39) Brenda Lee – “I Want to Be Wanted”

 Apologies for the delay in getting around to “I Want to Be Wanted.”  I suspect three factors: a sudden influx in work due to the real start of a new semester, blowing my wad with the lengthy “Mr. Custer” post and not being particularly inspired by Brenda Lee’s second number one.  If this were a middling single, that wouldn’t be much of an issue – compare its good points with its bad points and blame its overall blandness for the short entry.  The problem is that I actually like ‘I Want to Be Wanted” quite a bit.  I think it does a better job than the (quite good) “I’m Sorry” of establishing Lee’s persona: the little girl with the big voice that can sometimes mask her insecurities.  Really, though, this is just another solid Brenda Lee single.  That shouldn’t be taken as a dismissal, but a sign of the uniformly high level of quality present in her early ’60s records.  The song itself may or may not be that great, and the production is pedestrian though not overbearing.  But Brenda herself is always believable, with a powerful yet vulnerable voice that set her apart from her contemporaries. (Wanda Jackson had the power and Connie Francis the vulnerability, but neither of them could convey both simultaneously.)  Before writing this post, I thought that the most difficult songs to write about were the boring ones that give you nothing to say, either positive or negative.  Turns out it’s the good ones that just aren’t special. 7

Hit #1 on October 24, 1960; total of 1 week at #1
39 of 965 #1’s reviewed; 4.04% through the Hot 100


Filed under 07, 1960

2 responses to “39) Brenda Lee – “I Want to Be Wanted”

  1. Eddie George

    ” Little Miss Dynamite ” is a very special person.
    Powerful voice. Delicate persona.
    Wonderful human being.

  2. GeorgeL

    Brenda Lee was very talented but for some reason most of her records don’t do much for me. Nothing wrong with them – nicely done teen pop but just not quite my cup of tea. I read her bio a few years ago. She sounds like a very nice person – very unaffected by her success. I did really like her late 60’s hit “Johnny One Time”.

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