I Want You to Want Me
Writer(s): Rick Nielsen (see lyrics here)
Released (studio version): September 1977
First Charted (live version): April 21, 1979
Peak (studio): 97 CN
Peak (live): 7 US, 3 CB, 4 HR, 11 RR, 1 CL, 29 UK, 2 CN, 43 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions, live version): 1.0 US
Airplay/Streaming (in millions – studio and live versions): -- radio, 19.18 video, 141.38 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Cheap Trick formed in 1973 in Rockford, Illinois. After their self-titled debut failed to chart, they quickly followed it up with In Color that same year. It reached #73 in the U.S. and featured the song “I Want You to Want Me.” However, that song nor any other from the album, hit the Billboard charts in America. It did reach a lowly #97 in Canada.
Japan, however, was a different story. “Just as their third album, the classic Heaven Tonight hit the streets, Cheap Trick found themselves being welcomed to Japan, Beatlemania-style. This led to a headlining tour, and the recording of a series of shows at the legendary Budokan arena.” UCR
In the fall of 1978, Cheap Trick released a live album, At Budokan, capturing the shows. It was originally intended to be released only in Japan, but it caught on in the U.S. and “reportedly became the biggest selling import album of the ‘70s.” UCR That led to an official American release by Epic Records in early 1979. The album reached #4 and sold three million copies.
Much of the success was due to the live version of “I Want You to Want Me.” The band’s Rick Nielsen, who wrote the song as “an overblown pop parody” WK/sup> and Tom Petersson were critical of the “lightweight production” WK of the original studio version. In concert, however, they played it at a faster tempo, which “transformed into a rocked-up guitar raver in concert, and…helped catch the ear of listeners in the states.” UCR The song reached #1 in Japan, #2 in Canada, and was a top-10 hit in the United States. It made “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.” UCR