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|
|B-side||"Needles and Pins" "Our Day Will Come"|
|Cher singles chronology|
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" is the second single by American singer-actress Cher from her second studio 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 Desmond Child, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, 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.
Besides Sinatra, artists who covered the song in 1966 included 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 by Claude Carrère and Georges Aber) became a big hit in France in the summer of 1966; Claire Lepage's French-language cover was released in Canada (as "Bang! Bang!" credited to Gilles Brown and Sonny Bono); and popular multilingual singer Dalida's Italian-language version (credited to Sonny Bono, Alessandro Colombini and Duilio Del Prete) appeared on a 1966 single and an album of the same name. The song was also very popular in Italy in the '60s and was covered in Italian by Dalida, Mina, and the psych bands Equipe 84 and I Corvi.
Other notable cover versions include those by:
- Vanilla Fudge's version, from the 1967 album Vanilla Fudge, was used in David Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac and season 2 episode 8 of the Netflix original series Lilyhammer.
- Jamaican group Tomorrow's Children, as "Bang Bang Rock Steady" in 1967.
- Terry Reid for his 1968 album Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid.
- Cliff Richard's version, recorded in October 1968, appears on his 1970 album Tracks 'n Grooves.
- Hong Kong actress Betty Chung did a funk/soul version with Mandarin vocals on her 1968 Mini Mini EP.
- The Bonzo Dog Band covered the song sometime in 1968; it appeared as a bonus track on the 2007 reissue of The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse.
- Frank Sinatra, Nancy's father, for his 1981 album She Shot Me Down.
- Barnes & Barnes (Bill Mumy of Lost in Space fame and Robert Haimer), on their 1984 album 'Amazing Adult Fantasy.'
- Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet recorded an instrumental version in 1991 for their second 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.
- Carla Bruni, in a Lancia Musa TV advertisement broadcast in Europe in January 2008.
- 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. The talent show's judges voted her into the finals, which she won the following month.
- Welsh classical crossover singer Charlotte Church, on her 2010 album Back to Scratch.
- Lady Gaga covered "Bang Bang" in July 2014 at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the TV special "Cheek to Cheek: LIVE"; it later 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 sang "Bang Bang" to her husband Jay Z in an August 2014 commercial for an HBO tour special.
In addition, Nancy Sinatra's version was the theme for the BBC's 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; and "Bang Bang" by will.i.am in 2013.
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- Canadian Singles Chart  . Retrieved October 22, 2010.
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- German Singles Chart (1966). "German Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- "Top Annuali Single: 1966" (in Italian). www.hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
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- "Guitarist Billy Strange Talks About Nancy Sinatra's 'Bang Bang' « Lost & Sound". Lostandsound.wordpress.com. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "Bang Bang: Pop! Goes the Murder Ballad". Murder Ballad Monday. Sing Out!. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- "I Corvi - Bang bang (1966)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "Jazz Digital Songs: Oct 11, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. (subscription required (. ))
- "Watch Beyoncé Sing "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" To Jay Z". BuzzFeed.