Track of the Day: 'I Want You to Want Me' by Dwight Yoakam

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Reader Tim recommends a country reboot of a late ’70s rock classic—though it didn’t even chart in the U.S. when it was first released as a single:

Man, I feel like the covers project needs some hemoglobin. Lenny Kravitz? My arteries run blue.

Here’s Dwight Yoakam covering Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.” In addition to being awesome, it’s one of those rare covers that would have worked on its own, without the frisson of association.

And it’s a cheap out, but Postmodern Jukebox’s jazzy covers of pop hits are reliably great, if best in individual doses. I think you posted on the Dish via me their cover of Wham’s “Careless Whisper.” Their “All About That (Upright) Bass” is even better.

Update from reader Mike Kludt:

Since Dwight Yoakam is the subject, how about his cover of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”? He does a nice job, but to me it highlights the versatility of Queen, a group that produced songs ranging from that one to “Stone Cold Crazy” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Speaking of versatility, Yoakam gave a surprisingly stellar acting performance in Sling Blade, the movie that gave Billy Bob Thornton his big breakout. Yoakam played the sadistic stepfather figure to the boy protagonist and could have inspired a sequel called Lawnmower Blade.

(Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)