The Babys were one of the most hyped bands to emerge from the English scene in 1976, and seemed to be headed for a long run atop the FM radio charts. Despite a few very big hits—including "Isn't It Time" and "Every Time I Think Of You," the band's mo… Read more
The Babys were one of the most hyped bands to emerge from the English scene in 1976, and seemed to be headed for a long run atop the FM radio charts. Despite a few very big hits—including "Isn't It Time" and "Every Time I Think Of You," the band's momentum was eventually eclipsed by the popular new wave alternative scene championed by acts like Elvis Costello and the Pretenders. But at the time the Babys' self-titled debut album was released, adult-oriented rock radio was still a very vibrant format, and the group received enough attention to become bona fide rock stars. Singer John Waite, who had originally launched the group as its bassist, was now out front leading vocals.
The Babys third record, Head First was initially rejected by their label, Chrysalis Records. During the album sessions, they replaced original keyboardist Mike Corby with Jonathan Cain, who would leave in a matter of years to join Journey. They also recruited a second bass player, Ricky Phillips. (Jack Conrad, who joined after the first album, had left during the recording sessions for Head First.
Though the Babys emerged in 1975 just as the U.K. punk movement was erupting, they never embraced punk, and focused instead on well-crafted power pop. They didn't really see any substantial success in their native U.K., but their sound was perfect for the growing FM power hits format in the U.S. and the band's label, Chrysalis, capitalized on this.
The Babys had the necessary elements to hit the big time, but the label put the focus on singer John Waite. In the end, Chrysalis and the band's management would let the band gradually dissolve so it could launch Waite's solo career. He had a somewhat successful solo stint, which was temporarily put on hold in the early 1990s when he formed another band with Jonathan Cain entitled Bad English.