Throughout the late 1970s and early ‘80s, British rockers The Babys had a string of big budget albums and high charting singles, but then basically vanished with little notice, only to return somewhat out of the blue more than three decades later. In the passing years, the final line-up rose to even greater heights, including singer John Waite going solo and fronting Bad English, guitarist Wally Stocker teaming with Rod Stewart, Humble Pie and Air Supply, keyboardist Jonathan Cain joining Journey (and later Bad English), bassist Ricky Phillips also linking up with Bad English (and eventually Styx) and drummer Tony Brock accompanying Stewart, Elton John and Roy Orbison.
And even if this line-up isn’t entirely comprised of co-founders, getting the rest of The Babys back together at this point seems extremely unlikely, so the fact that these four players are diving into the reboot “Head First” should be just fine as far as long time fans are concerned.
In 2014, the reverse supergroup of sorts was finally reconfigured by Stocker and Brock, who along with John Bisaha and guitarist Joey Sykes (both from America) very belatedly released “I’ll Have Some of That!” as a follow-up to 1980’s “On The Edge.” And with that, The Babys came to Reggies Chicago for the first time since swinging by the Aragon Ballroom on that very tour, and though the members have changed, the basic essence of its hard rock/power pop sound remained.
Along with a keyboardist and The Babettes background singers, The Babys addressed at least a little something from every album, kicking off ever so appropriately with “Back On My Feet Again” and moving through “Midnight Rendezvous,” “Isn’t It Time” and “Love Don’t Prove I’m Right” with renewed interest. Unlike most bands with a window of fame from back in the day that have since worn out the nostalgia circuit, the guys appeared genuinely passionate about revisiting the long lost but not forgotten material.
Even melodic new songs such as “I See You There” and “Not Ready To Say Goodbye” benefited from the fresh perspective of the stage, simultaneously giving the group current purpose beyond only the oldies. And even if this line-up isn’t entirely comprised of co-founders, getting the rest of The Babys back together at this point seems extremely unlikely, so the fact that these four players are diving into the reboot “Head First” should be just fine as far as long time fans are concerned.