The Way You Treat Your Man

‘I Just Want to Make Love to Youis a 1954 blues song written by Willie Dixon, first recorded by Muddy Waters, and released as ‘Just Make Love to Me’.  This song also appeared on the 1967 Super Blues album, which was a collaboration between Waters, Bo Diddley, and Little Walter.  A lot of artists recorded this song, including the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, the Animals, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Righteous Brothers, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Chuck Berry, Ann Margret, Foghat, Adele, Lou Rawls, Isaac Hayes, Sam Cooke, Mungo Jerry, B.B. King, The Smashing Pumpkins, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, and many more.  Etta James recorded this for her 1960 debut album, At Last! where she put her own sassy spin on this song, changing some of the lyrics around. 

‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’ was originally sung by Pigpen with the Grateful Dead in 1966, then it was revived by Brent Mydland a couple of times in 1984, and finally played once by Jerry Garcia in 1995.  That recording made it to the 30 Trips Around The Sun album, which is a box set of 30 previously unreleased shows to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead.  In this song, the singer doesn’t expect his woman to take on the traditional domestic responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, or doing laundry, as long as she’s available for lovemaking. 

Willie Dixon was a bassist and sideman for some of the top acts in the world, including some folks don’t realize.  He backed Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter, but also served as a sideman for artists including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Johnny Winter, and Fleetwood Mac.  Dixon. He began writing songs at a young age, adapting them from poems he’d written in Mississippi. After moving to Chicago, he was eventually signed to Chess Records as an artist, but actually spent more time as a producer, talent scout and staff songwriter.

Willie Dixon wrote or co-wrote some really great songs, over 500 songs and he served as a vital link between blues and rock ‘n’ roll.  His songs include ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, ‘Evil’, ‘If the Sea Was Whiskey’, ‘Bring it on Home’, ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’, ‘Talk to Me Baby (I Can’t Hold Out)’, ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’, ‘My Babe’, ‘Back Door Man’, ‘Spoonful’, ‘Wang Dang Doodle’, ‘Little Red Rooster’, ‘I’m Ready’, ‘You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover’ and this one which reached #4 on Billboard magazine’s R&B Best Sellers chart when it was recorded by Muddy Waters.  Backing Waters on vocals are Little Walter on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Otis Spann on piano, Dixon on bass, and Fred Below on drums. 

Dixon’s 1988 album Hidden Charms won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Recording and his song ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ was recognized by The Blues Foundation and the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence in pop music and in 2004, and it was selected for preservation by the U.S. Library of Congress National Recording Registry.  ‘Little Red Rooster’ was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll”.  Willie Dixon was inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the “early influences” (pre-rock) category in 1994 and he was finally inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.   Dixon died of heart failure on January 29, 1992, at the age of 76.

I don’t want you, cook my bread
I don’t want you, make my bed
I don’t want your money too
I just want to make love to you

I don’t want you be no slave
I don’t want you work all day
I don’t want you be sad and blue
I just want to make love to you, baby

I can tell by the way that you twitch and walk
I can see by the way that you baby talk
I can tell by the way that you treat your man
I can love you, baby, it’s a crying shame

I don’t want you wash my clothes
I don’t want you leave the home
I don’t want you to be true
I just want to make love to you

I don’t want you wash my clothes
I don’t want you to keep me home
I don’t want to be true
I just want to make love to you

I don’t want you be no slave
I don’t want you to work all day
I don’t want you to be true
I just want to make love

Baby I need you
I, I need you
Baby I need your
Yes I need your
Baby I need your love
I need your love
I don’t need your money, no
I need your love
I don’t need your money, no
I need your love
Cause it feels so good
Making love to you
Making love to you
Making love to you

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Ghost/Pumpkin/Trick/Treat/Witch.

27 thoughts on “The Way You Treat Your Man

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t share the Muddy Waters version. That’s the best one, for money. I think Little Walter plays chromatic harp on that one, and his solo will really shake you up.

    Sadly, I never saw Willie Dixon when I was in Chicago. He was the poet laureate of the blues.

    Liked by 1 person

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