Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
|"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"|
|Single by Cher|
|from the album The Sonny Side of Chér|
|Cher singles chronology|
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" is the second single by American singer-actress Cher from her second album, The Sonny Side of Chér. Written by her then-husband Sonny Bono and released in 1966, the song reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a single week (behind "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" by The Righteous Brothers), eventually becoming one of Cher's biggest-selling singles of the 1960s.
The single proved successful, charting high in several countries worldwide. It became Cher's first million-selling single and her first top 3 hit in the UK (and her last until "The Shoop-Shoop Song" reached No. 1 in 1991). Critic Tim Sendra, in his album review of The Sonny Side of Cher, gave the song 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."
In 1987, Cher recorded a rock version of the song for her 1987 Platinum-certified comeback album Cher. Produced by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child, the song featured backing vocals by Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Bolton, among others, and was released as a promotional single in 1988. Cher performed this version on her Heart of Stone Tour and on Living Proof: The Farewell Tour, and it was played instrumentally on the Dressed to Kill Tour in 2014.
Nancy Sinatra recorded one of the best-known covers of the song, for her 1966 album How Does That Grab You? Her version features tremolo guitar, played by her arranger, Billy Strange; and had a resurgence in popularity when it was used in the opening credits of the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill Volume 1. In the sequence preceding the credits, Tarantino creates a literal, bloody interpretation of the song's chorus and the third verse, about a wedding day. Her version also was the theme for BBC coverage of the 2005 Wimbledon tennis championships, and has been sampled on several hip-hop recordings, including the Audio Bullys (featuring Nancy Sinatra) top 3 UK hit "Shot You Down" in 2005.
The song was also very popular in Italy in 1967 when it was covered in Italian by Dalida. The song reached #1 and stayed for 2 months winning her a gold record. Following her recording, several italian singers like Mina, and the psychedelic bands Equipe 84 and I Corvi covered her version. Her version was also included as main song of 2010 drama film Heartbeats.
Besides Dalida and Sinatra, artists who covered the song in 1966 include Stevie Wonder on his album Down to Earth, The Beau Brummels on Beau Brummels '66; Petula Clark on her album I Couldn't Live Without Your Love; and Gábor Szabó on his album Spellbinder. Sheila's version (with French lyrics) became a big hit in France in the summer of 1966; Claire Lepage's French-language cover was released in Canada (as "Bang! Bang!") in 1966.
Other notable cover versions include the following:
- Vanilla Fudge in 1967; the version from the album Vanilla Fudge was used in David Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac and season 2 episode 8 of Lilyhammer.
- Jamaican group Tomorrow's Children, as "Bang Bang Rock Steady" in 1967.
- Dalida on her 1967 album "Piccolo Ragazzo".
- Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan as a single in 1967 (B-side, sung in English).
- Terry Reid on his 1968 album Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid.
- Swedish actress and recording artist Anita Lindblom recorded a Swedish-language version titled "Pang Pang" for her 1968 album Sån't är livet.
- Cliff Richard's version, recorded in October 1968, appears on his 1970 album Tracks 'n Grooves.
- Hong Kong actress Betty Chung, a funk/soul version with Mandarin vocals on her 1968 Mini Mini EP.
- The Bonzo Dog Band, recorded sometime in 1968; it appeared as a bonus track on the 2007 reissue of The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse.
- The Cambodian singer and songwriter Pan Ron, covered the song as "Snaeha", in the late 1960's. Her cover was used in season 3 episode 10 of Mr. Robot in 2017.
- Frank Sinatra, Nancy's father, for his 1981 album She Shot Me Down.
- Ivan Cattaneo recorded an Italo disco style version in 1983.
- Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, an instrumental version on their 1991 album Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham.
- Paul Weller, on his 2003 compilation Fly on the Wall: B Sides & Rarities.
- Isobel Campbell, on her 2004 EP Time Is Just the Same.
- The Scottish singer Paolo Nutini recorded a live rock version in 2007.
- Carla Bruni, in a Lancia Musa TV advertisement broadcast in Europe in January 2008.
- Welsh classical crossover singer Charlotte Church, on her 2010 album Back to Scratch.
- Polish singer Ania Dąbrowska recorded her version of Bang Bang, on her 2010 album Ania Movie.
- Alternative rock group Nico Vega for their album Lead To Light. Used for the TV advertisements for the 2013 cable TV miniseries Bonnie & Clyde. This version also appears on the "Grace & Frankie" soundtrack.
- 2Cellos on their 2013 album "In2ition" with Sky Ferreira providing vocals.
- 8-year-old Angelina Jordan Astar [b. Jan. 10, 2006], on the semi-finals of Norske Talenter (Norway's Got Talent) on April 12, 2014.
- Lady Gaga in July 2014 at Jazz at Lincoln Center, for the TV special "Cheek to Cheek: LIVE". The song appeared as an iTunes bonus track with her jazz album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek, and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Jazz Digital Songs Chart.
- Beyoncé, singing to her husband Jay Z in an August 2014 commercial for an HBO tour special.
- The Raconteurs, a rock group consisting of Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler, covered the song during many of their live shows.
- Pharmakon (noise project), bonus track on 2014 release "Bestial Burden," and on Sacred Bones Record Store Day release
- French music producer and DJ David Guetta released a version of this song featuring vocals from American singer Skylar Grey in 2014 as a digital download.
- In 2014 Kannada film Ulidavaru Kandanthe contained a song called Knock Knock which is said to be influenced from this song.
- Icelandic blues-rock band Kaleo (band) in various shows since around 2015.
- Annie Trousseau covered the song on the 2016 film Independence Day: Resurgence.
- English singer Dua Lipa covered the song in 2017 for a fashion brand TV commercial. Her cover was also included on the special Italian edition of her album Dua Lipa.
- Aly & AJ performed a cover at their New York and Toronto shows during their 2018 Promises Tour.
- Zayn Malik used as an interpolation for the track "Good Guy" on his 2018 sophomore album Icarus Falls.
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