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"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" is the second single by singer-actress Cher from her second studio album The Sonny Side of Cher. The song was written by Sonny Bono and released in 1966. The song reached number three in the UK Singles Chart and number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The same year, the song was covered by Nancy Sinatra.

History and covers

The single proved successful, charting high on many national charts worldwide. In the United Statesmarker, it was Cher's biggest solo hit of the 1960s, peaking at #2. The single sold over 3 million copies, in the US alone, by 1984. In 1987, Cher released this song as a single again from her nineteenth album Cher. However, that time, it failed to chart. This was Cher's first top-three hit in the UK, charting at #3. It would be her last top-three hit, until The Shoop-Shoop Song, twenty-two years later. The 1987 version was performed on both Cher's Heart of Stone and Farewell tours.

Also in 1966, Nancy Sinatra released her version of the song on her album How Does That Grab You?. This version remained relatively obscure until it was used in the opening scenes of the 2003 movie Kill Bill Volume 1. This exposure caused Sinatra's version to be the one chosen by Audio Bullys when, in 2005, they used a sample of the song for their top ten UK hit "Shot You Down", credited officially to Audio Bullys featuring Nancy Sinatra. Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall also sampled this version for his single "Bang Bang", which appeared on his mixtape Kill Bloodclott Bill in 2004. Rapper Young Buck sampled Sinatra's version on his song "Bang Bang" from his album Straight Outta Cashville.

Other artists who recorded this song include Stevie Wonder for his 1966 album Down to Earth, The Beau Brummels on their 1966 album Beau Brummels '66, Petula Clark in 1966 for her album I Couldn't Live Without Your Love, Vanilla Fudge for their 1967 album Vanilla Fudge, Terry Reid for his 1968 album Bang Bang You're Terry Reid, Frank Sinatra for his 1981 album She Shot Me Down, Cliff Richard, Paul Weller on his 2003 compilation album Fly On The Wall - B Sides And Rarities and Isobel Campbell on her 2004 EP Time Is Just the Same. The German artist Rainald Grebe used the refrain for his tragicomic song "Bengt Bangt" in his program "Lagerfeuer des Grauens". Japanese pop/rock singer Minako Honda recorded a Japanese cover on her 1989 album WILD CATS (as MINAKO with WILD CATS), while a Vietnamese version can be heard from singer Mỹ Tâm with the title “Khi xưa ta bé (Bang Bang)”. Ironically, the translation is made from the French version: the DVD cover introduced it as "nhạc Pháp" (French music). This is because most of pre-1975 English songs are popularized in Vietnam indirectly by French singers. Originally, the song has been covered by various Vietnamese singers of many generations and become the staple of any English songbook published in Vietnam.

This song has also been very popular in the Sixties in Italymarker and has been covered by the following artists: Mina, Dalida and the band Equipe 84. In Francemarker, the french version was sung by Sheila, and became in summer 1966 a big hit there. Still in France, Jacno and Mareva Galanter did a cover of the song (2006). In Quebec, Claire Lepage did a French cover in 1966.

In 2001 Italian singer Spagna covered the song (in Italian) in her album La nostra canzone.

John Balance from Coil performed "Bang Bang" during the live concerts of the band in 2002-2004. His versions of this song can be found on Coil live albums Live Four and Selvaggina, Go Back Into The Woods. The Raconteurs regularly performed the song in concert during 2006.

Nancy Sinatra's version of the song was used as the theme tune for the BBC's coverage of the 2005 Wimbledonmarker tennis championships.

In November 2006, the Greek music producer and world-renowned mixing engineer Antonis Karalis released his debut worldwide single "To Be Continued" with another version of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)". He performed, recorded, arranged, mixed and mastered the track.

The singer and model Carla Bruni performs it in the Lancia Musa TV advertisement, which was broadcast in Europe in January 2008.

A remix of this song by Audio Bullys was played during the 2005 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

In the 2008 French-Canadian movie Maman est chez le coiffeur, the song is played twice in French: the 1966 Claire Lepage version near the beginning and later by Elie Dupuis, one of the stars of the movie who was 12 years-old. The Dupuis version is also featured on the film's soundtrack.

In 2009, Stéphanie Lapointe released a French version as well on her album "Donne-moi quelque chose qui ne finit pas".

This song was also covered by The Raconteurs at Austin City Limits in 2009.

Another Canadian artist, Melanie Durrant, released her cover of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" in 2005.

Pop artist Lady Gaga used Sinatra's cover in video interludes on certain dates of The Fame Ball Tour (juxtaposed with Beautiful, Dirty, Rich) in 2009.

In October 2009, Mohsen Namjoo covered the early parts of Bang Bang, singing it in a traditional Iranian key at the end of his song "Hammash".

Live Performances

Cher performed the song on the following concert tours:

Charts

Cher version
Chart (1966) Peak

position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
New Zealand 2
UK Singles Chart 3
Ireland 3
Austria 6
Italy 6
Canada 9
Belgium 9
Sweden 9
Poland 15
Netherlands 16
German Singles Chart 17


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