Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

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"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"
Single by Cher
from the album The Sonny Side of Chér
B-side "Needles and Pins" "Our Day Will Come"
Released 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded 1966
Genre Pop rock
Length 2:44
Label Imperial
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Cher singles chronology
"Where Do You Go"
(1965)
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"
(1966)
"Alfie"
(1966)

"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" is the second single by singer-actress Cher from her second studio album The Sonny Side of Chér. The song was written by Cher's then-husband Sonny Bono and released in 1966. The song reached number three in the UK Singles Chart and number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for a single week (trapped behind (You're My) Soul and Inspiration by The Righteous Brothers), eventually becoming one of Cher's biggest selling singles of the 1960s.[1][2]

Song history[edit]

The single proved successful, charting high on many national charts worldwide. In the United States, it was Cher's biggest solo hit of the 1960s, peaking at #2. This was Cher's first top-three hit in the UK, charting at number 3. It would be her last top-three hit until "The Shoop-Shoop Song" 25 years later.

AllMusic's Joe Viglione reviewed the song positively: "Metaphors abound as the old world mix of strings collides with the new world of pop neatly edited into this under 3 minute hit..."[3] Modern critic Tim Sendra, when he reviewed the "The Sonny Side of Cher" album, wrote a mixed review: "The only track that has any real zest is the Bono-written novelty "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)," the kind of dramatic song Cher could knock out in her sleep but also a song with no real heart."[4] In 1987, Cher recorded a rock version of the song for her comeback album Cher which was released as a promo single only. The 1987 version was performed on Cher's Heart of Stone Tour (1990), Living Proof: The Farewell Tour (2002-2005) and Dressed to Kill Tour (2014).

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1966) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 11
Austrian Singles Chart[5] 6
Belgian Singles Chart 9
Canadian Singles Chart 9
Dutch Singles Chart 16
German Singles Chart 17
Irish Singles Chart 3
Italian Singles Chart 6
New Zealand Singles Chart 2
Polish Singles Chart 15
South Africa Singles Chart 10
Swedish Singles Chart 12
UK Singles Chart[6] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1966) Position
Germany[7] 114
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[8] 60

Cover versions[edit]

Also in 1966, Nancy Sinatra released her version of the song on her album How Does That Grab You?. It featured tremolo effect guitar (played by Billy Strange[9]) and melancholy singing. This version remained relatively obscure[citation needed] until it was used in the opening scenes of the 2003 movie Kill Bill Volume 1. This exposure caused Sinatra's version to be the one chosen by Audio Bullys when, in 2005, they used a sample of the song for their top ten UK hit "Shot You Down", credited officially to Audio Bullys featuring Nancy Sinatra. Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall also sampled this version for his single "Bang Bang", which appeared on his mixtape Kill Bloodclott Bill in 2004. Rapper Young Buck sampled Sinatra's version on his song "Bang Bang" from his album Straight Outta Cashville. Rapper MMJC sampled this song for his track "C-Town Beat Down" on his album "Teaser". "Bang Bang" was included on Vanilla Fudge’s 1967 release, “Bang Bang”. This version of the song was later used in David Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac. A portion of this song version was also used in Netflix original TV Series Lilyhammer Season 2 episode 8.

Other artists who recorded this song include: Stevie Wonder for his 1966 album Down to Earth, The Beau Brummels on their 1966 album Beau Brummels '66, Petula Clark in 1966 for her album I Couldn't Live Without Your Love, Gábor Szabó on his 1966 album Spellbinder, Vanilla Fudge for their 1967 album Vanilla Fudge, Bulgarian artist Lili Ivanova included a Bulgarian-language version called "Benk-benk" on an album of her songs released in Russia in 1968 called "More molodosti", Terry Reid for his 1968 album Bang Bang You're Terry Reid, Frank Sinatra for his 1981 album She Shot Me Down, Cliff Richard, Crazyhead on their "Baby Turpentine" 12" single in 1987, Paul Weller on his 2003 compilation album Fly On The Wall - B Sides And Rarities and Isobel Campbell on her 2004 EP Time Is Just the Same. American Rapper, Lil' Wayne samples the Nancy Sinatra version of this song on his mix-tape Dedication 2 on a song under the same name. The German artist Rainald Grebe used the refrain for his tragicomic song "Bengt Bangt" in his program "Lagerfeuer des Grauens". Japanese pop/rock singer Minako Honda recorded a Japanese cover on her 1989 album WILD CATS (as MINAKO with WILD CATS), while a Vietnamese version can be heard from singer Mỹ Tâm with the title “Khi xưa ta bé (Bang Bang)”.

This song was also very popular in the Sixties in Italy and has been covered by the following artists: Mina, Dalida and the bands Equipe 84 and, in a psych-garage style, I Corvi.[10] In France, the French version with French-language lyrics written by Claude Carrère and Georges Aber was sung by Sheila, and became a big hit there in summer 1966. Still in France, Jacno and Mareva Galanter did a cover of the French version (2006). In Quebec, Claire Lepage did a French cover in 1966.Also, in 1966-67, the song was sung in French by popular artist Dalida.

  • In the 60s Iranian singer Elaheh recorded a Persian cover version of the song with slightly altered lyrics, and more recently in October 2009, Mohsen Namjoo covered the early parts of Bang Bang, singing it in a traditional Iranian key at the end of his song "Hammash".
  • Jamaican rocksteady group Tomorrow's Children covered it as "Bang Bang Rock Steady" in 1967.
  • Swedish singer Anita Lindblom covered it in 1967 as "Pang Pang" and scored a big, evergreen, hit.
  • Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan covered the song in 1967 as a B-side on her single.
  • Turkish singer Cem Karaca covered in 1967 (With apaşlar).
  • Hong Kong actress Betty Chung covered the song with Mandarin vocals and funk/soul instrumentation on her 'Mini Mini' EP in 1968.
  • The Bonzo Dog Band covered the song sometime in 1968. It was a bonus track on the 2007 re-issue of their album The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse.
  • Romanian singer Anda Călugăreanu (voice) and Sincron band covered the song (in Romanian) called "Beng, beng" on a compilation from 1968 called 'Melodii din toată lumea VII' ('Songs from around the world VII')[11]
  • Brazilian singer Denisse de Kalafe covered the song in 1969 called "Bang bang (My baby shot me down)" on her 'D. Kalafe e sua turma' EP.
  • In 1973 New Zealand band Butler released their only album "Butler" which featured Bang Bang as the first track.[12][13]
  • In 1984, Billy Mumy, of Lost in Space fame, and Robert Haimer (both also known as Barnes and Barnes) covered Bang Bang on their 1984 album Amazing Adult Fantasy.
  • In 1991, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet recorded an instrumental version for their second album, Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham.
  • In 2001 Italian singer Spagna covered the song (in Italian) in her album La nostra canzone.
  • John Balance from Coil performed "Bang Bang" during the live concerts of the band in 2002-2004. His versions of this song can be found on Coil live albums Live Four and Selvaggina, Go Back Into The Woods. Coil had previously covered the song in a highly experimental form on their album with ELpH, Worship the Glitch, where the song was retitled "Mono."
  • Vietnamese diva Mỹ Tâm covered the song (in Vietnamese) in her album Not only me/Đâu chỉ riêng em, released in November 2002.
  • The Raconteurs regularly performed the song in concert during 2006.
  • Nancy Sinatra's version of the song was used in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill and was the theme for the BBC's coverage of the 2005 Wimbledon tennis championships.
  • In November 2006, Greek music producer and mixing engineer Antonis Karalis released his version.
  • In 2007, Murder By Death included a cover as a B-side of their single 'Sometimes The Line Walks You'.
  • In 2007, Niia performed it live several times while touring as part of Wyclef Jean's band, and it was featured on PerezHilton.com.
  • The singer and model Carla Bruni performs it in the Lancia Musa TV advertisement, which was broadcast in Europe in January 2008.
  • A remix of this song by Audio Bullys was played during the 2005 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
  • In the 2008 French-Canadian movie Maman est chez le coiffeur, the song is played twice in French: the 1966 Claire Lepage version near the beginning and later by Elie Dupuis, one of the stars of the movie who was 12 years-old. The Dupuis version is also featured on the film's soundtrack.
  • In 2008, the Italian gothic-metal band Domina Noctis covered this song on their second album, Second Rose.[14]
  • In 2009, Stéphanie Lapointe released a French version as well on her album "Donne-moi quelque chose qui ne finit pas".
  • In 2009, Mandragora Scream released a cover of the song on her album Volturna.
  • This song was also covered by The Raconteurs at Austin City Limits in 2009.
  • Another Canadian artist, Melanie Durrant, released her cover version of the song in 2005.
  • Pop artist Lady Gaga used Sinatra's cover in video interludes on certain dates of The Fame Ball Tour (juxtaposed with Beautiful, Dirty, Rich) in 2009.
  • American rock band Bon Jovi regularly performed the first verse live as an intro into Shot Through The Heart.
  • In 2010, a Polish singer Ania covered the song on her album Ania Movie.
  • In 2010 Welsh classical crossover singer Charlotte Church covered the song in her album "Back to Scratch".
  • In 2010 Macedonian punk-rock band Parketi covered the song as a single.
  • In 2010, Maiysha on Undercover: Live From New York
  • In May 2011 Burlesque performer Miss Annie covered the song as the soundtrack of short film Gang Girls featuring Shana Swash.
  • In 2011 Los Angeles singer/songwriter Sarah Ault covered Bang Bang on her debut album The Pressure Beneath.
  • On their 2007-2008 tour, Mexican rock band "He Shot Me" covered the Sinatra version to open their show.
  • In 2012, the Boston band, Emily Peal and The Band of Skinny Men, covered Bang Bang in their well-received YouTube video.
  • In 2012, San Francisco funk band Monophonics covered this song as one of the leading tracks off their upcoming album "In Your Brain".
  • Indie rock band Murder By Death plays the song at concerts and was featured on the Fuego! ep
  • On November 13, 2012, the song was recorded by Anneliese van der Pol on the first cast recording of For The Record Series, For The Record: Tarantino. The album features songs from the films of Quentin Tarantino, including Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds.
  • In 2013, Rapper will.i.am used a sample from the song on his hit "Bang Bang"
  • In January 2013, BangBang was covered by 2CELLOS, on their 2nd album "In2ition," and sung by Sky Ferreira.
  • In August 2013, the girlband Brown Eyed Girls covered the song and used it in their music video "KILL BILL" as an intro song.
  • For their 2013 tour, rock band Three Days Grace uses Nancy Sinatra's version of this song as an intro to their set. It starts off with Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine and mid song it is interrupted by a crash of thunder and Nancy Sinatra's version of the song begins playing as the lights fade to total darkness on stage.
  • In October 2013, Nico Vega covered "Bang Bang" for the promo of A&E's mini-series Bonnie & Clyde: Dead and Alive and plan to release the track on their sophomore album Lead To Light (2014). Their version also featured on Britain's Got Talent (series 8).
  • In December 2013, German singer/songwriter Luca[disambiguation needed], winner of the worldwide 2012 Amnesty International song contest, covered "Bang Bang" on a song night event for Christmas in her hometown Osnabrueck, accompanied by host Heinz Rebellius on guitar
  • In January 2014, David Guetta remixed "Bang Bang" with Skylar Grey and named the cover "Shot Me Down".
  • In March 2014, Icelandic rock band Kaleo covered "Bang Bang" in a performance on RAS2, an Icelandic public radio station.
  • In April 2014, New York musician Pharmakon covered "Bang Bang" for the compilation album Todo Muere, Vol. 4, released by Sacred Bones Records for Record Store Day 2014.[15]
  • In July 2014, pop singer Lady Gaga covered "Bang Bang" at the Rose Theater for the special TV program "Cheek to Cheek: LIVE" confirming after that her cover would be on her first Jazz album titled Cheek to Cheek in conjunction with the legendary Tony Bennett. After Cheek to Cheek '​s release, the song debuted at number one on the Billboard's Jazz Digital Songs Chart, which became her first entry as a solo artist.[16]
  • In August 2014, pop singer Beyoncé sang a version of "Bang Bang" in a TV commercial for the HBO special of the joint tour with her husband Jay Z.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cher - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  2. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. 
  3. ^ Song review by Allmusic's Joe Viglione, Retrieved 15 October 2013
  4. ^ The Sonny Side of Cher - Cher | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic
  5. ^ Austrian Singles Chart [1] . Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  6. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1966). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 53. 
  7. ^ German Singles Chart (1966). "German Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  8. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1966". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  9. ^ "Guitarist Billy Strange Talks About Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Bang Bang’ « Lost & Sound". Lostandsound.wordpress.com. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  10. ^ "I Corvi - Bang bang (1966)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  11. ^ "Web database with cover versions and musical quotations". 
  12. ^ Butler Track Listing-Last FM Retrieved: May 20, 2013.
  13. ^ Bang Bang/Reach Out on YouTube Retrieved: 20 May 2013
  14. ^ "Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". 
  15. ^ "Pharmakon Covers Cher/Nancy Sinatra Song "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-08-16. 
  16. ^ "Jazz Digital Songs: Oct 11, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "Watch Beyoncé Sing "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" To Jay Z". BuzzFeed. 

External links[edit]