Single Review: Sheryl Crow “Run, Baby, Run”

Run, Baby, Run
Year: 1993
Album: Tuesday Night Music Club

The debut CD is usually not a musician’s strong point. The music can be uneven or a niche hasn’t been found. In 1993, Sheryl Crow debuted with “Tuesday Night Music Club” and hasn’t been as solid since. Released in the UK only, “Run, Baby, Run” is one of six singles for her first album.

“Run, Baby, Run” is about a young woman who doesn’t like to stay in one place for too long. However, this is mostly due to her hippie mom (“And her mama believed everybody could free/so she got high high high”) and political activist dad who told her to run in order to deal with life’s problems. Crow sings from the point of view of someone that the young woman got to know well before running again.

Written by David Baerwald, Bill Bottrell, and Sheryl Crow, “Run, Baby, Run” weaves a creative story with music to match the emotions. The single, focused on the little details and with a vibrant secondary character to carry the story through, is articulate and engaging. Although the listener only knows the young woman (simply known as “Baby”) through Crow, they learn quite a bit about her date of birth, family life, and how she lives her life. However, the listener doesn’t know anything else about “Baby,” only enough to have known her in a short while. Therein, lies the great writing. If anything else had been known about her, it would’ve suggested a long-term friendship, meaning “Baby” stayed. And “Baby” is not the type to hang around for a long time.

The music arrangement begins slowly with a guitar and drumming, creating a reflective tone. Crow handles the notes with patience and almost seems to be talking instead of singing. It works, though. Here, the emphasis is on the lyrics and not the voice. The tone shifts to accepting after the second verse, which is a credit to the arrangement. It’s essentially the same lyrics, but written in different notes.

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