Oh Baby, Baby: Memorable Songs with Baby in the Title
They are Everywhere
Songs about babies are as old as modern pop music. Since the Twentieth Century when baby became a slang term for loved ones who weren't actually newborns, infants, or toddlers. But babies themselves are a growing minority- at least in the US. The US birth rate is on the decline for the fourth year in the row. That is partly due to the recession and also many adults waiting to have children after establishing a career and home.
But one thing that has not changed is the fact that many musicians have made classic songs with Baby in the title that is bound to get stuck in your head. In fact, I challenge you to read this hub and not hum along.
"Be My Baby"- The Ronettes 1963
Even though The Ronettes have sadly become a footnote in the crazy life story of one Phil Spector, their contribution to the legacy of modern pop music remains unvarnished.
"Be My Baby" is arguably one of the simplest and sweetest pop songs of all time. Not only that but it showcases Phil Spector's genuine talent as a producer in his ability to create a "wall of sound."
Brian Wilson, the genius behind the Beach Boys calls it the best pop song of all time. And at one time was said to have listened to "Be My Baby" in excess of one hundred times a day. He also wrote a male version of the song
Rolling Stone named it #22 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Surprisingly enough it only reached #2 on the Pop Charts but it will always be #1 for the fans.
"Don't Worry Baby"- The Beach Boys 1964
If you are trying to remember the answer song Brian Wilson wrote in response to "Be My Baby" look no further. "Don't Worry Baby" is arguably one of the best Beach Boys' songs of all time.
However, we should expect no less of Brian Wilson and his creative genius. Even though he tried to recreate Spector's "wall of sound" on this record, he was much more successful in carving his own path for the Beach Boys.
Featuring the trademark harmonies of the group and lead vocals by Brian Wilson, this song is hard to ignore. Just listening to it makes me feel like I am in the middle of a Frankie and Annette movie.
"Since I Lost My Baby"- The Temptations 1965
The Temptations could do no wrong in their Motown heyday in the mid 1960s. David Ruffin arguably being the originator of hipster glasses led the Tempts to chart success on many iconic hits such as "My Girl."
"Since I Lost My Baby" was not one of their biggest hits but it has all the markings of a classic Motown song. Written by Smokey Robinson and Norman Moore it is impossible to get it out of your head.
Released in 1965 it became a top twenty single on both the Pop and R&B charts.
"Ooh Baby Baby"- Smokey Robinson and The Miracles 1965
Smokey Robinson has a knack for creating iconic pop songs. He was one of the go-to writers at Motown, helping to write some memorable hits. But he still found time to create and perform with his own group, The Miracles.
In 1965, Smokey and The Miracles gave us one of the best baby songs of all time in "Ooh Baby Baby." He won the public's affection in admitting he did wrong and trying to change. Not to mention, that falsetto of his that never gets old.
And listeners ate it up. The song soared to #4 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #16 on the Hot 100 chart. It also became one of the most covered songs by Smokey and The Miracles with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Linda Ronstadt recording and releasing their own versions of the song.
"Baby, I Love Your Way"- Peter Frampton 1975
Most songs from the 70s were about getting your groove on whether it was on the dance floor with the Bee Gees or elsewhere with the late great Marvin Gaye. However, there were some pretty memorable love songs that arose in that era.
Peter Frampton- guitar guru and teen idol definitely gave us one for the ages with "Baby, I Love Your Way" a song that you can easily hold your cell phones up with and sway to the groove.
The song was initially featured on Frampton's 1975 album Frampton but did not gain popularity until he released it on the classic live album Frampton Comes Alive.
The song became a hit again in 1994 when reggae outfit Big Mountain released a cover version that was on the soundtrack for iconic 90s film Reality Bites.
"Give It To Me Baby"- Rick James 1981
Rick James is the father of the Punk-Funk movement. For those of you who are not familiar with this sub genre it was created by Rick James in the late 1970s during the height of the punk movement. In reality, it mimics the sentiment and attitude of punk and has all the groove and appeal of funk- hence the name.
In the early 1980s, Rick James hit his stride releasing his landmark album at Motown, Street Songs. The album featured many classic cuts such as "In the Ghetto" and "Super Freak" but Give It To Me Baby took punk funk to a whole other level.
It took off as a club classic and hit the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. But it charted the most time at #1 on the R&B chart.
Not one for subtlety, Rick James spells it out and makes us dance all at once.
"Baby, Baby"- Amy Grant 1991
The 1990s arguably represented the renaissance of baby songs in pop music. And some songs more than others had an impact.
Amy Grant had had a number of hits but wanted a smash to launch the concept album Heart In Motion. She and songwriter Keith Thomas crafted this song on Thomas's condition that the song be called "Baby, Baby." Grant initially struggled until she found some real inspiration.
Ironically enough she wrote the song in ten minutes after seeing her six week old daughter, Millie.
Well Millie went with Amy all the way to the Grammys when she was nominated for 3 awards. She lost but she had the joy of sharing the stage with Millie when she performed at the ceremony.
I dare you to hear this song and not have it stuck in your head. I dare you!
"Baby Baby Baby"- TLC 1992
TLC made a grand entrance in to pop music twenty years ago (!). Baggy shorts and condom eyewear aside, they still believed in love and romance. Written by L.A. Reid, Babyface, and Daryl Simmons "Baby Baby Baby" became their most popular single off their debut album.
The song is about a perspective suitor who does not think he has to work that hard to win the affections of a woman. However, T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chili set him straight.
Inspiration for the song actually came from Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and her then-boyfriend Andre Rison (the same guy whose house she later burned down). Apparently the two of them always called each other baby as a term of endearment. Hearing this in the studio, the Babyface and company created the song.
While it was their most popular song, it could not be stopped due to the immense popularity of another Babyface penned tune "End of the Road." But you can't sing baby to this song!
"Baby"- Brandy 1994
Brandy is the teen idol prototype of a triple threat. And in 1994 she burst on the scene with several hit singles. Her second single was the one that put her on the map.
Written by the team of Keith Crouch, Kipper Jones, and Rashaan Patterson the song was created in a few days and once Brandy heard it- she knew it was magic.
The song was released and quickly shot to the top of the chart. It hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was #1 on the R&B and Hip Hop Singles charts for four weeks running.
Accompanied by a Hype Williams directed video set on Broadway, it is arguably the song that defined the mid 1990s teen music scene.
"...Baby One More Time"- Britney Spears 1998
It was the song that launched a thousand midriffs. But back in 1998 it was the song that launched Britney Spears into superstardom.
Penned by pop music genius Max Martin and co-produced by Martin, Denniz Pop, and Rami Yacoub it was initially intended for TLC. But after it was passed on by them, it fell into the hands of then sixteen year old Britney.
Britney, who had initially wanted to make more organic pop music, fell in love with this song after six months of lackluster material being thrown her way.
Once the song was recorded, the label heard it and decided to make it the first single of her debut album. Britney agreed, as long as she could have a great video as well.
Nigel Dick helmed the video mainly because he, like Britney fell in love with the song. He had a concept of her being a cartoon but Britney strongly disagreed and decided on the schoolgirl theme. With that decision, she became part of pop culture history and "Baby One More Time" became and remains Spears' biggest single to date.
"Baby"- Justin Bieber 2010
Justin Bieber was a teenage wunderkind who was poised to become one of the biggest pop stars of the twenty first century. After getting the attention of both Usher and Justin Timberlake, he signed with Usher and went from putting videos on YouTube to making hits.
In early 2010, he was just getting started when he released "Baby" the first single from the second half of his debut album, My World 2.0. He decided to feature Ludacris on the song and from there it was only time before the world caught Bieber fever.
Interestingly enough this song did not hit #1 in Bieber's native Canada or the US but did hit #1 in France and Scotland.
But I'm sure the Biebs didn't care since the song has managed to garner over three million downloads and a staggering 787 million views on YouTube. Oh Baby!
"Baby Love" The Supremes 1964
"B-A-B-Y"- Carla Thomas 1966
"Baby I Love You" - Aretha Franklin 1967
"Baby Come Back"- Player 1978
"Baby Got Back"- Sir Mix-a-Lot 1992
"Hey Baby"- No Doubt 2001
"Baby" - Ashanti 2002
"Baby Boy"- Beyonce' and Sean Paul 2003
"Baby"- Fabolous 2005
"Baby"- LL Cool J 2008