Sunday, May 1, 2016

BOTB - One Cheap "Country" Trick










WELCOME TO BATTLE OF THE BANDS!! aka, "BOTB". This musical event is sponsored by our blog hosts: Fae and Stephen T. McCarthy. Thank you, guys!

We feature two different recordings of the same song. Listen to both, and then vote for the song version you like the best.  Feel free to leave me a comment, along with your vote. Today's battle runs from May 1st to May 6th. I cut my battle off at midnight on May 6th, posting results on May 7th. Feel free to return and see if your choice won! 


If you would like to listen, and vote in other battles, please see the participant list in the right hand margin. If you would like to join this bi-monthly blog-event, visit the blog co- host, Stephen T. McCarthy. Leave him a message, and your blog address. We would love to have you participate.

Let's go!! Today's battle song: "I Want You to Want Me," by the group, Cheap Trick.

Background noise: This song has a long and intriguing history. It was written by Cheap Trick's guitarist Rick Nielsen and recorded for their 1977 self-titled debut album, but it didn't make the cut. The song was included on their second album In Color, which was released later in 1977. Originally, this version had a medium tempo with a country feel and a honkey tonk piano throughout the song. (I have not been able to locate that particular version.) Later a French cover version ("J'attends Toutes les Nuits") by  a fairly obscure French synthpop artist named Niko Flynn, sped up the tempo and put a beat to the song. Suddenly the song was changed from Country to Rock!  Lastly, this is one of the few rock songs that starts with the chorus.


In 1978, the band had dropped it from their setlist, but restored it when they toured Japan that year, since Japanese audiences loved the Rock Version of this song. They played it on April 28th and 30th at their famous concerts that took place at the Budokan temple in Tokyo, which was a big deal because many Japanese citizens felt the temple was sacred and not appropriate for rock concerts. The concerts were released as the Live At Budokan album, which captured Cheap Trick's live energy and turned their fortunes around in America, where the album was released in February 1979 and sold over 3 million copies. The extracted "I Want You To Want Me" became their first hit, charting at #7.

Song writer, Rick Nielsen explains his perspective behind the song:

"I just pictured myself in a big, overstuffed chair, and my dad turned on the TV; there were like three stations. I wanted to watch Gabby Hayes – he was a cowboy. I always wanted what wasn’t there, so I think that’s what made me inquisitive throughout my whole life. When you wanted Gabby, Gabby’s not there; when you want your dad, your dad is not there. It was the easiest lyric I could think of. And I wish I were that stupid more often. It’s like Van Morrison – with some of his old songs it didn’t matter what the lyrics meant, it’s how they sounded."

For today's battle I'm featuring two versions with a country-rock flavor. Some of you are not Country fans - tough it out!!

Challengers:
1- Dwight Yokum
2- Gretchen Wilson

30 comments:

  1. Very interesting backstory thank you for that. I've always liked Cheap Trick's version from the live album. It's really a great piece of rock and roll.

    Both of these versions are outstanding and either one is a winner for me. Since Wilson stays pretty close to the version with which I'm familiar I'm going to edge her version out with Yoakam's very different country slant. I really like the treatment he gave to the song and in context to the backstory you provided it makes a lot of sense.

    A vote for Dwight Yoakam. Always liked this guys music.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee,

      I really wanted to find Cheap Trick's version with the 'honky-tonk' piano. I'll continue searching for it.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the backstory. I too, found it very interesting.

      And the first vote is for Dwight. Thank you Lee!

      Delete
  2. Immediately I said Definitely Dwight Yoakum. But then I heard Gretchen Wilson and was like Whoa, maybe not so fast. She's really good too. So I gave them another listen and decided that I like Dwight's treatment of the song. Gretchen's, although really good, sound very similar to that of Cheap Trick's version so I'm going with the different sound. Please give my vote to Dwight.
    Great battle Dixie! Love the Country... :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michele. I think these two covers are tricky, both being labeled 'Country,' even though they're different from 'early country.'

      I got you for Dwight!

      Delete
  3. DIXIE POLKA ~
    Ha! You always come up with interesting Battles and this one is no exception.

    I didn't know a lick about the history of this song and it was neat to learn about it. And it's cool how well it works as a Country song.

    I've always liked Dwight Yoakam and used to have a couple of his albums. I was sure I'd vote for him but Gretchen does it really well, too.

    So... I'm casting my vote for...
    ...GABBY HAYES!

    Nah. Actually, I'm not sure. I'll have to return and give 'em both a second listen before I vote.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gee, I wonder if Gabby ever did a cover of this song? There's a story. Ha! Okay, you return at your leisure.

      Delete
  4. That is quite the backstory! I love learning new things about songs that I really enjoy :) I thought I would be casting my vote for Gretchen, but after listening to them both, I kind of felt that Gretchen was being overpowered by the music, and Dwight just gave it his all and made the song his. I am casting my vote for:

    Dwight Yoakum

    My battle will be posted in a few hours. I hope that you'll come by to vote.

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge Z is for Zenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >>..."I kind of felt that Gretchen was being overpowered by the music..."

      Mary, I understand, and considering that Gretchen is usually quite loud and boisterous, her cover differs. Good point!

      Logging you for Dwight. Also, I voted on your battle about an hour ago!

      Delete
  5. Cheap Trick was one of my favorites (oooo, Robin Zander) and I'm also a fan of RN, in general.

    Gretchen Wilson never really did anything for me; not a fan of the tough broad persona much. She has a disadvantage because...

    Ah loves me some Dwight Yoakum...he gets my vote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lady Cherdo - so you're a lover of that Cheap "Country" trick, named Dwight??!!

      Got 'cha.

      Delete
  6. Sheboyganboy VIMay 2, 2016 at 2:38 AM

    This was REALLY interesting! I liked Cheap Trick back in the day, though I saw them on TV the other day and read up on the current backstabbing going on... and I was mad at 'em. Bun E. Carlos, the excellent long-time drummer for the band, has been aced-out and replaced with Daxx Nielsen, the son of Rick. Pretty crappy, I think.

    Anyway, didn't know nuttin' 'bout the song's country origins and it really does work very well as a country song.

    Both versions are really good, but Gretchen's is too much like the original for me to vote for her. Consarn it! Dwight's is excellent, and different. He gets a vote! "yer durn tootin'"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheboyganboy VI,

      Well, well, thanks for keeping me updated with the latest gossip! You'd prefer Daxx to be axed?! Ha!

      Thank you for playing this game. I'll log you for Dwight... our rootin' tootin' cowboy!

      Delete
  7. These were both good, Dixie, and I enjoyed getting the history on this song.

    I love Dwight Yoakam and have for quite a while. I thought his cover was flavorful and unique to him. He really put his own spin on it, so he gets my vote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Robin. Looks like Dwight is walking away with this battle! Got your vote.

      Delete
  8. I don't particularly hate country music. It's just never been my music of choice and I've never had a lot of exposure to it, despite my ex-wife liking country. Of the two offered, I will go for Gretchen Wilson. Who sounded somewhat familiar to me, then I remembered I featured one of her songs a few battles back. It seems I may actually like this country artist, Gretchen Wilson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeffrey, I'm late at liking country music too. I don't have an 'ex' to blame it on. Ha!

      I remember your battle with Gretchen, and think I voted for her. Congratulations on being a new fan!

      Logging you for Gretchen, and there goes the shutout!!! Thank you, (smile).

      Delete
  9. I liked the Gretchen version better. The guitar was more rockin and made it sound less country :) I'm not a country fan.
    ~Katie
    TheCyborgMom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Katie!!! I'm happy you could play today.

      It's fun to be rockin'... I'll log you for Gretchen.

      Delete
  10. Dixie, You made me smile with your statement, Some of you are not Country fans - tough it out! I like newer country quite a bit and as long as traditional country doesn't get too twangy then I like it fine. That being said, then you may have a sense of who is getting my vote. I think both artist tackled this rock number well and the country twist was a nice change up. Dwight's vocals have too much twang to suit me. I preferred Gretchen's voice better, plus she rocked it up a bit, too. Kindly give my vote to Gretchen Wilson. :)

    It's Magic #BoTB showdown

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, only you can decide on the twang factor. Congratulations on "toughing that out".

      Logging you for Gretchen, less twangy in her sang, er, song version!

      Delete
  11. Dwight drenched it with country. Gretchen is country but is a bit country lite. I associate the song more on with classic rock so Gretchen gets my vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Classic rock, you say!!? Yes, I get that, and will log your vote for Gretchen.

      Thanks, Mike.

      Delete
  12. PIGTAILS ~
    This was my toughest Battle this round, because I really like BOTH versions here. In fact, I like BOTH of these covers better'n I do the Cheap Trick original.

    Had to come back again for more listening pleasure.

    I really like the guitar in Wilson's version, but someone above said her vocal is drowned out by the music, and I agree. The recording is great but the mix is poor.

    DWIGHT hits it just right on all points. Gotta vote for him. (I thought his first couple albums were fantastic, and this song's right in the "smile pocket" for him, too.)

    Now, Gretchen's gonna be all pouty 'cause I voted for Dwight. Ahh, "pershnickety females". Gabby had 'em figgered out long before I was born!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ~D-FensDogG,

      >>..."Ahh, "pershnickety females". Gabby had 'em figgered out long before I was born!"

      Ha-ha-ha! Can I say, "you're full of it," in a polite way??

      So, another vote for the dancing cowboy - Dwight, 'alright" Yoakum! (Better than Cheap Trick - I agree!)

      Delete
  13. No idea on the history of this song, thanks for the informative post.

    Dwight gets my vote. I really like him and his version here is reminiscent of Phil and Don. Great piece of music.

    Besides I never really like much about that red neck woman and her pseudo country stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fae!

      >>..."pseudo country stuff." Well said!

      Thank you, and I got 'cha for Dwight.

      Delete
  14. Not a country fan. I cringed as soon as I started to listen to Dwight's twang. I vote for Gretchen Wilson by default. Sorry I'm a bitch about country.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie, I appreciate your honesty, and taking time to play, even though this battle is country themed. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

      Got your vote for Gretchen.

      Delete
  15. Give me the Bakersfield sound of Dwight Yoakam over Gretchen Wilson on this one.

    I had Cheap Trick's "In Color... And In Black and White" years ago, and remember this song definitely sounded country, but I don't remember a honky-tonk piano...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, I too have heard the "In Color..." album, but didn't hear the piano either. I'm still searching for that version... if it even still exists.

      Dwight charms, huh? Got your vote for him.

      Delete