This late 70’s hit song was a big standard with me, charting at #2 in Canada in late 1978 but remaining popular well into the 80’s. Actually, I was surprised to learn that it was not an 80’s tune! The only version I have ever heard in my life is the one from Cheap Trick at Budokan. According to Wikipedia, the live version has a heavier beat and faster tempo, and also features 2 guitar solos instead of piano. It makes sense then, to play this song on a guitar, but even MORE sense to jam it out on ukulele!
Before you watch this, I have to declare that I love everything about the video!! Where do I start? The drummer with the sunglasses on, playing so casually with a cigarette hanging out of his lips? The camera even features his white patent leather shoes. WOW The bass player with the black and white checkered pants, hopping around stage like he is back in time at a 50’s sock hop, big red cardigan hanging off him with white musical letters on it. WOW And, saving the best for last, the GORGEOUS LEAD SINGER: blonde hair, dimple in chin – Yes, please!!
Just reading further, that the popularity of this band and this song solidified in the 80’s, largely due to the recording of their live performance at Budokan temple in Japan, where I Want You To Want Me was most popular at the time. However, as the band “evolved” shall we say, into the 80’s pop and heavy metal music culture, they transformed into an iconic 80’s band. Their slick white outfits and fitted button-up shirts gave way to all-black outfits with the iconic leather pants, leather boots, the chains and heavy jewellry, shaggy hair and ripped t-shirts, etc. Robin Zander, lead singer, also took to hollering out, “I want YOU… to want ME!!!” before even one note of the song was played.
You can also check out more recent video’s of the band playing this song and some of their other hits – Ain’t That A Shame, Don’t Be Cruel, The Flame – on Youtube, some as current as 2013. The band is still rockin’ it out, and yes, Rick Neilson is still bopping around stage in his iconic cardies and blazers!