The Beat Goes On
|"The Beat Goes On"|
|Single by Sonny & Cher|
|from the album In Case You're in Love|
|Sonny & Cher singles chronology|
"The Beat Goes On" is a Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hit song written by Sonny Bono and recorded by Sonny & Cher. It was issued as a single and appeared on their 1967 album In Case You're In Love. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 14, 1967, peaking at #6.
The backing track for the song was recorded using the renowned group of Los Angeles session musicians who are now collectively known as "The Wrecking Crew". The arrangement is credited to Harold Battiste, but Wrecking Crew bassist Carol Kaye asserts that at the session she devised the distinctive syncopated bass line that is featured on the released recording, replacing the original walking bass line in the prepared arrangement:
- Songfacts: "What's an example of one of the songs that you guys really added to and made it into a hit?"
- Carol Kaye: "Well, "The Beat Goes On" is a biggie. I mean, it was a nothing song, and then the bass line kind of made that. But you'd have to say all of them. There's only a certain song, like "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" that was guaranteed to be a hit because it was a great song. But about 95% of that stuff would not have been a hit without us, that's true."
"The Beat Goes On" was sung at Sonny Bono's funeral, and the phrase also appears on his tombstone.
Allmusic highlighted this song on In Case album.
Sonny and Cher performed the song many times on their 70s variety hit shows as well as on their concerts. The song was included in the "Sonny and Cher" video montages during Cher's Do You Believe? Tour and The Farewell Tour. Cher performed the song live with Sonny's voice track on her successful Cher at the Colosseum show as well as her 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour.
Over the years the song has been covered by numerous artists. In 1967, American jazz musician Buddy Rich made a version on his Big Swing Face album with his daughter Cathy on vocals (Buddy was joking when he said she was drunk; she was only 12 at the time: her date of birth is 1954 and the album was released in 1967). The song was covered by Gabor Szabo on his 1967 album The Sorcerer. In 1968, Vanilla Fudge released, The Beat Goes On (Vanilla Fudge album), which used The Beat Goes On as its central theme. Other versions were recorded by jazz pianist/singer Patricia Barber, Italian singer Mina, and the French duo Casino Music. In Germany singer Inga Rumpf did a German-language version, still entitled "The beat goes on"(H.U. Weigel supplied the lyrics)and in Italy rock band La ragazza 77 did it in Italian with "Il beat cos'è". In 1982, the Canadian dance act Orbit remade the single into an electro-funk track, produced by John Lewis, Jack Tann and Don Was, featuring American gospel singer Carol Hall on vocals. Although this version never charted in the United States, it did receive some airplay on the radio. An Australian version, produced by former Skyhooks guitarist Red Symons, became a Top 20 hit in 1983; it was recorded by Melbourne cabaret duo The Globos, which featured singers Wendy De Waal and Mark Trevorrow, (who later gained renown for his comedic alter-ego Bob Downe).
In 1998 a version by British electronic music group All Seeing I peaked at number 11 in the UK Singles Chart. The group also produced a cover version of the song for Britney Spears in November 1998, as the last track on ...Baby One More Time. "The Beat Goes On" is the first track on Songs We Should Have Written (2004) by Firewater. In 2008, a version by the French acid jazz group Le Cercle was included on their album "Magnetic".
A variation on the song was used in 1968 to advertise the Plymouth line of automobiles.
This song is incorrectly referred to as "And The Beat Goes On" due to the closing lyric adding the word "and" to the song's title. There was an unrelated song released in 1980 titled "And the Beat Goes On" (recorded by The Whispers).