12 April 2006

Be My Baby!

(on Shindig, 1965)

An interesting Wikipedia factoid: In Bret Easton Ellis' novel, American Psycho, Timothy Price offers to pay the cab driver five dollars if he would turn up the volume of the radio playing "Be My Baby".

I haven't read the novel, but I can relate to his actions because in my mind, 'Be My Baby' is the perfect pop song. Definitely worth paying to turn up its volume. It's got it all - the foot-tapper melody, sing-along lyrics, and sugar-coated harmonies. Plus, in The Ronnette's case, there's Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound production to take the song to far heights. How can anyone not melt from the opening drum crescendoes?

In celebration of this fabulous song (that Rolling Stone magazine names the 22nd greatest song of all time), here are some brilliant covers. I'm trying to collect more of these covers, so if you know of any other good covers to recommend (I'm sure there must be plenty!) please leave a comment!

Les Surfs - Tú serás mi baby
Les Surfs were six siblings from Madagascar. Although they mostly sang in French, this is a Spanish cover. This is taken from the singles compilation, 'Les Surfs en español', unavailable online, but there is a cheap French compilationavailable.
Visit their official site here (in French).

Jacques Denjean - Be My Baby
An instrumental cover by Jacques Denjean and his orchestral. Unfortunately, there's a dearth of biographical information on him online (in English), but he and his orchestral has recorded with numerous big names including Francoise Hardy!

Travis - Be My Baby
A lovely acoustic slow version, very in line with Travis' style circa their second album 'The Man Who'. They've always been strong lyrically, but the band adopted a much more harder sound with their last album. Still, what I love about Travis is vocalist Fran Healy's voice. It's just sounds so pure.
Visit their official site here.

Ivy - Be My BabyDominique Durand's soft, accented vocals (she's native Parisian) turns this cover version into a beautiful yet haunting lullaby. My favourite track of Ivy's fourth album, Guestroom - an album consisting entirely of covers, but reworked into loungey masterpieces. The band has a knack for writing (or arranging, in the case of Be My Baby) strong melodies that stick in your head.
Available on the album 'Guestroom'.
Visit Ivy's official site here.

AND... I found another video of The Ronnettes performing 'Be My Baby' on Youtube:

(Live at the TAMI TNT show, 1964.. includes performance of 'Shout')
Thanks to Pokie82 and Wil9839 for uploading these clips.


Anonymous said...

check this out:


Side3 said...

whew...is there any woman sexier than Ronnie Spector?!

Eric said...

Lovely concept for a post - fantastic song and excellent choice of covers. Especially liked Ivy's rendition.

modcentric said...

wow thanks for that link, Anonymous! some great Ronnie photos on that page.

Jason X said...

Very Cool Blog....Loved this post, very cool idea! Thanks!


Bruno said...

Hi,just to let you know Quartetto Cetra with "Un disco dei Beatles" is up right now at Schlocker.All the best,Bruno

spikedcandy said...

hey mod! i swear i've heard a 60s french cover before, but i can't place it right now. next time it comes on shuffle i'll let you know what it is.

spikedcandy said...

i just realised it's les surfs as well, but the french version. this spanish version is fantastic!

modcentric said...

hi spikedcandy! i have that french les surfs version too. it's fabulous too, but i prefer this spanish one! =)

spikedcandy said...

yes, it sounds wonderful in spanish :). i'll have to get those compilations.
i came across the searchers' version today (when looking for something else entirely - funny how that happens)

you can download it here

(audio plays as soon on that page and the top link is to download it)

skunkeye said...

I beleive "Be My Baby" is a Carole King composition, maybe with Jerry Goeffin. At any rate, I have some bare-boned demos of the song that I can send to you if I can manage to dig them up.
wonderful song!

spikedcandy said...

nope, 'tis a greenwich/barry/spector song!

modcentric said...

yup it's written by greenwich, barry and spector. =)

i'd really like to hear those demos if you manage to find them skunkeye! it is a wonderful song indeed! one of the most outstanding songs to come from the brill building, and there were so many good songs from there!

skunkeye said...

oops... my bad!
I think the demos I have feature Carole King vocals - I'll dig em up. Wonderful song1
Has anyone gotten their hands on the new Ronnie Spector album?
the guardian UK ran a peice on it but I have no idea about US release..

Shaun Wong said...

hey there, if you haven't already, pls pls check out Lennon's version from his anthology. The fricking trombones at the beginning got even my then nine-year old brother dancing like mad.