Wednesday 25 June 2014

It never ends: Hitmen - I Want You, 1980

Hitmen's second 7", I Want You / Tell Tale Heart (WEA, 100129) sees them start the move from the perfect powerpop of the first 7" to the less interesting macho hard rock of the LPs. The band were nothing if not a great singles band however, and all the 45s are well worth getting. It was said at the time that the A-side, I Want You, was inspired by Kiss' 1979 hit I Was Made For Loving You. Hmm, we can't really hear it. Even down the decades that smells like Record Company bullshit, riding off the popularity of that year's hit. Further, we're pretty sure a man of taste like songwriter Warwick Gilbert would have ripped off prime era Kiss, like Deuce, Strutter or Cold Gin, if he was so inclined.

What is true though is that said Record Company were too cheap to stump up for a picture sleeve, so the band had some printed themselves and hand distributed them to at least the Sydney shops.

On the other hand, through WEA's worldwide reach, the single also got issued in Italy (WEA, Y 70005) as part of The Sound Of The 80s series. Both white label promos and coloured label stock copies exist.

There are mentions on the web of a German issue with the same catalogue number but we're dubious to the point of saying it doesn't exist.

What is maybe less known is the alternative version of I Want You which appeared on a K-Tel greatest hits LP called Squeezed Out later in 1980, alongside The Aliens, The Angels, The Reels and, um, Christie Allen. K-Tel mastering renders the song two seconds shorter but it's the same version with a different mix - louder rhythm guitar post-chorus (an improvement) and big '80s sounding drums (sad slide whistle).

I Want You (single version) [Download]

I Want You (Squeezed Out version) [Download]

Telltale Heart [Download]


Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back again.

The Hitmen were a great live band, at least in the earlier versions that I saw. I saw them play to half a dozen punters at the Fairfield Hotel, but they still put in a great set. At places like the Stagedoor Tavern it would be packed and the audience could get pretty involved. The Hitmen's version of Shake Some Action always got a wild response.

Chairman Ralph said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog, and I'm diggin' it -- as far as this 45 goes, I'd argue that the order of these sides should have been flipped around.

I don't find "I Want You" terribly impressive, given the level of talent involved -- it strikes me as a contrived bid at a fist-waving glam-pop anthem that would make the cash registers jingle. Except for the chorus (which is catchy, I'll admit), "I Want You" doesn't have much else going for it.

Funnily enough, DOES remind me of "I Was Made For Lovin' You" -- primarily on the rhythmic side, which struck me as a slightly slower take on the 120 BPM approach that characterized most disco records of the period (good, bad or ugly).

"Telltale Heart", on the other hand, is a totally different beast -- it's harder-hitting, and boasts a killer guitar solo, to boot! So I know which one I'm going to play more often.

Anyway, that's my take, for what it's worth -- now I'll go back to delving through your blog, and figuring out which tunes will make it into my collection. Looks like I've got plenty more digging to do!

djbethell said...

Just discovered the genius of The Hitmen. Thanks for sharing. Any chance of a reload as links are expired? - <3