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Babyface - 1977 Babyface



ARTIST: Babyface
ALBUM: Babyface
LABEL: ASI
SERIAL: ASI 213
YEAR: 1977

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bobby Barth - lead guitar, lead vocals * Edgar Riley - keyboards, vocals * Michael Turpin - bass, vocals * Bob Miles - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Never In My Life * 02 How Long Can A Rock N Roll Band Keep Carr'in On * 03 Angeline * 04 Songwriter * 05 Stone Cold * 06 Make Way Miami * 07 Catch Me If You Can * 08 Carrousels * 09 Try * 10 Your Precious Arms


Background
Based in Western Wisconsin within earshot of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota, Babyface signed to the ASI label that were very good at releasing typical Midwestern styled rock with progressive overtones. The White Wing debut is a progressive classic from the label and getting mighty rare and expensive these days. This South Dakota band later changed their name to Asia (the American version thereof), releasing their first album under that moniker on ASI. Robert Berry's Hush released their debut with the company and Minneapolis pomp wannabe's Judd released two mediocre albums on the hometown label both of which predictably failed to do much of anything and filled cut-out bins for many years. So with the labels happening track record, I suppose it was a matter of convenience for Bobby Barth and company to travel the 90 miles from Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Minneapolis and record the Babyface debut under ASI's tutelage, but to be honest there wasn't much here to write home about and nothing on this record would indicate these guys would later become Axe.


The Songs
Having lived most of my life in the region of the US where bands like Babyface were a dime a dozen, it's hard to believe any label would take them seriously? This is just bar band AOR with every musical cliche imaginable. The record is almost laughable and I don't say that about too many albums. Sad thing is these guys were serious and there are even string and horn arrangements to be found amongst the Southern fried, Uriah Heep-ish (check out 'Try') faux workouts just to add some drama. It doesn't work. Supposedly two songs off the record 'Never in My Life' and 'Make Way Miami' got some home turf airplay in the land of milk and cheese, but for the life of me I can't figure out why (both songs make me nauseous) and it's blessing when this record is over.


In Summary
Whoever lit a fire under the collective asses of Babyface deserves a medal. The band picked up stakes, changed their name to Axe and moved to sunny Florida giving the AOR world a handful of excellent albums early on. Having said this, unless you are an Axe completist or a glutton for aural punishment, I suggest creating some distance between your money, ears and this record. I realize this is the harshest review I have done for Glory Daze, but I stand by every word and you have been warned.


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Comments
#1 | dangerzone on April 21 2007 02:02:24
This is one of the funniest reviews I've read and for good reason. Last year my brother generously copied a load of albums onto DVD's for me and Babyface were included. One night on my IPOD 'Make Way Miami' showed up randomly and I was shocked at how bad this track was, some type of gentle folk plod. I couldn't wait to get home and see who it was, discovering it was Babyface. A few days later this review showed up echoing my thoughts! Thank heavens the boys turned things around.
#2 | gdazegod on April 21 2007 07:06:40
Well, judging from the review and comments, Babyface will be on my 'TO AVOID' list. Perhaps I should start a thread - worst ever album of the 70's? Now there's an idea! Shock
 
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