Burning The Ground: DjPaulT's 80's and 90's Remixes

80's and 90's 12 Inch Mixes

Boys Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be A Cowboy (US 12″)

Posted by DjPaulT on May 4th, 2011


Boys Don’t Cry were a British studio band known for the hit single “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” discovered by Paul Oakenfold, who was a talent scout for Profile Records in London in the mid-’80s. Best known for being Run DMC’s record label at the time, Profile signed the band for the U.S. market and Legacy retained the rights to the band’s UK releases. Mercury Records won the bidding for Canada and Intercord Tonträger GmbH handled their releases in Germany.

The tune “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” was released in 1986. A novelty song with deadpan humour and kitschy references, the song has been described as the perfect musical realisation of a spaghetti western movie. It hit #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #13 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi Singles Sales chart in 1986-1987, and was R&R #8. “I Wanna Be A Cowboy” was also a top 10 hit in Australia and South Africa.

They would go on to release two full-length albums: a self-titled debut in 1986, which included “I Wanna Be a Cowboy,” and a follow-up the following year titled Who the Am Dam do You Think We Am. The second album was simply released in America as “Boys Don’t Cry,” creating some confusion there, since the band now had two consecutive self-titled albums released within a year of each other.

On July 30, 1997, co-writers Nick Richards and Brian Chatton sued Paula Cole, Warner Brothers Records, and Imago Records, along with remix producers DJ EFX, Big Ed, and the E-Team, for $7 million in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claiming that Cole’s remix “Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?” used the phrase “I wanna be a cowboy” 24 times in the same style and syntax as their song and constituted copyright infringement.

I Wanna Be A Cowboy (12″ Saddle Mix) 6:05

I Wanna Be A Cowboy (Instrumental Saloon Mix) 6:05

VINYL: Near Mint
Cover: Near Mint


Year Single Chart Position
1985 I Wanna Be A Cowboy U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #12
1985 I Wanna Be A Cowboy U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi Singles Sales #13
1985 I Wanna Be A Cowboy U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play #44


Label: Profile Records
Catalog#: PRO-7084
Format: Vinyl, 12″, Single, 33 RPM
Country: US
Released: 1985
Genre: Electronic
Style: Synth-pop
Credits: Engineer – Chris Potter, Tony Taverner
Photography – Simon Fowler
Producer – Boys Don’t Cry
Written-By – Chatton*, Seopardie*, Richards*, Ramsden*

Jacket Made In Canada
Message in run-out groove, side A: This Cowboy Ride is BLAZE-“ing” HOT!!!
1985 Legacy Records (London)

Find the 12″ on DISCOGS

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut III
Cartridge: Ortofon Super
Stylus: Ortofon OM Stylus 30
Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Preamp
Soundcard: ESI Juli@
VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Brother MFC-6490CW Professional Series Scanner

Adobe Audition 3.0 (Recording)
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Playlist Creator

All vinyl rips are recorded @ 32bit/float
Downsampled to 24bit/96kHz and16bit /44kHz using iZotope RX Advanced 2
FLAC (Level Eight)
MP3 (320kbps)
Artwork scanned at 600dpi

PW: burningtheground

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18 Responses to “Boys Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be A Cowboy (US 12″)”

  1. Woz Says:

    This is a great single, but I was surprised to see that it hit #12 on the Billboard 100. I never thought it did that well. Good for them. It is a goodie. It manages to be funny and cool at the same time, and you can dance to it. Thanks again, djpt!


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You’re welcome Woz it has always been a favorite and you are right it’s funny yet cool at the same time. To have an 80’s blog you have to include this one it’s essential.


  2. ric Says:

    I too was surprised at its US success…it was even a Hot Shot Debut in AT40 if I recall correctly.
    But I’m glad for its 80s success becoz we need the variety, the originality and the quirks in our Pop Charts, and not clones clones clones that’s saturating the Charts now.
    I think Madonna also named it as one of her favourite tunes that year.


  3. Cal Says:

    While this song is a great summation of a western, the best “musical realization of a spaghetti western” goes to “Reach” by Martini Ranch, in my opinion. The band features Bill Paxton (with Morricone-style whistling by Judge Reinhold) and the music video featured a considerable portion of the cast of “Aliens,” including Paxton and Lance Henriksen.


  4. Kevin Says:

    Interesting that the cover has that censor border around it. I have the Canadian 12″ of this. It has no border around the image, which lets you see the Indian girl’s boob. I was always surprised that “they” would put a cover out with nudity on it (this is long before the days of Pet Shop Boys naughty promo covers!).

    Either way, a great dittie. Very happy that you put it up here in your cleaner than clean vinyl rips. Keep up the excellent work Paul. Hopefully, you’ll do more of the records in my collection and save me the trouble of converting them 😉

    Wink wink, nudge nudge, The Alarm “Strength” 12″ single…


  5. Bob Hansen Says:

    I love, love, love this track!! This (as well as the Chicago post) brought back a lot of great memories for me. Thanks so much Paul.


  6. 1980-F Says:

    Hey, seems like our spirits are in tune. I tried to get a copy of the 1986 album CD on ebay today, but at 25 Euros I gave up. 🙁
    So, if you have the CD I’d appreciate a FLAC-rip very much!

    Thanks for the great 12inch so far! 🙂


  7. Low OiL Says:

    Hey thanks for sharing these mixes. Good fun memories… BTW… nice quality too.


  8. chrisbod Says:

    That’s great stuff !
    It’s been such a long time since I last heard this one !
    Thank you sooooo much for bringing this one back 🙂


  9. ra1apm Says:

    Wow, nice version, gracias.


  10. GRINGODJ Says:




  11. Mike Says:

    You may already be aware, but this link is dead. I think this is the first time I’ve come across a dead link to 24-bit flac, fyi.


  12. Angel Says:

    This is great Single!
    I would like to have it …but the links
    are all Dead…id like them in Mp3
    you works o fine on the old vinyls
    can re reup them please?



  13. kookoo Says:

    Hello Paul. I’ve been trying to download the ‘Boy Don’t Cry / IWwanna Be Your Cowboy’ single, but it seems the link is dead. It sends me to an ad. This is the first time I’ve come across a dead link to 24-bit flac. All the best.


    DjPaulT Reply:

    Kookoo links have been fixed.


  14. Angel Says:

    seems paul is not make reupps.
    first down notifier is from august…
    mine from 14 days ago…
    no answers…


    DjPaulT Reply:

    Links have been fixed. Remember donations are welcome 🙂


    kookoo Reply:

    Thanks!! Have a fun New Year’s Eve. All the best.


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