I Got You Babe

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"I Got You Babe"
SonnyAndCherIGotYouBabeFrench7InchSingleCover.jpg
French 7-inch single cover
Single by Sonny & Cher
from the album Look at Us
B-side "It's Gonna Rain"
Released July 9, 1965
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 1965
Genre Pop
Length 3:11
Label Atco
Songwriter(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Sonny & Cher singles chronology
"Love Is Strange"
(1964)
"I Got You Babe"
(1965)
"The Letter"
(1965)

"Love Is Strange"
(1964)
"I Got You Babe"
(1965)
"The Letter"
(1965)
Alternative cover
I got you babe.jpg

"I Got You Babe" is a song written by Sonny Bono. It was the first single taken from the debut studio album Look at Us, of the American pop music duo Sonny & Cher. In August 1965, their single spent three weeks at number 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 number 1 in the United Kingdom and Canada.

In 1985, a cover version of "I Got You Babe" by British reggae/pop band UB40 featuring American singer Chrissie Hynde, peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart and reached number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Sonny & Cher version[edit]

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 played drums for the song with other members of The Wrecking Crew supplying instrumental support.[2] "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 ocarina and the alternating vocals between the two singers. If neither were interesting singers, their plodding, matter-of-fact performances gave the song a common-man appeal.[3]

African-American musician Harold Battiste provided the instrumental arrangement.[4] Richard Niles quotes Battiste as saying the prominent figure in the song is played on an oboe rather than an ocarina.[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 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of "I Got You Babe" to be 372,000 in the US.[6]

In 2011, the song was named as one of the greatest duets of all times by both Billboard and Rolling Stone magazine.[7][8] It was also listed at #444 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004. In early 2017 the song has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[9]

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.[10][11][12] Cher performed the song with R.E.M. on February 14, 2002, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.[13] It was her first performance of the song without Sonny.[14] During Cher's 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour and 2017 Las Vegas residency Classic Cher using left behind vocals and a projection of videos of Sonny, Cher performed the song live with Sonny for the first time since 1987.

In popular culture[edit]

"I Got You Babe" has been frequently featured in film and television, including Sonny and Cher's own The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The song made a bit of a comeback when it was used repeatedly as Phil Connors' wake-up music in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. On re-release, the single re-charted in the UK, reaching number 66. Other films have used the song including Good Times which stars Sonny & Cher, Buster, Look Who's Talking Too, Just Visiting, Me Without You, Riding in Cars with Boys, and Jack and Jill.

Charts[edit]

UB40 feat. Chrissie Hynde version[edit]

"I Got You Babe"
Ub40- Got You Babe cover.png
Single by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde
from the album Baggariddim
B-side "Theme from Labour of Love"
Released August 2, 1985
Format
Recorded 1984–1985
Genre
Length 3:09
Label DEP International
Songwriter(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Pablo Falconer
UB40 singles chronology
"I'm Not Fooled So Easily"
(1985)
"'I Got You Babe'"
(1985)
"Don't Break My Heart"
(1985)

"I'm Not Fooled So Easily"
(1985)
"I Got You Babe"
(1985)
"Don't Break My Heart"
(1985)
Chrissie Hynde singles chronology
"I Got You Babe"
(1985) I Got You Babe1985
"Love Can Build a Bridge"
(1995) Love Can Build a Bridge1995

Background[edit]

Twenty years later, in 1985, British band UB40 with American singer Chrissie Hynde recorded a cover version of "I Got You Babe" for the group's studio album Baggariddim. The song also appeared on the Pretenders' 1987 compilation album The Singles. This version of "I Got You Babe" charted at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1985 and reached number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Track listings[edit]

7"-single

  1. I Got You Babe 3:08
  2. UB40 - Theme From Labour Of Love 3:05

12"-single

  1. I Got You Babe 3:09
  2. UB40 - Red Red Wine 5:21

Charts[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[39] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[40] 14
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[41] 4
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[42] 6
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[43] 6
France (SNEP)[44] 29
Germany (Official German Charts)[45] 15
Ireland (IRMA)[46] 1
Italy (Hit Parade Italia)[47] 40
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[48] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[49] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[50] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[51] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[52] 15
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[53] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[54] 28

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 December 1993
Format
Genre
Length 4:00
Label Geffen
Songwriter(s) Sonny Bono
Cher singles chronology
"Many Rivers to Cross"
(1993)
"I Got You Babe"
(1993)
"It Ain't Necessarily So"
(1994)

"Many Rivers to Cross"
(1993)
"I Got You Babe"
(1993)
"It Ain't Necessarily So"
(1994)

Background[edit]

In 1993, Cher recorded a cover version of "I Got You Babe" 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, has officially sold 1,610,000 units and was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA in the United States.[55][56] AllMusic reviewed this song by calling it "most interesting" track on the album.[57] The single reached the top 40 in the UK, Belgium and Sweden, as well as the top ten in the Netherlands.

Music video[edit]

A funny and psychedelic video was produced, which received heavy MTV 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 a live-action Cher agrees. It was placed at number 5 on the "50 Greatest Funny Moments in Music" list made by VH1 channel in 2004.

Track listings[edit]

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

Charts[edit]

Other versions[edit]

The song has been frequently covered, including versions by:

Movies and television[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 539.
  2. ^ Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 261–263. ISBN 978-1-250-03046-7.
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher - Listen, Appearances, Song Review - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ "Harold Battiste Musician Mentor and Arranger Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Richard Niles (2007). "THE INVISIBLE ARTIST : Arrangers in popular music (1950 - 2000); Their contribution and techniques" (TXT). Bura.brunel.ac.uk. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. November 5, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
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  8. ^ "The 10 Greatest Duets of All Time". Rolling Stone. February 14, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  9. ^ Grammy Hall of Fame award Archived July 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.. Grammy. Retrieved on December 4, 2016
  10. ^ "Sonny & Cher Boost Ratings". The New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico. November 29, 1987, p. 35, accessed through NewspaperARCHIVE.com on March 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ "The R.E.M. Timeline". Members.iinet.net.au. Archived from the original on May 21, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  14. ^ Entertainment Tonight, February 15, 2002
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  32. ^ "Top 100 – Bekijk de Top 100 van 1965". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
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  37. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  38. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. November 5, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  39. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 316. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and June 19, 1988.
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  55. ^ "Weird Al Finally Gets First No. 1 Album with Mandatory Fun". pastemagazine.com.
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  63. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Cher with Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 100. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
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  67. ^ Show 44 - Revolt of the Fat Angel: Some samples of the Los Angeles sound. [Part 4] : UNT Digital Library
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  69. ^ Sid Dorfman (writer); Gerren Keith (director) (September 21, 1977). "The Evans Get Involved (Part 2)". Good Times. Season 5. Episode 2. CBS.
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External links[edit]