Celia from Maui, BrazilI know for a fact that he wrote this song because he was in love with a girl from Indiana who left him to go to school and yes he has been in Indiana once
  • Peterwill from Zion, IlR Dean Taylor was more than a Motown engineer.
    He was a staff writer and co-wrote the Supremes hit "Love Child". He had a minor hit in Canada with a song called "Taos New Mexico". After the geography thing ran out so did R. Dean string of hits. All in all he was a one hit wonder but it was a really big hit with Indian Wants Me.
  • Joe from Sheffield, United KingdomThe song is unusual because the bass aaand drums is a whole lot better than the guitar and vocals
  • Will from Memphis, TnI fell deeply in love with a woman in California. She moved to Indiana and I went to fight overseas. I returned almost a year later, and she told me that she was feeling depressed and needed a friend. I planned a suprise visit, when I arrived and called her phone, a man answered. She said she was sorry, but that she couldn't be with me. She later married him. This is such a great song, just a couple changes, and I could end up with the red lights flashing around me.
  • Michele Raucheisen from Philly, PaIndiania wants me is my all time favorite song. When I hear it it actually brings tears to my eyes. I have the 45 rpm and on cd. There are actually 2 versions but the very first one is my fav. Wish I could see R.Dean Taylor make a video of this.
  • James from Yucaipa, CaGreat song.I have the song on cd & when i first play it in my car people have actually pulled over or looked confused.The sirens are at the beginning.
  • Lisa from Milwaukee, WiI've loved this song since I was a child. I seldom hear it but when I do the world stops and I get chills from head to toe. And don't even try to talk to me while it's playing!
  • Lisa from Milwaukee, WiI've loved this song since I was a child. It's very seldom that I hear it but when I do the world stops and I get chills from head to toe. I can't explain it. And don't even try to talk to me while it is playing!
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhI believe that they mentioned the state of Indiana for the subtle political reason that it sounded better than the names of most other states in that context.
  • Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaThe storyline of this song is vaguely reminiscent of the TV show "The Fugitive," where Dr. Richard Kimble was on the run after having been convicted of murder (of his wife - not a man who insulted her). Kimble, of course, was innocent; R. Dean Taylor's protagonist all but confesses to the crime.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnT really liked the song. The title would also be connected to future Indiana University athletes. I remember both versions, with and without the siren. R. Dean Taylor captured life on the lam in under three minutes.
  • Linda from Tucson, AzIn answer to Mary's question about why write a song about Indiana, Indiana was the last state in the US to utilize the electric chair to enforce the death penalty; a particularly ugly and frightening way to go (remember the scene in "The Green Mile?")
  • Mary from Shelbyville, IdIm just very curious what made a canadian sing about Indiana law in Indiana wants me. Did he ever have a run in with hoosier law enforcment? So R Dean Taylor have you ever been to Indiana?
  • John from Levittown, NyHas one of the best throwaway lines ever "if a man ever needed dying, he did". Ranks right up there with " I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die".
  • John from Philly, PaIn his 1980 album "Joe's Garage," Frank Zappa tells the story of a garage-band member who gets imprisoned for his music. The arrest takes place at the end of track two, and it includes synthesized sirens and a voice seeming to come from a megaphone saying, "this is the police; we have the garage surrounded; give yourself up; we won't harm you, or hurt you, neither."
  • Randy from St Marys, OhThere could be a movie made from this.
  • Josh from Pittsburgh, PaI've heard one or two covers of this song, but they were unpopular. I wouldn't mind hearing a new mainstream cover of it, but it most likely won't happen. The song doesn't really strike today's audiences, and the lyrics are kind of unique. It would still be cool.
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