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Head First
The Babys

Chrysalis 1195
Released: January 1979
Chart Peak: #22
Weeks Charted: 25


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John WaiteOne of the more interesting bits of journalism last year was a piece in Oui that explained in brief how Chrysalis had plucked a group called the Babys from obscurity and hyped them to the top of the pops. No doubt an oversimplification, the image nonetheless had its appeal. And the band's big hit single, "Isn't It Time," was the kind of schlock & roll classic that immediately conjured a picture of some studio Svengali working his magic on a bunch of semitalented Trilbies: "A little more heartbreak on the backup vocals there," he says, throwing a raft of strings behind them. "Okay, great. Now sound hurt."

There's something wonderfully perverse about trash singles -- something that makes you love them even when you know you should know better. I still remember the first time I heard David Geddes' "Run Joey Run." As mortified as I was by this True Romance comic on 45 rpm, I had only to listen to it once to remember every word. Such is the power of really good trash.

Sadly, Head First lacks the socko sentiment that made "Isn't It Time" so much fun. Like Broken Heart, it's filled with forgettable remainders from all over: a bit of Bad Company here, a dash of the Moody Blues there, sprinkle with strings and chill. And "Every Time I Think of You," the attempted remake of "Isn't It Time," doesn't have the unabashed soppiness that carried its precursor to glory. I'd hate to think that the Babys are one-hit wonders, but it sounds like they just don't make Svengali like they used to.

- J.D. Considine, Rolling Stone, 5/3/79.

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