The rock list, alphabetically speaking, begins here.
SONG: Baby Mine
ARTIST: Bonnie Raitt and Was (Not Was)
SONGWRITERS: Ned Washington / Frank Churchill
ALBUM: Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music From Various Disney Films
YEAR/LABEL: 1990; A&M
I loved working with Don Was.
In 1990, A&M Records put together a diverse group of performers on an album of classic songs from Walt Disney films. The results were mixed. Some were good (Aaron Neville doing the theme to the Mickey Mouse Club) and some were bad (having Tom Waits do “Hi Ho, Hi Ho (Dwarfs’ Marching Song)” might sound like a good idea, but it came out very weak).
On this album Bonnie Raitt teamed for the first time with Don Was, the bass player/producer of the eclectic funk/fun group Was (Not Was), on “Baby Mine.” The song, originally from the movie Dumbo, was the best cut on the album and one of the classic performances in Raitt’s career. It also began a relationship with Was that would lead Raitt into the land of multi-platinum sales and Grammy awards.
The song, originally from the movie Dumbo, was the best cut on the album and one of the classic performances in Raitt’s career. Raitt put her heart and soul into the song while the sweet voices of Sir Harry Bowens and Sweet Pea Atkinson provide beautiful backing vocals. It is gorgeous, soulful, and priceless.
Bonnie Raitt and Was (Not Was) would continue their relationship on Nick of Time, Luck of the Draw, Longing in Their Hearts, and Road Tested. The musical partnership netted seven Grammy awards. That award-winning partnership began right here with an exceptional song that needs to be found and heard. With a song this good, you envy Dumbo for his big ears!
OTHER BONNIE RAITT MUSIC TO INVESTIGATE:
“Runaway” (from Sweet Forgiveness) – the Del Shannon classic is turned into a mournful blues tune complete with Norton Buffalo’s killer harmonica playing. This is classic Bonnie Raitt.
“Sweet Forgiveness” (from Sweet Forgiveness) – listening to this two-speed song only serves to make one wonder just why it took Bonnie so long to move from cult star to superstar.
“Love Has No Pride” (from Give It Up) – if the only version you know is Linda Ronstadt’s, treat yourself to Riatt’s knockout version.
OTHER WAS (NOT WAS) MUSIC TO INVESTIGATE:
“(Return to the Valley of) Out Come the Freaks” (from Born to Laugh at Tornadoes) – this song became a running joke of sorts, appearing on every Was (Not Was) album in the 80s and 90s. This version is far and away the best.
“Smile” (from Born to Laugh at Tornadoes) – featuring the Knack’s Doug Fieger on lead vocals, the Was brothers turn out a great song combining funk and synth.
“Love Can Be Bad Luck” (from What Up, Dog) – soul singing is not out of style, thanks to the dual lead vocalists of Sir Harry Bowens and Sweet Pea Atkinson. This is a beautiful song, co-written with Marshall Crenshaw. (If that sounds like strange bedfellows, remember that both Was (Not Was) and Crenshaw are from