With a string of ‘70s classic rock radio hits like “Isn’t It Time,” “Every Time I Think of You,” “Head First,” “Back on My Feet Again,” “Midnight Rendezvous” and “Turn and Walk Away,” The Babys created some of the most memorable arena anthems of the era. Now, after a three-decade absence, The Babys have reformed with original lead guitarist Wally Stocker and drummer Tony Brock to release a new album, I’ll Have Some of That, on June 24, and a brand-new single, “I See You There,” which is available now on iTunes. The Babys’ new album will be released on Skyrocket Ent./All In Time Records.
“The whole premise is to keep The Babys alive and have a good time doing it," said Stocker about the reformed group, which also includes new recruits, lead vocalist/ bassist John Bisaha and veteran rhythm guitarist Joey Sykes. The band is joined in concert by keyboardist Francesco Saglietti and the Babettes.
Brock raves about the new members of the group: "John Bisaha is an incredible singer. When we held auditions, we had singers lined up around the block to join the band and John was head and shoulders above the rest." Stocker is equally enthused about his new axe mate: "Joey Sykes adds a whole new dimension to the band and has a style that works well in tandem with me."
Formed in London in 1974, The Babys were signed to Chrysalis Records on the basis of a four-song video, which predated the MTV era by seven years. Combining the muscular rock ‘n’ roll grit of Free and Humble Pie with a winning commercial accessibility, The Babys released five albums between 1977-1980 (The Babys, Broken Heart, Head First, Union Jacks and On the Edge). During that time, the group toured with the likes of Journey, Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick and built a loyal following based on their spectacular songs and explosive live performances right up until disbanding in December of 1980.
Former members John Waite, Jonathan Cain and Ricky Phillips have all given their blessings to the newest incarnation of the band. Waite continues on as a solo act, while Cain is now a member of Journey, having penned a string of hit singles including “Don’t Stop Believing,” the most downloaded song in history. Phillips is a longtime bass player for Styx.
The first single from the album, the aptly titled "Not Ready to Say Goodbye,” was made available on iTunes last November, with a sound reminiscent of both “Isn’t It Time” and “Every Time I Think of You.”
“In recording this new album, we discussed the fact that the songs had to have the flavor of what we were known for,” says Stocker. “It was just a magical process,” adds Brock. “By the time we finished, I knew we had the goods.”
After the break-up of The Babys, drummer Brock became a member of Rod Stewart’s band, and also played with Jeff Beck and Bernie Taupin, among others. He founded the Silver Dreams Studios (www.silverdreamsstudios.com) near Los Angeles, where he produced hit records for Jimmy Barnes, among others.
London native Stocker left home at 15 in pursuit of his rock ‘n’ roll destiny and never looked back. After The Babys, he played with Rod Stewart, Air Supply and Humble Pie.
New vocalist/bassist Bisaha evokes the memories of John Waite, but also brings a new touch, making the songs his own. He joined The Babys at their first comeback performance last July.
New York native Sykes, who has had stints in various bands, as well as a publishing association with Warner/Chappell, has penned the first single “I See You There.”
The Babys embarked on a string of shows in Las Vegas, San Diego, Portland and Seattle last November and December, and plan on announcing an extensive slate of tour dates around the June 24 release of I’ll Have Some of That.
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