Forgotten series: The Babys – Anthology (2000)

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Backed by pounds of promotion, the Babys were primed for world domination. Formed in 1975, the London, England-based band really did have a lot going for them. Aside from boasting hot chops and the material to match, they struck a charismatic pose and presence.

During their livelihood, which expired in 1981, the Babys released five fine albums and gleaned hit singles with sharp and snappy songs like “Isn’t It Time,” “Every Time I Think Of You” and “Back On My Feet Again.” By melding the melodic mindfulness of Badfinger with the muscular moves of Bad Company, the band flaunted a sound that attracted both the teenybopper set and the fist-pumping stadium rock crowd.

Along with the aforementioned tracks, Anthology (Capitol Records) contains countless corkers, especially the tempo challenging “Head First,” the slick and sweaty “Midnight Rendezvous” and the punchy “Turn And Walk Away.” Fronted by John Waite’s plucky and powerful vocals, the band is a flawless fit. Crushing guitar licks, attended by neat keyboard arrangements, beefy drum beats and astronomical harmonies observe the Babys as tight team players.

Carved of a grinding, bluesy edge, “Give Me Your Love” leaps forth as another highlight on Anthology, and then there’s a vibrant cover of “I Love How You Love Me,” which the Paris Sisters assaulted the charts with in 1961. But each cut on the disc makes for a great listen, resulting in the kind of record you’ll spin over and over again.

After the Babys dissolved, John Waite embarked on an incredibly successful solo career, guitarist Wally Stocker landed a slot with Air Supply, and keyboardist Jonathan Cain joined Journey. John and Jonathan later reunited in Bad English, a certified supergroup that further included Journey guitarist Neal Schon.

Though there was nothing particularly groundbreaking about the Babys, their crafty tunes resonated with soul and substance. Here’s a band that’s one of rock and roll’s best kept secrets, and “Anthology” registers as a smart summary of their achievements.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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