“Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la” may not be the most profound lyric of all time, but it can make for a heck of a hook. It’s safe to say that “Baby It’s You” does not suffer for lack of being catchy by any stretch, which is hardly a surprise considering it was composed by Burt Bacharach. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to come across a version that takes the song to its full potential–not the original Shirelles recording with its poor man’s Phil Spector production, and certainly not the Carpenters’ morose reading of the song. The closest would be Smith’s funky 1969 rendition (which, incidentally, dispenses with the sha-la-las).
Even Weird Al’s “Baby It’s Ewe” falls short.
As for the Beatles? Look, I’ve written so much about John Lennon having a cold at the Please Please Me sessions that I don’t really know what to add at this point except that this track may be the most obvious example. I gave it the edge over “Anna” purely for the fun “Cheat! Cheat!” backing vocals but in hindsight, I’m not sure. I’ll stick with it for two reasons: A) I think the Beatles could have improved upon “Anna,” but “Baby It’s You” is about as good as it could ever be, and B) if I start doubting my own ranking, how can I expect anyone else to take it seriously? Yes, I made the right call here.