I Got You Babe

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"I Got You Babe"
French 7-inch single cover
Single by Sonny & Cher
from the album Look at Us
Released July 9, 1965
Format 7" single
Recorded 1965
Genre Baroque pop
Length 3:11
Label Atco
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Certification Gold (US)
Sonny & Cher singles chronology
"Love Is Strange"
"I Got You Babe"
"The Letter"
Alternative covers

"I Got You Babe" is a song by the American pop music duo Sonny & Cher and the first single from their first album Look at Us. In August 1965, the single spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States[1] where it sold more than 1 million copies and was certified Gold. It also reached #1 in the United Kingdom and Canada. The song was featured as one of the greatest duets of all times by both Billboard and Rolling Stone magazine.[2][3] It also placed at #444 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of all time.

Background and composition[edit]

Sonny Bono, a songwriter and record producer for Phil Spector, wrote the lyrics to and composed the music of the song for himself and his then-wife, Cher, late at night in their basement.[citation needed] Session drummer Hal Blaine performed the drums for the song. "I Got You Babe" became the duo's biggest single, their signature song, and a defining recording of the early hippie countercultural movement.

Allmusic critic William Ruhmann praised the song: 'Recalling Dylan's bitter 1964 song "It Ain't Me Babe" (soon to be a folk-rock hit for the Turtles), Bono wrote his own opposite sentiment: "I Got You Babe." Where Dylan was lyrically complex, Bono was simple: His lyric began with the ominous youth-versus-grownups theme of "they" who set up barriers to romance, but soon gave way to a dialogue of teenage romantic platitudes. Where Dylan was musically simple, however, Bono, without fully rebuilding Spector's Wall of Sound, was more structurally ambitious, following the song's standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus form with an ascending coda that built to a climax, then started building again before the fadeout, all in only a little over three minutes. Set to waltz time, the tune retained a light feel despite the sometimes busy instrumentation, led by a prominent oboe, and the alternating vocals of the two singers. If neither Bono nor Cher were interesting singers, their plodding, matter-of-fact performances gave the song a common-man appeal.'[4] Bruce Eder highlighted the song on the "Look at Us" album.[5]

In the United States, the song has sold more than 1 million copies in 1965 and was certified Gold by the RIAA. As of November of 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of "I Got You Babe" to be 372,000 in the US.[6]

Live performances[edit]

Sonny and Cher last performed the song together during an impromptu reunion on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman on November 13, 1987.[7][8][9] Cher performed the song with R.E.M. on February 14, 2002, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.[10] It was her first performance of the song without Sonny.[11] During Cher's 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour using left behind vocals and a projection of videos of Sonny, Cher performed the song live with Sonny for the first time since 1987.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Cher with Beavis and Butt-head version[edit]

"I Got You Babe"
Single by Cher with Beavis and Butt-head
from the album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience
Released 1993
Format CD, Maxi single
Genre Pop, rock, heavy metal
Length 4:00
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Sonny & Cher Bono
Cher singles chronology
"I Got You Babe"
Love Can Build a Bridge"

In 1993, Cher did a version of her 1965 duet with her then husband Sonny Bono with the American animated characters Beavis and Butt-head. The song was the first single from The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience, a compilation comedy album released in 1993 by the Geffen Records, which is one of the fastest selling comedy albums and has officially sold 1,610,000 units and was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA in the United States.[43] [44] Allmusic reviewed this song by calling it "most interesting" track on the album.[45] The single reached top 40 in the UK and Sweden, as well as the top ten in the Netherlands and Poland.

Music video[edit]

A funny and psychedelic video was produced which got a lot of MTV (Viacom) airplay. It featured Cher and Beavis and Butt-head in a virtual animated world. In the video, the animated pair refer to her former husband Bono as a dork and a wuss, to which Cher agrees. It was placed at number 5 on the "50 Greatest Funny Moments in Music" list made by [[VH-1]channel in 2004.]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Cher With Beavis And Butt-Head – I Got You Babe (4:00)
  2. Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe (3:12)


Chart (1994) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report) 69
Belgian Singles Chart 19
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[46] 10
Poland Singles (Polish Music Charts) 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[47] 40
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 35
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard) 8

In popular culture and cover versions[edit]

The song has been frequently covered and featured in film and television, including Sonny and Cher's own The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. "I Got You Babe" made a bit of a comeback when it was used repeatedly as Phil Connors' alarm clock wake-up music in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. On re-release, the single re-charted in the UK, reaching #66. The Etta James' cover of the song was recently featured in the DLC Left Behind for the 2013 video game, The Last of Us.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 539. 
  2. ^ "Top 40 Biggest Duets of All Times". Billboard. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  3. ^ "The 10 Greatest Duets of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  4. ^ I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher | Listen, Appearances, Song Review | AllMusic
  5. ^ Look at Us - Sonny & Cher | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic
  6. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  7. ^ "Sonny & Cher Boost Ratings". The New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico. November 29, 1987, p. 35, accessed through NewspaperARCHIVE.com on March 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "Sonny and Cher Reunited on David Letterman Show." Aiken Standard. Aiken, South Carolina. November 15, 1987. p. 3. accessed through NewspaperARCHIVE.com on March 13, 2009.
  9. ^ Video on YouTube
  10. ^ "The R.E.M. Timeline". Members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  11. ^ Entertainment Tonight, February 15, 2002
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ [4]
  18. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Sonny & Cher > I Got You Babe – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  19. ^ Search for Irish peaks
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Sonny & Cher search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe". VG-lista.
  23. ^ [6]
  24. ^ [7]
  25. ^ [8]
  26. ^ [9]
  27. ^ [10]
  28. ^ a b "Allmusic: Sonny & Cher". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  29. ^ "Cash Box 100 Singles chart[11]
  30. ^ [12]
  31. ^ German Singles Chart (1965). "German Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  32. ^ "UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 1965 - Year End". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  33. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1965". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – Dark Lady". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  35. ^ "Austriancharts.at – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  36. ^ Belgian peak
  37. ^ "Lescharts.com – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in French). Les classement single.
  38. ^ "Chartverfulgong > UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde > I Got You Babe – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  39. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Top 40 Singles.
  41. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 60.
  42. ^ "Swisscharts.com – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Swiss Singles Chart.
  43. ^ http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/07/weird-al-gets-finally-first-no-1-album.html
  44. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/list/6091947/top-20-best-selling-comedy-albums-nielsen-soundscan-era
  45. ^ Review by Allmusic Retrieved 15 October 2013
  46. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Cher featuring Beavis and Butt-head search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  47. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Cher featuring Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 60.

External links[edit]