Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

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"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"
Released 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded 1966
Genre Pop rock
Length 2:44
Label Imperial
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Cher singles chronology
"Where Do You Go"
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"

"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. The song was 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 (trapped behind (You're My) Soul and Inspiration by The Righteous Brothers), eventually becoming one of Cher's biggest-selling singles of the 1960s.[1][2]

Song history[edit]

The single proved successful, charting high on many national charts worldwide and becoming Cher's first million-selling single. This was her first top-three hit in the UK, and would be her last until "The Shoop-Shoop Song" reached No. 1 in 1991. Critic Tim Sendra, in his review of the album "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."[3]

In 1987, Cher recorded a rock version of the song for her Platinum certified comeback album Cher. The new version was produced by Desmond Child, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora with backing vocals by Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Bolton, among others. It was released as a promo only single in 1988. Cher performed it during her Heart of Stone Tour and Living Proof: The Farewell Tour, and it is played instrumentally on the Dressed to Kill Tour in 2014.


Cover versions[edit]

Also in 1966, Nancy Sinatra included the song on her album How Does That Grab You? in a version featuring tremolo guitar (played by Billy Strange[11]). Sinatra's version had a resurgence in popularity when it was used in the opening credits of the 2003 film Kill Bill Volume 1. It was the theme for the BBC's coverage of the 2005 Wimbledon tennis championships, and was sampled on several hip-hop recordings, including Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall's 2004 single "Bang Bang", from Kill Bloodclott Bill; the Audio Bullys top 3 UK hit "Shot You Down" in 2005, credited to Audio Bullys featuring Nancy Sinatra; rapper Young Buck's "Bang Bang" on the CD Straight Outta Cashville, rapper MMJC's "C-Town Beat Down" on his album "Teaser"; Lil' Wayne and DJ Drama on the 2006 mixtape "Dedication 2" and in 2013, on "Bang Bang".

Besides Sinatra, artists covering the song in 1966 include Stevie Wonder on his album Down to Earth, The Beau Brummels on their album Beau Brummels '66; Petula Clark on her album I Couldn't Live Without Your Love; Gábor Szabó on his album Spellbinder; Sheila, whose version with French lyrics (by Claude Carrère and Georges Aber) became a big hit in France in summer 1966; Claire Lepage's French-language cover (as "Bang! Bang!" credited to Gilles Brown and Sonny Bono), released in Canada; and popular multilingual singer Dalida, whose French version (credited to Sonny Bono, Alessandro Colombini and Duilio Del Prete) appeared on a 1966 single and album of the same name. The song was also very popular in Italy in the '60s and was covered by Dalida, Mina, and the psych bands Equipe 84 and I Corvi.[12] Vanilla Fudge’s 1967 cover of "Bang Bang" from the album “Vanilla Fudge” was used in David Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac and in season 2 episode 8 of the Netflix original series Lilyhammer. Others who have recorded the song include Nancy Sinatra's father, Frank Sinatra, for his 1981 album She Shot Me Down; Cliff Richard, Paul Weller on his 2003 compilation Fly On The Wall - B Sides And Rarities, and Isobel Campbell on her 2004 EP Time Is Just the Same.

Other cover versions include those by:

  • Jamaican group Tomorrow's Children, as "Bang Bang Rock Steady" in 1967.
  • Swedish singer Anita Lindblom in 1967, as "Pang Pang".
  • Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan in 1967, released as a B-side.
  • Turkish singer Cem Karaca in 1967 with apaşlar).
  • Terry Reid for his 1968 album Bang Bang You're Terry Reid.
  • Lili Ivanova, whose Bulgarian language cover "Benk-benk" appeared on "More molodosti", her 1968 album released in Russia.
  • Hong Kong actress Betty Chung, in a funk/soul version with Mandarin vocals on her 1968 'Mini Mini' EP.
  • The Bonzo Dog Band covered the song sometime in 1968. It was released as a bonus track on the 2007 reissue of The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse.
  • Romanian singer Anda Călugăreanu (voice) and Sincron, whose version in Romanian, "Beng, being", appears on a 1968 compilation, 'Melodii din toată lumea VII' ('Songs from around the world VII')[13]
  • Brazilian singer Denisse de Kalafe in 1969, on her 'D. Kalafe e sua turma' EP.
  • New Zealand band Butler in 1973, as the first track on their only album, "Butler." [14][15]
  • Barnes & Barnes (Billy Mumy of "Lost in Space" fame and Robert Haimer), on their 1984 album 'Amazing Adult Fantasy.'
  • Crazyhead on the "Baby Turpentine" 12" single in 1987.
  • Pop/rock singer Minako Honda covered "Bang Bang" in Japanese for her 1989 album WILD CATS (billed as MINAKO with WILD CATS).
  • Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet recorded an instrumental version in 1991 for their second album, Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham.
  • Italian singer Spagna, with a cover in Italian on her 2001 album La nostra canzone.
  • Coil performed "Bang Bang" live in 2002-2004 and released live versions on the albums Live Four and Selvaggina, Go Back Into The Woods. Coil also released "Mono," a retitled experimental cover, on their album with ELpH, Worship the Glitch.
  • Vietnamese singer Mỹ Tâm released “Khi xưa ta bé (Bang Bang)” on her 2002 album Not only me/Đâu chỉ riêng em.
  • Canadian artist Melanie Durrant, in 2005.
  • The Raconteurs regularly performed the song in concert beginning in 2006, and performed it on 'Austin City Limits' in 2009.
  • Greek music producer/mixing engineer Antonis Karalis in 2006.
  • Jacno and Mareva Galanter, sung in French and released in France in 2006.
  • Murder By Death, as the B-side of their 2007 single 'Sometimes The Line Walks You' and on the 'Fuego!' EP.
  • Niia performed it live several times in 2007 while touring as part of Wyclef Jean's band.
  • Singer and model Carla Bruni, in a Lancia Musa TV advertisement broadcast in Europe in January 2008.
  • Bon Jovi regularly performed the first verse live as an intro to Shot Through The Heart.
  • Iranian singer Elaheh recorded a Persian cover version in the '60s, with slightly altered lyrics.
  • In the 2008 French-Canadian movie Maman est chez le coiffeur, the 1966 Claire Lepage version plays near the beginning of the film and later, a French version by Elie Dupuis, one of the stars of the movie who was then 12 years old. Dupuis's version is included on the film's soundtrack.
  • Italian gothic-metal band Domina Noctis in 2008 on their second album, Second Rose. [16]
  • Stéphanie Lapointe in French on her 2009 album "Donne-moi quelque chose qui ne finit pas".
  • Mandragora Scream on her 2009 album Volturna.
  • Polish singer Ania on her 2010 album Ania Movie.
  • Welsh classical crossover singer Charlotte Church on her 2010 album "Back to Scratch".
  • Macedonian punk-rock band Parketi on a 2010 single.
  • Maiysha in 2010, on 'Undercover: Live From New York.'
  • Burlesque performer Miss Annie in 2011, on the soundtrack of the short film 'Gang Girls'.
  • Los Angeles singer/songwriter Sarah Ault, on her 2011 debut album 'The Pressure Beneath'.
  • Mexican rock band "He Shot Me" opened their 2007-2008 tour shows with the song.
  • Boston band Emily Peal and The Band of Skinny Men, in 2012.
  • San Francisco psychedelic soul band Monophonics, on their 2012 album "In Your Brain".
  • New Zealand musician Willy Moon in 2012, as the b-side of Railroad Track; also on the deluxe edition of his first album.
  • Anneliese van der Pol in 2012, for For The Record: Tarantino, an album of songs from the films of Quentin Tarantino.
  • Sky Ferreira and 2CELLOS, on the 2013 album "In2ition.
  • Brown Eyed Girls in 2013, who also used it in their music video "KILL BILL".
  • Nico Vega recorded a version first heard in October 2013 in a promo for A&E's mini-series Bonnie & Clyde: Dead and Alive and then appearing on the 2014 album Lead To Light.
  • Four versions of a cover of "Bang Bang" appear on a 2013 EP by Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, in remixes by Ibiza Air, Daniel Vernunft, Manuel Estevez and YuYuMa. "Bang Bang (YuYuMa Chill-Out Remix)" by Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Vs Ibiza Air also appears on the 2015 compilation album Buddha Bar XVII.
  • David Guetta remixed "Bang Bang" with Skylar Grey in January 2014, for the track "Shot Me Down".
  • Icelandic rock band Kaleo in a March 2014 performance on RAS2, an Icelandic public radio station.
  • Eight-year-old Angelina Jordan Astar [b. Jan. 10, 2006] sang "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" on the semi-finals of Norske Talenter (Norway's Got Talent) on April 12, 2014. The judges, clearly moved by her ability to express emotions beyond her years, voted her through to the finals of the talent show, which she won the next month.
  • New York musician Pharmakon covered "Bang Bang" for the 2014 compilation album Todo Muere, Vol. 4, released on Record Store Day 2014.[17]
  • Lady Gaga covered "Bang Bang" live in July 2014 for the TV special "Cheek to Cheek: LIVE" and confirmed later that the song would be on her upcoming jazz album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek. After the album's release, the song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard's Jazz Digital Songs Chart.[18]
  • Beyoncé sang "Bang Bang" in a commercial, broadcast in August 2014, for the HBO special of her joint tour with her husband Jay Z.[19]


  1. ^ "Cher - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  2. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. 
  3. ^ The Sonny Side of Cher - Cher | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic
  4. ^ Austrian Singles Chart [1] . Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  5. ^ Canadian Singles Chart [2] . Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  6. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1966). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 53. 
  7. ^ "Cash Box 100 Singles chart[3]
  8. ^ German Singles Chart (1966). "German Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  9. ^ "UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 1966 - Year End". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1966". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  11. ^ "Guitarist Billy Strange Talks About Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Bang Bang’ « Lost & Sound". 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  12. ^ "I Corvi - Bang bang (1966)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  13. ^ "Web database with cover versions and musical quotations". 
  14. ^ Butler Track Listing-Last FM Retrieved: May 20, 2013.
  15. ^ Bang Bang/Reach Out on YouTube Retrieved: 20 May 2013
  16. ^ "Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". 
  17. ^ "Pharmakon Covers Cher/Nancy Sinatra Song "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-08-16. 
  18. ^ "Jazz Digital Songs: Oct 11, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ "Watch Beyoncé Sing "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" To Jay Z". BuzzFeed. 

External links[edit]