Big Spender

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This article is about the song. For the Hong Kong criminal, see Cheung Chi Keung. For the US television series, see Big Spender (TV series). For the song by Freeway and Jay-Z, see Roc-A-Fella Billionaires.

"Big Spender" is a song written by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields for the musical Sweet Charity, first performed in 1966. It is sung, in the musical, by the dance hostess "girls"; it was choreographed by Bob Fosse for the Broadway musical and the film.[1] It is "set to the beat of a striptease" as the girls "taunt" the customers.[2]

Shirley Bassey version[edit]

"Big Spender (remix)"
Single by Shirley Bassey
from the album Get the Party Started
Released 10 December 2007
Format Digital download
Recorded 1984
Genre Pop, vocal
Length 3:24
Label Lock Stock and Barrel
Writer(s) Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields
Producer(s) Nikki Lamborn, Catherine Feeney, Diz Disdale
Shirley Bassey singles chronology
"Get the Party Started"
(2007)
"Big Spender"
(2007)

A hit version of the song by Shirley Bassey reached #21 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1967.[3] This version is featured in the 2004 film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, and in the 2005 film Nynne. The song has become one of Bassey's signature songs. She has performed the song numerous times, most notably for the 80th birthday of Prince Philip. She also sang it at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival.[4]

In December 2007 it was re-released in a new remixed version as a digital download. This was the third and final single released from the album Get the Party Started. The single features a remix from Pink Pound and two instrumental remixes that were not included on the album release. Unlike the previous two singles this track featured a remix of a previous released recording, the vocal track was taken from a session recorded in 1984 for the album I Am What I Am. There was no promotion undertaken for the single and no video was made to support the release.

Track listing[edit]

UK Digital remix single

  1. "Big Spender" (NorthxNWest remix) – 3:24
  2. "Big Spender" (Pink Pound remix) – 5:42
  3. "Big Spender" (NorthxNWest instrumental) – 3:24
  4. "Big Spender" (Pink Pound instrumental) – 5:42

Other versions[edit]

Recorded versions[edit]

Live performances[edit]

  • In the late 1970s Tom Waits often used to perform "Big Spender" as a medley with the song "Small Change".
  • Queen performed it live at Wembley Stadium on 12 July 1986, and also performed it live in the early 1970s.
  • Dionne Warwick and Debby Boone performed the song on Boone's show One Step Closer in 1982.
  • The Pussycat Dolls Doll Domination Tour that started in 2009, featured Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, and Kimberly Wyatt dancing "Big Spender", following by a performance by Melody Thornton.

Parodies and alternate lyrics[edit]

  • The song appeared in Muriel Cigar commercials in the 1970s, sung by Edie Adams. A modified version of the tune entreated the viewer to "...spend a little dime with me", referring to the price of a Muriel Cigar.
  • In an episode of British Asian sketch comedy show Goodness Gracious Me, the cast perform a parody of the song called "Big Spinster".
  • In the "Two Bad Neighbors" episode of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson performed the song at a yard sale with new lyrics to reflect the merchandise he is promoting.
  • In the Discworld Noir computer game the 'Troll Saphire' performed a parody of "Big Spender", with the opening lyrics as "The minute you walked through the wall, I could tell that you were a troll of destruction"
  • In the "Viva Mars Vegas" episode of Futurama, a parody version is played of "Big Spender", with the lyrics as "Hey Big Lobster", when Dr. Zoidberg shows up at a casino on Mars with millions of dollars to spend and lose.

Samples[edit]

Television and film appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Listing with plot synopsis and production notes tamswitmark.com, accessed March 17, 2009
  2. ^ Furia, Philip, America's Songs (2006), CRC Press, ISBN 0-415-97246-9, p. 287
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 44–45. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Needham, Alex.ReivewThe Guardian, 24 June 2007
  5. ^ Peggy Lee listing peggylee.com, accessed March 17, 2009

External links[edit]