Saturday, 25 August 2012

UB40 'I Got You Babe' (Guest Vocals Chrissie Hynde)

Chart Peak: 1

I Got YouTube

Originally No. 1 in September 1965 for Sonny and Cher, it returned to the top spot almost exactly 20 years later on 27th August with Ali Campbell as Sonny and the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde taking the female vocal.

Funny how the memory plays tricks: I'd always associated this "duet" with Live Aid, but in fact neither act was even present. They did, however, reprise it at the Nelson Mandela concert three years later, along with their version of 'Breakfast In Bed', a hit single at that time.

Without that Live Aid context, though, I'm not sure what led them to do this. I suppose it was just a combination of UB40's unstoppable urge to cover every song written before 1980 and Hynde's determination to be a reggae singer. In fairness to them, the studio recording is better than the mumbly soundcheck they seem to have used for the video, but it still succeeds in making Sonny Bono's already rather smug Dylan pastiche (apparently it was based on 'It Ain't Me Babe') sound even smugger still. Like all but their earliest recordings, the band sound half-asleep, twiddling away at a sluggish tempo without feeling. But they could afford to cry all the way to the bank with their second chart-topper.

Also appearing on: Now 1, 4, 7, 9, 13 [with Chrissie Hynde again], 17, 18, 26, 41, 56
Available on: Love Songs

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