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.