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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Babys (the) - s/t

Artist: The Babys
Album: s/t
Year: 1976
Style: Glam Rock, Arena Rock
Similar Bands: Big Star (bad), Foreigner, Journey, Sweet
"One Word" Review: Rhasp-glammy-rock
Based Out Of: London, England
Label: Chrysalis
The Babys Cover Front & Side 2
The Babys Cover Back & Side 2

The Babys (1976)
1. Looking For Love 4.43
2. If You've Got The Time (sample) 2.38
3. I Believe In Love 4.17
4. Wild Man 3.29
5. Laura 5.02/
6. I Love How Your Love Me (sample) 2.21
7. Rodeo 2.58
8. Over & Over 4.47
9. Read My Stars 2.43
10. Dying Man 6.30

Album Rating (1-10):
3.5

Members & Other Bands:
John Waite-Vox (solo, Bad English)
Walt Stocker-lead Guitar (tour guitarist: Air Supply, Rod Stewart, Humble Pie)
Mike Corby-guitar & keys
Tony Brock-drummer, Vox (Spontaneous Combustion, tour drummer: Rod Stewart)
Brian Christian-Producer
Bob Ezrin-Producer
Jon Prew-Photo
My Own Production Co Ltd.

Unknown-ness: I'd never heard of this band. From the cover image of a dirty, greasy 70's rock band, and name Babys, I imagined the album to contain a bunch of loud, whiny, perhaps screechy songs. But on a greater scale in contract, I did like the minimal, refined art direction, rather than over-the-top, brutishly drawn imagery that many mid 70's albums had. I also liked how the name is in a large, normal font, and not incorporated into the imagery. With these elements, I had some hope that this could be a great album.

Album Review:When I first put the record on, I hated it. It incorporated all the wrong elements that, in my eyes, made late 70's bands great. I felt like it was loud in the wrong places, and the vocals just didn't quite have that power or authority to grab your attention. In short, what it lacked was its execution. Nothing stands out. With that said, I don't offer a correction to this critique. Perhaps it is because I don't like John Waites vocals. For me, the vocals really are the key factor in judging bands. And I cannot get on board with what I feel is a mundane, uninspired performance.


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In subsequent listens to the album, it has grown on me a little. The album is introduced with a drum solo, then adds the bass, and launches with the loud, dirty, repetitive guitar hook. And Waites' vocals come in sounding, for the most part, strained and bored. The music does hold things together, and for a driving rock song, it is very solid. "If You've Got the Time" incorporates its title into its chorus with a melody that sounds so very familiar. It sounds as if every rock single of that times had borrowed from or gave its basic construction to this song. "Wild Man" sounds like a poorly executed Bowie throw-a-way track. Every band of this genre needs its slow desire-for-a-girl ballad, and "Laura" is that. It is one of the better songs on the album, complete with is a great (and again familiar) piano hook after they proclaim that they need Laura so. A flip of the record and we continue with the same slow tempo as Waite explains how he loves his girl. Both "Rodeo" and "Read My Stars" are very powerful rocking tunes, but somehow, as loud as Waites' raspy vocals are, he seems faintly there. the album winds down with their 6+ minute epic Dying Man, which ventures into the land of prog.

Over-all, the album is better than I first perceived it to be: it is at least listen-able. But it is still not a great album, and one which I would never turn to to want to put on.

Stand Out Track:
If You've Got The Time

Links:
Babys Allmusic
Babys Wikipedia
Official Unofficial Chronological Babys Site
Babys Myspace
http://www.johnwaite.com/discography/babys/babys.htm
Fan John Waite site: Netwaite
Mike Corby's Myspace

2 comments:

  1. Why do you say "Big Star (bad)"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. At times, I feel as if they sound like a bad version of Big Star...So I did not just want to put Big Star, because that would be misleading. But I see putting (bad) behind is just as confusing. Thanks for asking for clarification.

    ReplyDelete