Behold: Raw Footage From the Recording of the Chili's Baby Back Ribs Jingle
It will get stuck in your head, so proceed with caution.
As far as iconic food-related jingles go, the Chili's baby back ribs song ("I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...") is right up there with Kit Kat's "Give Me a Break" and McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It." (Fun fact: Mickey D's signature "ba-da-ba-ba-ba" was written by rapper and frequent Kanye West collaborator Pusha T, although it was falsely attributed to Justin Timberlake for, like, 15 years.) But aside from a few key pop culture moments—The Office's Michael Scott and Austin Powers' Fat Bastard both sang gloriously irritating renditions of the famous Chili's jingle—the baby back ribs song has been a mostly auditory experience. Meaning, while we hear it (again, and again, and again) in those commercials, we don't often see the people singing it (N'Sync's Chili's ad is the exception here). That is, until now.
This week, the internet unearthed footage from the recording session for the second version of the jingle, performed by some stone cold professionals. Louis Price, the man behind that sweet, sweet "barbecue sauce" line—the linchpin of the whole song, really—was the lead singer of the Temptations from 1977 to 1980, while Alvin Chea, who lays down the "baby back" baseline, was a bass singer for Grammy-winning a capella group Take 6 (he also did back-up vocals on Michael Jackson’s “This Is It").
The clip is super charming—have you ever seen someone sing about ribs with such passion?—and makes the Chili's ear-worm about 25 percent more tolerable. Although Guy Bommarito, the ad man who originally penned the song, doesn't feel as warmly towards it. "I only did it when we got into a situation where we had done a campaign that did so poorly they were going to fire us. We went up to Dallas and we begged them for a second chance," he told Vice in 2015. "I was too embarrassed to go back to my department and give them the assignment, because it was really an awful assignment...I wrote it in, like, five minutes. I presented it to the client, I just sang it to them, and they said, 'Yeah, that sounds fine.'"