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!!
1- Dwight Yokum
2- Gretchen Wilson