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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Byron, David - 1978 Baby Faced Killer
Byron, David - 1978 Baby Faced Killer

ARTIST: Byron, David
ALBUM: Baby Faced Killer
LABEL: Arista
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1993, BMG, 4 16987 10

LINEUP: David Byron: lead vocals * Daniel Boone - guitars, keyboards, percussion * Alan Jones - bass * Stuart Elliot - drums

Other Musicians: Barry Desouza - drums * Lester Fry - timpanis, chimes * Lelly Boone, Gabriele Byron, Alyson Mcinness, Muff Murfin, Brad Davies - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Baby Faced Killer * 02 Rich Mans Lady * 03 Sleepless Nights * 04 African Breeze * 05 Everybody's Star * 06 Heaven Or Hell * 07 Only You Can Do It * 08 Don't Let Me Down * 09 Acetylene Jean * 10 I Remember

I promised a review of this album some time ago. Totally skipped my mind. David Byron, of course well known as the singer of Uriah Heep during their most constructive phase of their career. After being given the boot, he went on to a solo career, with inconsistent results. 'Take No Prisoners' from 1975 could've been a de-facto Heep record, 1981's 'On The Rocks' was a lack lustre AOR affair featuring a young Robin George. Byron also participated in the shortlived 1977 band Rough Diamond which went nowhere fast. And there's this one.. 1978's 'Baby Faced Killer'. Just what was going on here was anybody's guess. Now signed to Arista Records, perhaps it was the fateful hand of label President Clive Davis (there's that name again) running interference. The collaboration between Byron and early 70's pop crooner Daniel Boone was certainly an unusual one, and sounds like it was dreamed up in the boardroom of Arista to be honest. Boone had a heap of hits in the early 70's ('Beautiful Sunday', 'Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast'), but even so, the material is pretty varied, if a little weird - coming from a British hard rocker!

The Songs
Weird as in the different styles attempted on the album. Byron and Boone traverse genres like the Mars Rover on the red plnaet! Check out the 10cc meets E.L.O madness of the title track 'Baby Faced Killer', complete with zany keyboard fills. Very likeable. 'Rich Man's Killer' has a slight rockabilly twang, factor in the handclaps for maximum effect. It's not exactly Shakin' Stevens, but what the hey! 'Sleepless Nights' is a pleasant acoustic affair with some heavily layered synth and a catchy pop oriented structure. The most unusual track here is 'African Breeze', part disco, part tribal, euro-pop even. The African styled chorus is certainly different. 'Every Body's Start' doesn't quite grab you as it takes a while to warm up. Much better is the ELO styled 'Heaven Or Hell', pick the eyes out of this one. 'Only You Can Do It' is a touch quirky, but the chorus is really appealing. 'Don't Let Me Down' has pop qualities, though that intro could've been ripped off from Heep's hit 'Stealin', though as the song progresses, this is less obvious. A great pop tune though. 'Acetylene Jean' will appeal to the doo-wop/rockabilly crowd, the aforementioned Shakin' Stevens or even (gasp!) Sha Na Na!! The closer 'I Remember' is totally different altogether, a drifting MOR type of song that floats on a sea of gossamer like melody. I was reminded of early B.J Thomas for this one, along with Carpenters like vocal harmonies.

In Summary
Wow, what a mixed bag, but you know what? I really enjoyed this, and despite its flaws, 'Baby Faced Killer' has that 70's pop thing down hat! For all the 70's pop fans here at GD, you can add this surprise package to your list. If I enjoyed it, then there is every possibility that you will too. ELO and 10cc fans take note..

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#1 | dangerzone on January 30 2010 04:19:34
I've tried to get into this album but never can for some reason. Byron's solo career was a real hit and miss affair.
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