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"Mama Told Me Not to Come", also written as "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)", is a song by American singer-songwriter Randy Newman written for Eric Burdon's first solo album in 1966. Three Dog Night's 1970 cover topped the US pop singles chart. Tom Jones and the Stereophonics' version also hit No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart in 2000.

"Mama Told Me Not to Come"
Song by Eric Burdon and the Animals
from the album Eric Is Here
ReleasedMarch 1967 (1967-03)
GenreRoots rock
Length2:15
LabelMGM
Songwriter(s)Randy Newman
Producer(s)Tom Wilson

Contents

Newman original and first recordingsEdit

Newman says that the song was inspired by his own lighthearted reflection on the Los Angeles music scene of the late 1960s. As with most Newman songs, he assumes a character – in this song the narrator is a sheltered and extraordinarily straight-laced young man, who recounts what is presumably his first "wild" party in the big city, is shocked and appalled by marijuana smoking, whiskey drinking, loud music, and — in the chorus of the song — recalls his "Mama told [him] not to come".

The first recording of "Mama Told Me Not to Come" was cut by Eric Burdon & The Animals. A scheduled single-release of September 1966 was withdrawn,[1] but the song was eventually included on their 1967 album Eric Is Here.

Newman's own turn at his song was released on the 1970 album 12 Songs, and was characterized by Newman's mid-tempo piano accompaniment, as well as Ry Cooder's slide guitar part, both of which give the song the feel of a bluesy Ray Charles-style rhythm and blues number.

Three Dog Night versionEdit

"Mama Told Me (Not to Come)"
 
Single by Three Dog Night
from the album It Ain't Easy
B-side"Rock & Roll Widow"
ReleasedMay 1970 (1970-05)[2]
Format7-inch 45 RPM
Recorded1969–1970 at American Recording Company[2]
GenreRock
Length3:19 (album)
2:58 (single)
LabelDunhill
Songwriter(s)Randy Newman
Producer(s)Richard Podolor[2]
Three Dog Night singles chronology
"Celebrate"
(1970)
"Mama Told Me (Not to Come)"
(1970)
"Out in the Country"
(1970)

Also in 1970, Three Dog Night released a longer, rock 'n roll and funk-inspired version (titled "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)") on It Ain't Easy.

Three Dog Night's had the same 3/4 by 2/4 time change as Eric Burdon's version and featured Cory Wells singing lead in an almost humorous vocal style,[3] Jimmy Greenspoon playing a Wurlitzer electric piano, and Michael Allsup playing guitar.

Billboard ranked the record as the No. 11 song of 1970. The single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on July 14, 1970, the same day that It Ain't Easy was certified gold.[4]

This was the very first No. 1 song played on the July 4, 1970 broadcast of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem.

Charts and certificationsEdit

Tom Jones and Stereophonics versionEdit

"Mama Told Me Not to Come"
 
Single by Tom Jones and Stereophonics
from the album Reload
B-side"Looking Out My Window"
ReleasedMarch 6, 2000
FormatCD single, maxi single
Recorded1999
GenrePop rock[18]
Length3:00
LabelGut, V2
Songwriter(s)Randy Newman
Producer(s)Bird and Bush
Tom Jones singles chronology
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
(1999)
"Mama Told Me Not to Come"
(2000)
"Sex Bomb"
(2000)
Stereophonics singles chronology
"Hurry Up and Wait"
(1999)
"Mama Told Me Not to Come"
(2000)
"Mr. Writer"
(2001)

The recording of the song by Tom Jones and Stereophonics was released as a single in March 2000 and reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart, No. 11 in Ireland, and No. 45 in New Zealand. This version was produced by Steve Bush and Marshall Bird (also known as "Bird & Bush"). Singer Kelly Jones shared in the vocals with Jones. The video featured an appearance by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.[19]

ChartsEdit

Chart (2000) Peak
position
Germany (Official German Charts)[20] 73
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 11
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 77
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[23] 45
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[24] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 51
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 4
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[27] 1

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Silver 200,000 

 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Other versionsEdit

P. J. Proby recorded one of the earliest takes on the song in 1967,[29] followed by Three Dog Night's 1970 hit. Also in 1970, American singer/songwriter Odetta covered the song on her album "Odetta Sings". It has also been recorded by a diverse range of artists, including Wilson Pickett,[29] Lou Rawls,[29] The Wolfgang Press,[29] Yo La Tengo, The Slackers, and Paul Frees (as W.C. Fields) accompanied by The Animals. Lazlo Bane. Jazz singer Roseanna Vitro included it in her 2011 collection The Music of Randy Newman. A 1970 cover by The Jackson 5 was released on Come and Get It: The Rare Pearls.

Tea Leaf Green[30] and Widespread Panic[31] have performed this song live. In 1971, the comic singer Patrick Topaloff released a French version named Maman, viens me chercher.

Soundtrack appearancesEdit

Three Dog Night's version would later appear in Terry Gilliam's 1998 movie adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's 1972 gonzo novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Due to the song's upbeat, paranoid mood, it was used for the scene of obsessively drug-using protagonists Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo escaping a "District Attorneys convention on narcotics and dangerous drugs". It also appears as the last song in the movie's G-rated trailer, mainly accompanying Duke's wild car ride to have Dr. Gonzo catch a plane in time, a scene where in the R-rated trailer and in the actual film, Viva Las Vegas by Dead Kennedys was used instead.

The Three Dog Night rendering was also used in the 1997 films GI Jane (played over a montage of scenes showing Jordan O'Neill (Demi Moore) conditioning herself for the extreme physical demands of SEAL training) and Boogie Nights.

Also used in the movie The Sweetest Thing (2002), when Cameron Diaz is walking up the street, and in Joy (2015) it's performed by cast members in a scene set in a music class .

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2007-12-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965–1975 (CD liner). Three Dog Night. United States: MCA Records. 1993. pp. 27, 30, 31. MCAD2-10956.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Leaf, David (1993). Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965–1975 (CD liner). Three Dog Night. United States: MCA Records. p. 18. MCAD2-10956.
  4. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Archived from the original (PHP) on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2013-04-05. Type in "Three Dog Night" under Artist to see search results.
  5. ^ a b "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  6. ^ "100 Singles" (PHP). RPM. 13 (23). July 25, 1970. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Three Dog Night – Mama Told Me Not To Come". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Mama Told Me Not to Come". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Three Dog Night – Mama Told Me (Not To Come)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  10. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  11. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "Three Dog Night Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  15. ^ "Top 100 1970 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Three Dog Night – Mama Told Me Not to Come". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 14, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  18. ^ "Tom Jones / Stereophonics – Mama Told Me Not to Come Attributes". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  19. ^ "stereophonics graffiti on the train". The Snipe News. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Tom Jones & Stereophonics – Mama Told Me Not to Come". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Mama Told Me Not to Come". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tom Jones & Stereophonics – Mama Told Me Not to Come" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Tom Jones & Stereophonics – Mama Told Me Not to Come". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  24. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Tom Jones & Stereophonics – Mama Told Me Not to Come". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  27. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Tom Jones & Stereophonics – Mama Told Me Not to Come". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 21, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Mama Told Me Not to Come in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  29. ^ a b c d "The Originals © by Arnold Rypens". Originals.be. Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  30. ^ "MP3 File". Archive.org. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  31. ^ "PanicStream.com". PanicStream.com. 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2016-10-03.