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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Babys, The - 1980 On The Edge
 
Babys, The - 1980 On The Edge



ARTIST: Babys, The
ALBUM: On The Edge
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: CHE 1305
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2009. Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY055

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Waite - vocals * Wally Stocker - guitars * Jonathan Cain - keyboards * Ricky Phillips - bass * Tony Brock - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Turn And Walk Away * 02 Sweet 17 * 03 She's My Girl * 04 Darker Side Of Town * 05 Rock N Roll Is (Alive And Well) * 06 Downtown * 07 Postcard * 08 Too Far Gone * 09 Gonna Be Somebody * 10 Love Won't Wait


Background
Even with a collection of excellent albums to their credit, it would seem that British/American combo The Babys were undervalued and underappreciated during their time together. Part of the problem stems from the decision to sack founding member Mike Corby in 1978. The chemistry of the band was forever changed. By 1980 the band had moved away their pop orchestrated origins to a harder edged radio rock format. They released two albums during this year: 'Union Jacks' in January and this one 'On The Edge' in October. It would be the bands final album before calling it quits at the end of the year. When comparing the two 1980 releases, I think I prefer 'Union Jacks', 'On The Edge' just not holding my attention all the way through. Perhaps given the short turnaround, this one might've been pushed out the door in too much of a hurry?


The Songs
Jonathan Cain is all over the opener 'Turn And Walk Away', a track which sells the Babys cause in just over three minutes of radio rockin' eagerness. 'Sweet 17' is a punchy effort, a tight sounding rocker dedicated to all those girls of that age-group. 'She's My Girl' is the Babys doing power-pop, a style prevalent during that era, and these guys do it as if they've been at it all along! Great song. As per the songtitle, 'Darker Side Of Town' creates a moodier environment, not a ballad as such, but played at a slower tempo. 'Rock N Roll Is Alive And Well' builds up from a staggered start into a rumbustious rocker, very 70's influenced with Cain's piano tapping out the ivories relentlessly. 'Downtown' is a chugging guitar based romp, with near AC/DC styled riffs played over a commercial arrangement. 'Postcard' has some good moments, particularly a favourable chorus while 'Too Far Gone' takes us down the rockabilly/boogie path. Back to the mainstream melody is the excellent 'Gonna Be Somebody' which probably should've been higher up the track listing, so too the closer 'Love Won't Wait' which is a pure radio rocker with great appeal.


In Summary
1980 would see the band tour in support of Journey, and by the end of the year with this record out in the market, there was no successful single to drive the band into the headspace of American teenagers, and by years end and into 1981, The Babys were no more. Years later, Rock Candy would do all Babys fans a favour by reissuing this on their catalogue during 2009 at the same time as 'Union Jacks' and 'Head First'. All of the personnel would move on to successful careers; particularly Waite with his future solo career and Cain's move to Journey. Because of all the drama and fallout over the Corby incident, you can be assured that there will be no reunion of the original lineup anytime soon. It also seems that much of the biography of the band on sites such as Wikipedia and Amazon etc has been sourced by Corby. There doesn't appear to be any counter-effort by the remaining members.. perhaps what is written by Corby is true after all. I'll let you be the judge, so good read for yourself..


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Comments
#1 | AOR Lee on August 26 2012 13:26:14
George is right, Union Jacks is better but this one certainly has enough highlights. Turn And Walk Away is a great single, should have charted higher
#2 | Eric on August 26 2012 18:07:29
This went directly into the cut-out bins. Very sad end for such a great album and band.
 
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