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I Got You Babe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"I Got You Babe"
French 7-inch single cover
Single by Sonny & Cher
from the album Look at Us
B-side"It's Gonna Rain"
ReleasedJuly 9, 1965
Format7-inch single
Songwriter(s)Sonny Bono
Producer(s)Sonny Bono
Sonny & Cher singles chronology
"Love Is Strange"
"I Got You Babe"
"The Letter"
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

Background and composition

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

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 the projection of Sonny.

In popular culture

"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.


UB40 feat. Chrissie Hynde version

"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"
ReleasedAugust 2, 1985
LabelDEP International
Songwriter(s)Sonny Bono
Producer(s)Pablo Falconer
UB40 singles chronology
"I'm Not Fooled So Easily"
"'I Got You Babe'"
"Don't Break My Heart"
Chrissie Hynde singles chronology
"I Got You Babe"
"Love Can Build a Bridge"


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


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


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


Chart (1985) Peak
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


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

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

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


Other versions

The song has been frequently covered, including versions by:

Movies and television


  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). Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. November 5, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  7. ^ "Top 40 Biggest Duets of All Times". Billboard. February 14, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  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 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 on March 13, 2009.
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ "The R.E.M. Timeline". Archived from the original on May 21, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  14. ^ Entertainment Tonight, February 15, 2002
  15. ^ "Billboard".
  16. ^ " – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  18. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "Billboard".
  20. ^ a b "Billboard".
  21. ^ " – Sonny & Cher Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  22. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Archived from the original on June 3, 2009.
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  29. ^ a b "Official Charts Company". Archived from the original on October 29, 2012.
  30. ^ a b "Allmusic: Sonny & Cher". Allmusic. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  31. ^ "Cash Box 100 Singles chart Archived December 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ "Top 100 – Bekijk de Top 100 van 1965". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  33. ^ German Singles Chart (1965). "German Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived from the original on July 18, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  34. ^ "UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 1965 - Year End". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  35. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1965". Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  36. ^ "American single  certifications – Sonny and Cher – I Got You Babe". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  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.
  40. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  41. ^ "Radio2 top 30: 4 juli 2015". Archived from the original on April 9, 2012.
  42. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0593." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  43. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9299." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  44. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in French). Les classement single.
  45. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  46. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I Got You Babe". Irish Singles Chart.
  47. ^ "Indice per Interprete: U". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  48. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 40, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
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  52. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Swiss Singles Chart.
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  54. ^ "UB40 Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  55. ^ "Weird Al Finally Gets First No. 1 Album with Mandatory Fun".
  56. ^ "Best Selling Comedy Albums - Billboard". Billboard.
  57. ^ Review by AllMusic Retrieved October 15, 2013
  58. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  59. ^ " – Cher with Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  60. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
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  62. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 4, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  63. ^ " – Cher with Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  64. ^ " – Cher with Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 100. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
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External links

This page was last edited on 8 January 2019, at 19:10
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