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Elvis SongPedia: Bossa Nova Baby

Bossa Nova Baby

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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

Recorded: January 22, 1963, RCA Radio Recorders, Hollywood.
Released master is take 11.

Single: w/ "Witchcraft", RCA 47-8243, October 1, 1963
Also re-released as Gold Standard Series, 447-0642, August 1964

RIAA Certified: Gold (as of 03/27/1992)

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#8 on Billboard's Hot 100
#20 on Billboard's Rhythm & Blues chart (Elvis' last single to appear on this chart)

1st LP release: Fun In Acapulco - December 1963
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"Bossa Nova Baby"
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Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
Fans and critics seem to agree that "Bossa Nova Baby" stands out pretty strongly from the rest of the Fun in Acapulco soundtrack. But then again Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller didn't write too many bad songs! Tippie and the Clovers first recorded "Bossa Nova Baby" and released the single in 1962 on the Tiger label, and although it didn't chart, Mike Stoller prefers it: "I like the original version of Bossa Nova Baby done by Tippie and the Clovers better than Elvis' version. It's got a Latin feel and it had certain elements of bossa nova, but it wasn't the real thing. The Clovers' version was much cooler than Elvis' version." I can't completely attest to the coolness of the Clovers, not having heard anything but this short sample, but have a listen for yourself, and maybe you'll agree with Mike!

Elvis' version, of course, had to make some concessions to the setting of the film, and ended up having a Hollywood-Mexican-Mariachi-band instrumental break complete with some not-quite-south-of-the-border whoops and shouts. The brass then gives way to an electric guitar solo just to remind us that this is an American version of a Mexican version of a Brazilian style of dance music and by the time Elvis and the boys get through with it, there's very little Bossa Nova left (for better or worse)!

It's pretty strong latin-tinged pop-rock for 1963, though, and with "Witchcraft" as a B-side, it made for a solid single! I tend to hear "Bossa Nova Baby" as a musical precursor to "Viva Las Vegas": a little pinch of Latino, a little Hollywood schmaltz, and a whole lotta Elvis' fast-paced vocal bravado. Maybe silly by later standards, but as an early-Sixties Elvis movie song, "Bossa Nova Baby" is pretty spicy!

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

'Bossa Nova Baby' is something like the old Presley, and contrasts with the inferior material he had previously used in his films. This is a fast, modern record, notably because of its use of organ. There is a touch of rock about the song, together with a Bossa Nova feel which is magical. In spite of the fast pace, every word is crystal-clear and in its way this is a classic recording.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979

Elvis in a rocking groove with trumpets and the Jordanaires yelling in chorus.

Martin Torgoff, The Complete Elvis, 1982

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for Bossa Nova Baby.

Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music

"Bossa Nova Baby" Links

"Bossa Nova Baby" Lyrics and Downloads

I said, 'Take it easy, baby I worked all day
And my feet feel just like lead
You got my shirt tails flyin' all over the place
And the sweat poppin' out of my head'
She said, 'Hey, Bossa nova, baby, keep on a workin'
This ain't no time to quit'
She said, 'Go, Bossa nova, baby keep on dancin'
I'm about to have myself a fit'
Bossa nova, Bossa nova

I said, 'Hey little mama, let's sit down
Have a drink and dig the band'
She said, 'Drink, drink, drink, oh, fiddle-de-dink
I can dance with a drink in my hand'
She said 'Hey Bossa nova, baby, keep on workin'
This ain't no time to drink'
She said 'Go, Bossa nova, baby, keep on dancin'
'Cause I ain't got time to think'

I said, 'Come on, baby, it's hot in here
And it's oh so cool outside
If you lend me a dollar I can buy some gas
And we can go for a little ride'
She said, 'Hey Bossa nova, baby, keep on workin'
I ain't got time for that'
She said, 'Go Bossa nova, baby, keep on dancin'
Or I'll find myself another cat'
Download the Karaoke Version!

Bossa Nova Baby karaoke - Elvis PresleyBossa Nova Baby
Elvis Presley

Download or just listen to different versions by Elvis at Amazon!

...or different versions by other artists at Amazon or CD Universe

What's YOUR Spin?!
What do YOU think of "Bossa Nova Baby"? Yea or Nea?

Yea! Have a drink and dig the band!

Nea! I'll find m'self another cat!

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Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)