Tag: Phil Spector

I Got You Babe

Monday, 27 July, 2015 0 Comments

Fifty years ago, I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher spent three weeks at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The single sold more than one million copies and the song went on to top the British, Irish and Canadian charts. Our 1965 music series continues.

“So let them say your hair’s too long
‘Cause I don’t care, with you I can’t go wrong
Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb.”

Responding to Bob Dylan’s acerbic It Ain’t Me Babe, Sonny Bono conceived I Got You Babe as an opposing work in every sense. Where Dylan was lyrically complex, Sonny was simple. Where Dylan was musically simple, Sonny was complex and he built upon Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound using the song’s verse-chorus-verse format with a rising coda, led by a distinctive oboe, to reach a climax. Then, the song started to crescendo again before the fadeout, and all this in just three minutes. A pop masterpiece.


Another train tune

Saturday, 23 March, 2013 0 Comments

The brilliant American harpsichordist Scott Ross, who died tragically young of AIDS in 1989, likened Les Barricades Mystérieuses, a 1717 composition by François Couperin, to a train in that it conveys the the image of a heavy, fast-moving object that keeps picking up momentum. And the the mysterious barricades of the title are objects that cause the “train” to slow down and then stop.

François Couperin, whose title was ordinaire de la musique de la chambre du Roi, was certainly not thinking of trains when he wrote this baroque piece for the harpsichord, but he loved to create layers of music and his barricades can be seen as a precursor of the dense, layered, reverberant “Wall of Sound” that Phil Spector engineered in the 1960s.