In the summer of 1965, when "I Got You Babe" became a number one hit, its author, Sonny Bono, was 30 years old and had been kicking around the music business in various capacities for eight years, his biggest previous success being the co-writing of "Needles and Pins," a Top 20 hit for the Searchers in 1964. A protégé of Phil Spector, Bono knew a lot about elaborate record production, but in his search for a hit that would make him and his 19-year-old wife, Cher, a success, he had been listening to the suddenly popular music of Bob Dylan, especially as done in Dylan's new folk-rock style introduced in January on his Bringing It All Back Home album, and the work of the Byrds, who scored a number one hit with "Mr. Tambourine Man," a Dylan song from that LP. Recalling Dylan's bitter 1964 song "It Ain't Me Babe" (soon to be a folk-rock hit for the Turtles), Bono wrote his own opposite sentiment: "I Got You Babe." Where Dylan was lyrically complex, Bono was simple: His lyric began with the ominous youth-versus-grownups theme of "they" who set up barriers to romance, but soon gave way to a dialogue of teenage romantic platitudes. Where Dylan was musically simple, however, Bono, without fully rebuilding Spector's Wall of Sound, was more structurally ambitious, following the song's standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus form with an ascending coda that built to a climax, then started building again before the fadeout, all in only a little over three minutes. Set to waltz time, the tune retained a light feel despite the sometimes busy instrumentation, led by a prominent ocarina, and the alternating vocals of the two singers. If neither Bono nor Cher were interesting singers, their plodding, matter-of-fact performances gave the song a common-man appeal. "I Got You Babe" was released as the duo's second single under their own name and shot to the top of the charts, selling over a million copies in the U.S. (and reportedly millions more overseas) and becoming the biggest hit they scored together. It was their signature song: They sang it in their 1967 movie Good Times and as the theme of their early '70s television series. The song's camp appeal made it something of a guilty pleasure among rock bands over the years, but UB40's 1985 cover version, which found singer Ali Campbell dueting with Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, sounded perfectly sincere, and the song worked well set to a reggae beat; the record topped the charts in the U.K. and made the American Top 40.