Greatest Un-Hits: Cher with Beavis and Butt-head, “I Got You Babe” (1993)
Beavis and Butt-head had their cultural moment in 1993. All of 1993. Their cartoon was the #1 show on MTV (even after they couldn’t say “fire” anymore because some kid burned down his house). Bands they approved of in the music video-commentary segment of their show made bands into stars (e.g. White Zombie), and tons of merch flowed, such as books, talking keychains, T-shirts, and of course, an album.
The Beavis and Butt-head Experience is a throwaway collection for the most part, consisting primarily of unused tracks from bands Beavis and Butt-head said were “cool,” such as Anthrax, Megadeth, Jackyl, and Run-D.M.C. The Red Hot Chili Peppers contributed a lazy cover of Iggy Pop’s “Search and Destroy”; Aerosmith’s “Deuces are Wild” was just a demo, and it went to #1 on the rock chart. Primus, to its credit, wrote and performed an original song about Beavis and Butt-head called “Poetry and Prose.” The album went platinum, such was the draw of anything with the words “Beavis” and/or “Butt-head” on it in 1993.
Beavis and Bitt-head themselves (via Mike Judge) contributed two songs: the bedroom jam “Come to Butt-head” and a collaboration with Cher on a cover of her classic “I Got You Babe.” A funny, psychedelic video was produced and got a ton of MTV airplay—no conflict of interest whatsoever there. The song and video end with the suggestion that the 47-year-old Cher, who Butt-head remarks “is kind of into young dudes,” takes 15-year-old Butt-head’s virginity. At the time, this was humorous.
At the end of the day though, this “I Got You Babe” is both a novelty song and an umpteenth remake that might be good for a laugh, but perhaps only in the context of the album or its video. It made to #8 on Billboard‘s “Bubbling Under” chart, equivalent to #108 on the pop chart. During a spoken interlude, Cher’s ex-husband and performing partner Sonny Bono (“that cop in San Diego”) is called a wuss, probably marking the first time that a cover calls the song’s original performer—and writer—a wuss.