Song of the Day #4,665: ‘I Want You To Want Me (Live from Budokan)’ – Cheap Trick

It’s time for another round of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Having covered the artists inducted in 2017 through 2020, I’m now turning my attention to the 2016 class.

First up is Cheap Trick, the Illinois-based rock band that debuted in 1973 and is still making music today (a planned 2020 album release was delayed due to Covid and will come out later this year).

Cheap Trick has been eligible for the Rock Hall since 2003 and made it in the first year they were nominated.

I have almost zero knowledge of Cheap Trick. Today’s SOTD, an early single that took on new life when it was recorded live on tour in Japan, is the only song of theirs I know well. I’m also familiar with their cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘Don’t Be Cruel,’ released on a comeback album in the late 80s, but that’s it.

I listened to a few of their other hits, including ‘Surrender’ and ‘Dream Police,’ and they didn’t ring a bell. I guess late 70s power pop wasn’t filling my house when I was in grade school.

Oddly enough, though I have almost no knowledge of Cheap Trick’s music, I have seen them perform live.

A few years ago I worked for a company that hosted lavish annual conferences that, due to the company’s ownership of many radio stations, always included live performances. Over the years I was treated to intimate concerts by such acts as Rascal Flatts, the Zac Brown Band, Train, Sheryl Crow, and, yes, Cheap Trick.

I always felt a little bad for these acts, as they performed in front of a crowd of corporate types busy eating hors d’oeuvres and talking loudly. They’d always get a crowd of 50 or so packed around the stage and really into the show, but most of the room treated it like annoying background music.

One exception was Sheryl Crow, who performed a soulful acoustic set to a respectful and rapt audience.

Another exception was Cheap Trick, who played so loudly that dozens of people fled outside, leaving a feisty (and mostly middle-aged) crowd inside to jam along. I started in the latter category, but I must admit I eventually went outside.

So I don’t know if Cheap Trick warrants inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but I know they still rock hard enough to clear a corporate crowd and reach the true believers. I guess that’s what rock-n-roll is all about.

[Intro]
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m beggin’ you to beg me

[Verse]
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me

[Pre-Chorus]
I’ll shine up the old brown shoes, put on a brand-new shirt
I’ll get home early from work if you say that you love me

[Chorus]
Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?
Feelin’ all alone without a friend, you know you feel like dyin’
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?

[Verse]
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m beggin’ you to beg me

[Pre-Chorus]
I’ll shine up the old brown shoes, put on a brand-new shirt
I’ll get home early from work if you say that you love me

[Chorus]
Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?
Feelin’ all alone without a friend, you know you feel like dyin’
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?

[Guitar solo]

[Hook]
Feelin’ all alone without a friend, you know you feel like dyin’
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?

[Piano solo]

[Outro]
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m beggin’ you to beg me

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,665: ‘I Want You To Want Me (Live from Budokan)’ – Cheap Trick

  1. Amy says:

    I wonder what the younger incarnation of their band would think of accepting that invitation. If they were wise, they would likely be thrilled that they would still be relevant and that a small but loyal crowd would be excited to rock along.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    Having listened to a fairly healthy amount of classic rock, particularly in my junior high and high school years (79-85), I am quite familiar with Cheap Trick’s more popular songs, including those you mentioned. Live from Budokan seemed to breathe new life into their music, much like Stop Making Sense did for the Talking Heads.

    I’m a bit on the fence as to the band’s inclusion in the Rock Hall. Somehow, I feel the fact that they have been relegated to playing corporate gigs, both because it shows a fall from grace at least financially and a corporate sellout, should arguably be disqualifying. However, if that were the criteria, the list of disqualified artists would be rather long.

Leave a Reply to Dana Gallup Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.