I Do' Wanna Know

"I Do' Wanna Know" is a song written by Kevin Cronin that was the lead single from REO Speedwagon's 1984 album Wheels Are Turnin'. It was more of a rocker reminiscent of the songs REO Speedwagon had released in the 1970s than the ballads the band had been successful with in the early 1980s. It had limited success on popular music charts, which was blamed for delaying sales of the album until the release of the follow up single, the ballad "Can't Fight This Feeling." The video to the song was nominated for several awards.

"I Do' Wanna Know"
I Do' Wanna Know single cover.jpg
Single by REO Speedwagon
from the album Wheels Are Turnin'
B-side"Rock 'n' Roll Star"
ReleasedOctober 1984[1]
GenreRock, pop
Songwriter(s)Kevin Cronin
Producer(s)Kevin Cronin, Gary Richrath, Alan Gratzer
REO Speedwagon singles chronology
"The Key"
"I Do' Wanna Know"
"Can't Fight This Feeling"

Lyrics and musicEdit

"I Do' Wanna Know" was a throwback to the types of rockers REO Speedwagon had recorded in their earlier days.[2] Allmusic critic Mike DeGagne described the song as "a turbulent ride of clean-cut guitar and up-and-down piano that comes off as well-crafted pop with a bite."[3] Joel Draba-Mann of Johnston Publishing described the song as "a raw track that exhibits the transition the band was undergoing at the time, blending falling pop piano with crisp hard-rock guitar riffs.[4] Digital audio's guide to compact discs described it as "rambunctious and danceable."[5] Billboard Magazine writer Paul Grein described "I Do' Wanna Know" as being "bubblegum-edged."[6]

The lyrics represent the singer's reproachment of a lover he believes is about to leave him.[4] Draba-Mann points out that "Do'" in the title is not the affirmative "do" but rather an abbreviation for "don't."[4]


The single had only limited chart success. It peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, although it did better on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart where it reached #5.[7][8] The follow up single from Wheels Are Turnin, "Can't Fight This Feeling," reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] Billboard Magazine writer Kim Freeman suggested that the release of "I Do' Wanna Know" before "Can't Fight This Feeling" could be regarded as an "oversight,"[9] However, lead singer Kevin Cronin, who authored both songs disagreed, stating that "At that point, we'd been out of the public eye for two years...and we wanted to re-establish ourselves as being back with our upbeat shuffle rock 'n' roll stuff," adding that the song "made its point" and that "not all singles are released to be hits."[9] Grein attributed the initial sluggish sales of Wheels Are Turnin prior to the release of "Can't Fight This Feeling" to the fact that "I Do' Wanna Know" "wasn't fully accepted at pop radio."[6][10]

Despite its limited popularity, Musician magazine rated "I Do' Wanna Know" as REO Speedwagon’s "best single yet."[11] "I Do' Wanna Know" was included on several REO Speedwagon compilation albums and several multi-artist compilation albums of hits from 1984.[12] A live version was released on The Second Decade of Rock and Roll, 1981-1991, which DeGagne praised for being energetic while "keeping with [its] original form."[13]

Music videoEdit

Although "I Do' Wanna Know" was not the most successful single from the album, its video was nominated for four awards from the National Academy of Video Arts & Sciences (NAVAS), for performance by a group, direction, costumes and set design.[14] The video was also nominated for a Billboard music video award for "Best Performance Group."[15] "I Do' Wanna Know" video directors Sherry Revord and Kevin Dole also directed the video for "One Lonely Night," a later single release from Wheels Are Turnin', and made it as a sequel to the "comedic themes" of the "I Do' Wanna Know" video.[16]


REO Speedwagon
Additional personnel


Chart (1984) Peak
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[17] 52
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 29
US Top Rock Tracks[8] 5
US Cash Box [18] 28
US Radio & Records (R&R)[19][20] 23


  1. ^ "Billboard Top Rock Tracks" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. October 27, 1984. p. 18. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  2. ^ Ashcroft, Phil. "REO Speedwagon - Good Trouble / 'Wheels Are Turnin'". Rocktopia. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  3. ^ DeGagne, Mike. "Wheels Are Turnin'". Allmusic. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  4. ^ a b c Draba-Mann, Joel. "Throwback Thursday: Reo Speedwagon - Wheels Are Turnin'". Johnston Publishing. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  5. ^ Canale, Larry; Waryncia, Lou (2008). Digital audio's guide to compact discs. Bantam Books. p. 102. ISBN 0553343564.
  6. ^ a b Grein, Paul (March 9, 1985). "Chart Beat". Billboard Magazine. p. 6. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  7. ^ a b c "Billboard Hot 100: REO Speedwagon". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  8. ^ a b "Mainstream Rock Songs: REO Speedwagon". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  9. ^ a b Freeman, Kim (March 16, 1985). "REO Comes Back, Crosses Over". Billboard Magazine. p. 42. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  10. ^ Grein, Paul (January 26, 1985). "Chart Beat". Billboard Magazine. p. 6. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  11. ^ Musician Issues 75-86. Amordian Press. 1985. p. 92. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  12. ^ "I Do' Wanna Know". Allmusic. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  13. ^ DeGagne, Mike. "The Second Decade of Rock and Roll, 1981-1991". Allmusic. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  14. ^ Zuckerman, Faye (March 16, 1985). "NAVAS Announces Award Nomninees". Billboard Magazine. pp. 32–33. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  15. ^ "7th Annual Billboard Video Music Awards Nominees". Billboard Magazine. November 16, 1985. p. 28. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  16. ^ Zuckerman, Faye (March 23, 1985). "Video Track". Billboard Magazine. pp. 32–33. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  17. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 41, No. 16, December 22, 1984". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. June 15, 1985. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  18. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending DECEMBER 22, 1984". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 2016-10-15.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  19. ^ REO Speedwagon
  20. ^ Charts!

External linksEdit