I Want My Baby Back

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‘I Want My Baby Back’ – Demo (1965)

Lyrics

I'm working day and night to find me my passage to write
I'm gonna get the next train, going to be right by her side
Ooh-ah Kitty, just you see
Don't put the blame on me, oh no

I want my baby back, oh no
I want my baby back

I tried to phone her, but the cable was broke by a storm
Now I won't see her till tomorrow, when night meets the dawn
Ooh-ah Kitty, just you see
Don't put the blame on me, oh no

I want my baby back, oh no
I want my baby back

I'll buy her anything
A big fat car, a diamond ring
If she will be my girl
I want her back, I need you girl

I'm working day and night to find me my passage to write
I'm gonna get the next train, going to be right by her side
Ooh-ah Kitty, just you see
Don't put the blame on me, oh no

I want my baby back, oh no
I want my baby back, oh no

Probably recorded some time between July and October 1965 ‘I Want My Baby Back’ is one of the five early-Bowie demos that have survived over the years and were not released on any record prior to 1991 when Shel Talmy gave access to his archives for the release of Early On.

This frail demo, featuring Bowie himself, an accoustic guitar and some unknown backing vocals providing a chorus, is reminiscent of various songs by the Beach Boys with its quiet chorus element that is so typical for the Beach Boys’ recordings. ‘I Want My Baby Back’ is somewhat similar to ‘Your Summer Dream’ and definitely influenced the most by ‘Don’t Worry Baby’. Both Cann and Doggett suggest that Bowie might have double-tracked the vocals. Nicholas Pegg assumes the backing vocals stem from The Lower Thirds’ guitarist Denis Taylor.

The song’s weakest part is the middle part where Bowie does not seem to know where this song is going. ‘I Want My Baby Back’ is an attempt to dwell in the Beach Boys terrain, an experiment which does not work in this incoherent song. The only time Bowie would revisit Beach Boys song material would be for ‘God Only Knows’ on his 1984 album Tonight.

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Discography

  • CD Early On (1964-1966) 1991

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Musicians

  • David Jones (vocals, guitar, saxophone)
  • Dennis Taylor (guitar)
  • Graham Rivens (bass)
  • Phil Lancaster (drums)
  • Produced by Shel Talmy
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Filed under 1965-66: Davy Jones & The Lower Third

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