Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Babys - Head First...Hey. isn't it time...?

The Babys - Head First...Isn't it Time is a great song, one of my all-time favs.  Here is what wiki says about it: "Isn't it Time" is a song that was performed by the English group The Babys in 1977 and was released on their album Broken Heart.  It was not written by members of the group but by a bass guitarist Jack Conrad along with Ray Kennedy and was presented to the public as a song with a distinctive piano introduction by Michael Corby which moves into an opening vocal performance by lead singer John Waite.  The strong vocals of the three Babettes, a specially selected group of singers, balance the tone of the song which moves through the decisions a lover has to make "I just can't find the answers to the questions that keep going through my mind" and "losing this love could be your mistake."  The lyrics are motivated by Ray Kennedy's love for a French woman that he knew during the writing of the song.  The lyrics alone would have a wide appeal and matched with well established musicianship the song still enjoys popularity and numerous recordings can be seen on YouTube. - Click Post Title for a great one.  The drum work of Tony Brock heralds the chorus featuring the Babettes and the slowhand guitar of Walt Stocker brings the song to a close with the Babettes chorus heard alternatively in the left and right channels "isn't it time", "don't have to wait" a result of the production work of Ron Nevison.  The song enjoyed a peak position of #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as #9 on Cashboxand the number one position in Australia in late March 1978.  Denise Sullivan's review in All Music Guide reads as follows: "Isn't It Time" starts out innocently enough but quickly explodes into a showcase for John Waite's underrated talents as a powerhouse vocalist; the song catapulted into the Top 40 in 1977. Straddling the lines that were drawn in the late '70s between hard rock, glam, power pop, and the burgeoning new wave, the Babys tackled it all, but "Isn't It Time" itself is big, old arena rock. Oddly, it is one of two songs on the band's sophomore effort, Broken Heart, which wasn't penned by a Baby. Beginning with a gentle vocal accompanied by a tinkling piano and strings, the song shifts abruptly into a big stage strutter, complete with female background vocals by the Babettes. The girls provide the "female" voice in the story of a guy who resists the temptation to fall in love, but, by the song's end, he's surrendered, with a little urging from her, of course. A descending horn line fills in for the road sign, "Caution, love approaching." Sure it's retro, but as a timepiece it wears well. The fashionably androgynous Babys and their love song-lite went over big with teenage girls, but throughout 1977, people of all stripes were no doubt falling in love to the tune of "Isn't It Time" as the Babys were a ubiquitous presence on the concert circuit.

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