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I Got You Babe

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Title: I Got You Babe  
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Subject: Between the Days, Cher, Etta James, God Bless Tiny Tim, Cher albums discography
Collection: 1965 Singles, 1965 Songs, 1985 Singles, Atco Records Singles, Billboard Hot 100 Number-One Singles, Cher Songs, David Bowie Songs, Dutch Top 40 Number-One Singles, Irish Singles Chart Number-One Singles, Manfred Mann Songs, Merril Bainbridge Songs, Number-One Singles in Australia, Number-One Singles in New Zealand, Pop Ballads, Ramones Songs, Rpm Top Singles Number-One Singles, Shaggy (Musician) Songs, Songs Written by Sonny Bono, Sonny & Cher Songs, Tiny Tim (Musician) Songs, Ub40 Songs, Uk Singles Chart Number-One Singles, Vocal Duets
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I Got You Babe

"I Got You Babe"
French 7-inch single cover
Single by Sonny & Cher
from the album Look at Us
Released July 9, 1965
Format 7" single
Recorded 1965
Genre Baroque pop
Length 3:11
Label Atco
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Certification Gold (US)
Sonny & Cher singles chronology
"Love Is Strange"
"I Got You Babe"
"The Letter"
Alternative covers

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

In 2011, the song was named as one of the greatest duets of all times by both Billboard and Rolling Stone magazine.[2][3] It was also listed at #444 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.


  • Background and composition 1
  • Live performances 2
  • Charts and certifications 3
    • Weekly charts 3.1
    • Year-end charts 3.2
    • Certifications 3.3
    • Chart successions 3.4
  • UB40 feat. Chrissie Hynde version 4
    • Track listing 4.1
    • Charts 4.2
      • Chart successions 4.2.1
  • Cher with Beavis and Butt-head version 5
    • Music video 5.1
    • Track listing 5.2
    • Charts 5.3
      • Weekly charts 5.3.1
      • Year-end charts 5.3.2
  • In popular culture and cover versions 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

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. Session drummer Hal Blaine played drums for the song with other members of The Wrecking Crew supplying instrumental support.[4] "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 oboe played by Warren Webb.[5] The alternating vocals alternate between the two singers and if neither were interesting singers, their plodding, matter-of-fact performances gave the song a common-man appeal.'[6] Bruce Eder highlighted the song on their 1965 Look at Us album.[7]

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 of 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of "I Got You Babe" to be 372,000 in the US.[8]

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.[9][10][11] Cher performed the song with R.E.M. on February 14, 2002, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.[12] It was her first performance of the song without Sonny.[13] During Cher's 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour using left behind vocals and a projection of videos of Sonny, Cher performed the song live with Sonny (dead) for the first time since 1987.

Charts and certifications

Cher with Beavis and Butt-head version

"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 CD, Maxi single
Genre Pop, rock, heavy metal
Length 4:00
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Sonny & Cher Bono
Cher singles chronology
Many Rivers to Cross
"I Got You Babe"
It Ain't Necessarily So"

In 1993, Cher did a version of her 1965 duet with her then husband Sonny Bono 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 and has officially sold 1,610,000 units and was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA in the United States.[44] [45] AllMusic reviewed this song by calling it "most interesting" track on the album.[46] The single reached 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 got a lot of 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 Cher agrees. It was placed at number 5 on the "50 Greatest Funny Moments in Music" list made by VH1 channel in 2004.

Track listing

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


In popular culture and cover versions

The song has been frequently covered and featured in film and television, including Sonny and Cher's own The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. "I Got You Babe" made a bit of a comeback when it was used repeatedly as Phil Connors' alarm clock wake-up music in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. On re-release, the single re-charted in the UK, reaching #66. The Etta James' cover of the song was recently featured in the DLC Left Behind for the 2013 video game, The Last of Us.

In 2015, folk rock duo Blackmore's Night covered the song on their album All Our Yesterdays.


  1. ^  
  2. ^ "Top 40 Biggest Duets of All Times".  
  3. ^ "The 10 Greatest Duets of All Time".  
  4. ^ Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew.  
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ William Ruhlmann. "I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher - Listen, Appearances, Song Review - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  7. ^ Bruce Eder. "Look at Us - Sonny & Cher - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  8. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?".  
  9. ^ "Sonny & Cher Boost Ratings". The New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico. November 29, 1987, p. 35, accessed through on March 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "Sonny and Cher Reunited on David Letterman Show." Aiken Standard. Aiken, South Carolina. November 15, 1987. p. 3. accessed through on March 13, 2009.
  11. ^ Video on YouTube
  12. ^ "The R.E.M. Timeline". Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  13. ^ Entertainment Tonight, February 15, 2002
  14. ^ "Billboard". 
  15. ^ " – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  16. ^ " – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  17. ^ [5]
  18. ^ a b "Billboard". 
  19. ^ a b "Billboard". 
  20. ^ " – Sonny & Cher Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". 
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Sonny & Cher search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  23. ^ " – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe". VG-lista.
  24. ^ "Billboard". 
  25. ^ "Billboard". 
  26. ^ "Billboard". 
  27. ^ a b "Official Charts Company". 
  28. ^ a b "Allmusic: Sonny & Cher".  
  29. ^ "Cash Box 100 Singles chart[6]
  30. ^ German Singles Chart (1965). "German Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  31. ^ "UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 1965 - Year End". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  32. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1965". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  33. ^ "American single certifications – Sonny and Cher – I Got You Babe".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  35. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?".  
  36. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  37. ^ "Radio2 top 30: 4 juli 2015". 
  38. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in French). Les classement single.
  39. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  40. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  41. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Top 40 Singles.
  42. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 60.
  43. ^ " – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Swiss Singles Chart.
  44. ^ "Weird Al Finally Gets First No. 1 Album with Mandatory Fun". 
  45. ^ "Best Selling Comedy Albums - Billboard". Billboard. 
  46. ^ Review by AllMusic Retrieved 15 October 2013
  47. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  48. ^ " – Cher with Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  49. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF).  
  50. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 4, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  51. ^ " – Cher with Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  52. ^ " – Cher with Beavis and Butt-head – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 60. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  53. ^ "Cher: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  54. ^ "Cher – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Cher. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  55. ^ "Single Top 100 Van 1994" (PDF) (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 

External links

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