58) Bobby Vee – “Take Good Care of My Baby”

Gerry Goffin and Carole King are rightly recognized as being one of the best songwriting duos in pop (even the more-celebrated  Lennon and McCartney covered “Chains”).  But for every “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” which gave voice to the conflict and confusion of being a teenager in love, is another track that doesn’t quite scale those heights:  specifically, the gloopy, toothless “Take Good Care of My Baby.”  The lyrics tell the story of a guy whose girl has left him for another guy.  Fair enough. But instead of trying to get her back or just bidding her farewell, we get a passive-aggressive plea – sure, you can have her, but if you get bored or whatever, he’d like her back, please.   Oh, just remember – take good care of HIS baby.

Part of it may be personal prejudice – in general, I think girls are better suited to singing this kind of pop than guys are.  Maybe I could appreciate the song better if it were boomed out by Shirley Owens or another girl group singer (though it still wouldn’t be a classic).  Bobby Vee’s voice is a little too pinched and nasal, his delivery too earnest and vibrato-laden, to be appealing.  “Don’t be stupid, don’t be limp/No girl likes to love a wimp,” The Mo-Dettes sang in “White Mice.” There’s a fine line between adorably sensitive and just pathetic. Unfortunately, this record falls into the latter category. 4

Hit #1 on September 18, 1961; total of 3 weeks at #1
58 of 969 #1’s reviewed; 5.99% through the Hot 100

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2 Comments

Filed under 04, 1961

2 responses to “58) Bobby Vee – “Take Good Care of My Baby”

  1. GeorgeL

    Agree this is a pretty lame record. Vee was trying for a Buddy Holly goes pop sound. Listen to how he pronounces Bay – bee. He actually did an album with the Crickets which I would be interested in hearing. Vee actually did some decent records in the late 60’s. He had a mild comeback & recorded a couple of decent pop/rock albums.

  2. DenverKirk

    7. Good song with a heartbreaking lyric by an underrated singer.

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