Perhaps Cheap Trick’s best known song, I Want You To Want Me didn’t even tickle the charts first time around—then came the live version (1979), and a #7 hit in the US and #29 in the UK.
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- Tom Petersson, Randy “Xeno” Hogan (replaced very early on by Robin Zander) and Bun E. Carlos formed Cheap Trick in Rockford, Illinois back in the 60s. After going through several band names, the boys went to a Slade concert. Tom noted that the band used “every cheap trick in the book” as part of their act. That became the band’s new name – one which has been used since 1973 through to today.
- The band’s first album, Cheap Trick, was released in early 1977. Two more followed and, while acclaimed by fans, had little real success in the US with none of them making it to the Top 40.
- In Japan it was a different story, however. All three albums went gold and, when Cheap Trick toured there for the first time in April 1978, their reception was reminiscent of Beatlemania. While in Japan, the band recorded two concerts and Cheap Trick at Budokan was born. Initially intended for release in Japan only, it was released in the US in 1979 and launched the band into international stardom—the album went triple platinum in the US.
- The biggest hit from the album was I Want You to Want Me. It had previously been released on the album, In Color.
- The band’s next studio album, Dream Police, was a hit, as was the title track.
- By 1980, Cheap Trick was headlining arenas and engaged George Martin to produce their album All Shook Up – another gold record.
- Band members recorded tracks for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s album Double Fantasy – their cuts were never used on the original album with John favouring a lighter sound. They can be found on bootlegs and various anthologies, however.
- After four decades, Cheap Trick continues to tour and can now lay claim to over 5,000 live performances.
i want you to want me fax
- Written by Rick Nielsen, I Want You to Want Me first appeared on Cheap Tricks second album In Color. Released in 1977, it was the first single from that album, and it did not chart in the United States.
- I Want You to Want Me was, however a #1 single in Japan paving the way for Cheap Trick’s Budokan concerts and their subsequent international success.
- The live version of I Want You to Want Me, released in 1979, became Cheap Trick’s biggest selling single, reaching #7 US charts. It was also the band’s highest charting UK single, peaking at #29.
- Bass player Tom says:
My recollection is that Rick did that song as a bit of a joke, because at the time when we had done that song there was a lot of pop music on the radio—ABBA, and all sorts of things, disco, Rick thought, ‘I’m just going to do an over-the-top pop song. I just want to do one that’s so silly—total pop—and then we’ll do a heavy version of it.’ He didn’t know what was going to happen with it. The idea was to have it like a heavy metal pop song. Cheap Trick doing ABBA—except a very heavy version.
- I Want You To Want Me has been covered by an eclectic mix of artists including: Dwight Yoakam, Lindsay Lohan, and Chris Isaak.
i want you to want me – cheap trick – 1977 – video
i want you to want me – cheap trick – 1979 at the budokan – video
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