Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

Composed by Sonny Bono

Song Review by

Two minutes and forty-four seconds of compelling innuendo with striking musical accompaniment comprise Imperial Records 45 RPM #66160, Cher's third - and biggest - solo hit of the Sonny Bono productions prior to Snuff Garrett getting involved with the diva. Metaphors abound as the old world mix of strings collides with the new world of pop neatly edited into this under 3 minute hit single from March of 1966. Sonny Bono's chronicle of an abusive relationship starting when "I was five and he was six" and ending when "He didn't take the time to lie" is a mini movie in itself, the chorus resonating the violence of a broken heart - "Bang bang, I hit the ground" - the drums quickly echoing the sentiment. The uniqueness of the theme struck a chord as Petula Clark gave the song a go and it was sung en francais while covered by European chanteuse Sheila (Annie Chancel). The sounds of Paul Mauriat also re-created this Cher with Sunny essay, though it is arguably The Vanilla Fudge version which really drew out the message Mrs. Bono was sending forth: "bang bang, that awful sound" culminating in the cold reality..."my baby shot me down."

Sonny Bono's production embracing Phil Spector bells and whistles is a setting custom made for actress Maria Ouspenskaya's gypsy character Maleva from 1941's The Wolfman film. Those story/song tricks Sonny learned from Phil served he and Cher well, the relentlessly brittle but reliable Spanish guitar is the foundation of a folk/rock wall of sound, The Ronettes without full orchestration. Less is more and Cher delivers the words with appropriate misunderstood questioning. Betrayed by someone she knew early on the authority with which she tells of past episodes indicates an inner strength - shot down but still here to tell the tale.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Sonny Side of Cher 1966 Capitol / Universal 2:45
Cher's Golden Greats 1968 Capitol 2:46
Take Me Home 1979 Universal Special Products / PSM 2:44
Cher [1987] 1987 Laserlight / Geffen 3:54
American Rock 'N' Roll Classics, Vol. 3 1988
Various Artists
Roulette Records
No Image 1990 EMI Legends of Rock 'N' Roll Series
No Image 1991 EMI Music Distribution
Bang Bang & Other Hits 1992 EMI-Capitol Special Markets
Cher's Greatest Hits: 1965-1992 1993 Geffen 3:54
You Better Sit Down Kids 1996 Disky / Great Hits 2:44
1966: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
A Time To Remember
Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves: 25 Great Songs 1997 Movieplay Music 2:48
Original Hits 1998 Disky 2:44
Cher with Sonny 1998 Entertainers 2:47
Rock -N- Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time, Vol. 5 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:40
If I Could Turn Back Time: Greatest Hits [Geffen] 1999 Geffen
Sunny 1999 EMI Music Distribution 2:45
Bang Bang: The Early Years 1999 Capitol 2:46
Cher Favorites 1999 Intercontinental Records 2:45
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Greatest Hits of the 60's [Platinum] 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc
The Way of Love: The Cher Collection 2000 Geffen / Universal 2:45
The  Story 2000 EMI Music Distribution
Beat Boom 2001
Various Artists
Disky / Disky Communications 2:44
Drivin' Music Hits 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:42
American Bandstand 2001
Various Artists
Band Stand 2:44
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 2:43
Essential Collection 2001 Digital / Hip-O 2:44
Singers and Songwriters: Late '60s 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Absolutely the Best, Vol. 1 2002 Fuel 2000 2:44
The Very Best of Cher [Warner Bros #1] 2003 Warner Music 3:45
Live: The Farewell Tour 2003 Warner Bros. / Rhino 3:40
The Very Best of Cher [Warner Bros #2] 2003 Warner Music
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2005 Fuel 2000 2:44
Gold 2005 Geffen 2:45
I Love Music 1965-1969: Good Vibrations 2005
Various Artists
Disky 2:44
Complete Sixties 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:46
Greatest Hits of the 60's 2006
Various Artists
Disky 2:43
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 2:40
101 60's Hits [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:47
The Best of the Imperial Recordings 1965-1968 2007 EMI 2:46
Backstage/Golden Greats 2007 Beat Goes On 2:45
Sounds of the Sixties [EMI Gold] 2007
Various Artists
EMI 2:46
Top of the Pops: 1966 2007
Various Artists
BBC Music / EMI 2:45
Top of the Pops Collection [43 CD] 2008
Various Artists
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 2:47
Top of the Pops: Sixties 2009
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 2:45
Sixties: Collected 2010
Various Artists
USM 2:45
Good Vibrations [EMI] 2011
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:44
100 Hits: Ladies Night 2011
Various Artists
100 Hits / Demon Music Group 2:45
Massive Hits! Sixties 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 2:44
'60s Music Revolution 2012
Various Artists
Time / Time/Life Music 2:45
100 Hits: Swinging 60s 2012
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:48
Beach Party RTL Georges Lang 2015
Various Artists
WEA 2:44
'60s Music Revolution: Different Drum
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:45
All I Really Want To Do: Best of the Early Years Micro Werks 2:44
No Image
Various Artists
Parlophone 2:43
No Image Electrola 2:56
Sounds of the Sixties: The Hits
Various Artists
EMI Gold 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Top of the Pops: 1964-1969
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:46
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