Day 16: “Baby It’s You”

When was it recorded?  Feb. 11, 1963

When was it first released, and on which album? Mar. 22, 1963 on “Please Please Me”

Who wrote it?  Burt Bacharach, Luther Dixon, and Mack David

Have I heard this song before?  Maybe

What my research dug up:

“Baby It’s You” was written by Bacharach, Dixon, and David. I discovered these three men are/were very prolific songwriters, so here’s some quick facts on each.

BACHARACH

  • American singer–songwriter, composer, record producer and pianist
  • Won six Grammys and three Academy Awards
  • “Known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the late 1950s through the 1980s”
  • Holy shit, just go to Wiki and look at all the songs he wrote (spoiler alert: it’s A LOT)
  • Mainly wrote music while David (below) wrote lyrics (the two worked as a duo creatively called Bacharach and David)
  • Still alive!

DAVID

  • American lyricist and songwriter
  • Nominated for eight Academy Awards
  • “Known for his work in film and television, with a career spanning from the early 1940s through the early 1970s”
  • Credited with writing lyrics and/or music for over one thousand songs
  • Best-known for working on Disney films “Cinderella” and “Alice and Wonderland”

DIXON

  • American singer—songwriter and record producer
  • Achieved greatest success in the 1950s and 60s
  • Had songs recorded by (among many others) Elvis Presley, The Jackson 5, B.B. King, & Dusty Springfield
  • “As a producer, Dixon helped create the signature sound of the girl group The Shirelles”

Naturally, coming off that last bullet point, the Shirelles were the first group to record “Baby It’s You.”  Their version was a Top 10 Pop and R&B hit, peaking on both charts at eight and three respectively.  Quoth Wikipedia, “The vocal arrangements on this version proved influential in subsequent versions, including that by the Beatles, who used the same one.”

The Beatles performed “Baby It’s You” as part of their pre-record deal stage act and later recorded it for their first album, “Please Please Me.”  Worth noting – “The Beatles’ version differs to the Shirelles’ by repeating the second verse instead of the first. So, where the Shirelles conclude with a line about sitting home and crying, the Beatles’s conclusion is more upbeat, John Lennon singing that he will carry on loving, no matter what.”  Wikipedia also points out that the song is notable for “its minor-to-major key chord changes on the verses” so keep an ear open for that too.

The Beatles later recorded a live version for BBC Radio and released on “Live at the BBC” in 1994.  Sources tell me a live music video of the song was also released to promote this version, but alas, I came up empty on that search.

I’m going senile because the “Please” version and the live version sound the same to me.  I wrote above that I had “maybe” heard this song before since I knew the Shirelles’ version.  Comparing them now, I say the first installment still wins.  They’re both emotional and well-performed but I think the ladies’ harmonies blend better, and they have the edge by including the more melancholy end.  Sorry, lads.

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_It%27s_You

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burt_Bacharach

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mack_David

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Dixon

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