No. 44 Cheap Trick, ‘I Want You To Want Me’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs
In the spring of 1979, you couldn’t escape the sounds of ‘I Want You To Want Me,’ the first big hit from Cheap Trick.Then again, why would you want to?
The original studio version of the song had appeared on the band’s 1977 soph0more LP ‘In Color,’ and failed to make any waves in this country. In Japan, a different story was unfolding. With the release of ‘In Color,’ the band became an overnight sensation in the land of the rising sun.
Just as their third album, the classic ‘Heaven Tonight,’ hit the streets, Cheap Trick found themselves being welcomed Beatlemania-style in Japan. This led to a headlining tour, and the recording of a series of shows at the legendary Budokan arena.
The resulting album, ‘Cheap Trick At Budokan,’ was released in the fall of 1978 and was originally intended for a Japanese-only release. Then something happened. Imports started showing up in this country and what d’ya know… it started selling. In fact, it reportedly became the biggest selling import album of the ’70s.
So, in a classic case of supply and demand, Epic Records released ‘Budokan’ here in early 1979 and it just took off. The almost quaint little song from ‘In Color’ was transformed into a rocked-up guitar raver in concert, which helped catch the ear of listeners in the states.
The success of ‘At Budokan’ caught everyone — the label, radio programmers, not to mention the band itself, by surprise. As it kept selling, the album shot to No. 4, and ‘I Want You To Want Me’ to No. 7. It made the Budokan and Cheap Trick household names and turned the masses on to what the band’s die hard fans already knew, this was a great band that needed to be heard!
Along with ‘Surrender,’ this remains the song most identified with the eternally great Cheap Trick, and we are punched as pleased to have it featured here on our list of the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs.
Watch Cheap Trick Perform ‘I Want You To Want Me’