We rank 20 Versions of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’

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16. James Taylor & Natalie Cole

In a video explaining his take on “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, James Taylor says he wanted to give the popular song a “slightly bossanova feel”. The song manages to have that while also somehow still sounding like, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”. This version reminds one of something you might hear in the background at a lounge club while you’re eating dinner. Or while you’re in an elevator. Either way you’ll be bobbing your head along.

Natalie Cole’s voice helps to complement this take on the song. She adds a soulfulness that actually goes well with Taylor’s more folksy side. Cole also has just the right amount of playfulness in her voice which really sells the lyrics.

Taylor on the other hand comes across as more of a concerned friend or family member with his parts. You really believe he is worried about Cole catching a chill. Here he is not a leering predator. He is a concerned father figure. This is confirmed by the conversational part at the end of the song. “People are so suspicious, it’s just an innocent suggestion you stay warm and keep yourself healthy, that’s all”, Taylor tells her.

How can you argue with that?