Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Baby It's You"

"Baby It's You" is a song written by Burt Bacharach (music), and Luther Dixon (credited as Barney Williams) and Mack David (lyrics). It was recorded by the Shirelles and the Beatles, both of whom had hits with the song. The highest-charting version of "Baby It's You" was by the band Smith, who took the song to #5 on the US charts in 1969.

The Shirelles

The song was produced by Luther Dixon. When released as a single in 1961, the song became very popular, becoming a #8 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. It later appeared on the album Baby It's You, named to capitalize upon the success of the single. The vocal arrangements on this version proved influential in subsequent versions, including that by the Beatles, who used the same one. One notable feature of the song is its minor-to-major key chord changes on the verses.

The Beatles

The Beatles performed "Baby It’s You" as part of their stage act from 1961 until 1963. It was the only Burt Bacharach song the group covered. They recorded it on 11 February 1963 for their album Please Please Me along with "Boys," another Shirelles song. American label Vee Jay Records included it on Introducing... The Beatles and Songs, Pictures And Stories Of the Fabulous Beatles. Capitol included it on The Early Beatles.


* John Lennon on rhythm guitar, lead vocal
* George Harrison on lead guitar, backing vocal
* Paul McCartney on bass, backing vocal
* Ringo Starr on drums
* George Martin on celesta

Beatles' live version

Another version of the song would appear on the album Live at the BBC in 1994. The song was issued as a single in 1995 in both the UK and the U.S.; their first in nearly a decade. It was issued on both a CD and a vinyl record. Both versions have four tracks, making it an EP instead of a regular issue single. It reached #7 in the UK and #67 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Track listing

1. "Baby It's You" (Bacharach/David/Williams) - 2:45
2. "I'll Follow the Sun" (Lennon/McCartney) - 1:51
3. "Devil in Her Heart" (Drapkin) - 2:23
4. "Boys" (Dixon/Farrell) - 2:29


The Smith version appeared on their debut album, A Group Called Smith. The single was released on Dunhill 4206 in 1969. It was their first and most successful release. This version alters the traditional vocal arrangement as performed by the Shirelles and the Beatles in favor of a more belted, soulful vocal. This proved a popular change, as the single hit #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Smith version has recently been used in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, part of the double-feature film Grindhouse. An a cappella version sung by Mary Elizabeth Winstead is seen on the second disc of the two-disc Death Proof Region 1 DVD special features.

The Carpenters

The Carpenters recorded a version of "Baby It's You" in 1970 for their album, Close to You. Although it wasn't released as a single, it was performed on their TV series, Make Your Own Kind of Music in 1971. It was also featured on the UK compilation, Reflections in 1998 with a special remix done by Richard Carpenter in 1991.

Other recorded versions

A number of other well-known artists have recorded covers of the tune, among them:

* Bruce Channel, 1962
* Cilla Black, 1965
* Dolly Mixture, 1980
* Emily Bindiger, 1981
* Pia Zadora, 1982
* Dave Berry, 1983
* Elvis Costello, 1984
* Stacy Lattisaw, 1984
* Mai Yamane, 1985
* Ace Frehley, 198*
* Johnny Thunders & Patti Palladin, 1988
* Cherrelle, 1992
* Petty Booka, 1995
* Nick Lowe, 1999
* Cliff Richard,1967 & 2002
* Leigh Stephens, 2004
* Loleatta Holloway, 2005
* Beryl Marsden , 2007
* Tina Arena, 2008 (Songs of Love & Loss 2)

"Baby It's You" in Popular Culture

The song was mentioned in the Friends episode, "The One with Ross's Grant."

Single by the Shirelles
from the album Baby It's You
B-side: "The Things I Want to Hear (Pretty Words)"
Released: 1961
Format: 7" single
Recorded: Bell Sound Studios New York
Genre: Girl group
Length: 2:42
Label: Scepter
Writer(s): Burt Bacharach, Mack David, Barney Williams
Producer: Luther Dixon

Single by The Beatles
from the album Please Please Me & Live at the BBC
Released: March 20, 1995 (Single, UK)
Format: vinyl record 7", CD single
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, 11 February 1963
Genre: Rock
Length: 2:45
Label: Apple 58348 (US)
Writer(s): music: Burt Bacharach - lyrics: Mack David and Barney Williams
Producer: George Martin


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