Babybird

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Babybird
Origin Sheffield, England
Genres Indie
Years active 1995–2012
Labels Unison Music
Website http://www.babybirdmusic.me/
Members Stephen Jones
Luke Scott
Robert Gregory
Past members Huw Chadbourn
John Pedder

Babybird were a British indie band formed in 1995 and active until early 2012.[1] The band was fronted by Stephen Jones, who has also released records as a solo artist, using his own name, and as Black Reindeer.

Career[edit]

Jones had begun writing songs and recording home demos as part of an experimental theatre group in Nottingham. A collection of these demos, I Was Born a Man, was released in July 1995, under the name Babybird. He recruited a band made up of Huw Chadbourn (keyboards), Robert Gregory (drums), John Pedder (bass) and Luke Scott (guitar), in order to tour and promote his work.[2]

During 1995, two further albums of demo recordings were released under the name Babybird (Bad Shave and Fatherhood) and two in 1996 (The Happiest Man Alive and Dying Happy). Babybird were signed to Echo Records (a division of the Chrysalis Group), and the first authentic single, a full-band recording of "Goodnight", which had appeared in demo form on Fatherhood, was released in July 1996, becoming a minor hit in the UK Singles Chart.[2][3] The group's second single, "You're Gorgeous", reached number 3 in the UK in October 1996, and was one of the biggest selling singles of the year, going on to chart around the world.

However, it presented a more commercial face to the public in comparison to Jones's earlier work, as well as in comparison to the rest of the material on the Ugly Beautiful album.[2] The album produced two more hit singles in "Candy Girl" and "Cornershop". Babybird returned, minus keyboardist Huw Chadbourn, in 1998 with There's Something Going On, preceded by a single, "Bad Old Man". The album was a modest success and was followed by further minor hits, "If You'll Be Mine" and "Back Together".

In 2000, a line-up of Babybird comprising Jones, Scott and Matt Hay created a third album. Bugged. Sales were poor and the two singles from it, "The F-Word" (later the theme tune to Gordon Ramsay's UK TV cookery show of the same name) and "Out of Sight" barely dented the charts. Babybird were dropped by their record label soon after. A third single from the album, "Fireflies" / "Getaway" was released on Animal Noise records, but sold few copies. The band subsequently split.

Jones went on to write fiction, release solo work and score a film, Blessed, in 2004. In October 2005, a posting on the Babybird website announced that the band had reformed as a three-piece featuring Jones, Scott and Robert Gregory. An album, Between My Ears There Is Nothing But Music was released on 25 September 2006.

In August 2009, it was announced that the band would be doing a tour of four gigs in November 2009 to promote the album Ex-Maniac, which was released in February 2010. The line-up consisted of Jones, Scott and Gregory, with a cameo appearance from long-term fan Johnny Depp on the track "Unloveable".[4][5] Depp also directed the video. In September 2009, Babybird launched their official online community, with clips from the forthcoming album, a new video created by Jones with Jones participating in discussions on the website.

In February 2012, it was announced that Babybird would be playing the LeeStock Music Festival alongside Wheatus in Sudbury, Suffolk.[6]

In 2013, Stephen Jones announced via his Twitter feed that Babybird was no more.[7] He has since released a number of solo albums under the name Black Reindeer.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Details Chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
UK
[8][9]
NZ
[10]
1995 I Was Born a Man (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: July 1995
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
- -
Bad Shave (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: October 1995
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
- -
Fatherhood (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: December 1995
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
- -
1996 The Happiest Man Alive (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: April 1996
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
127 -
Dying Happy (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: May 1996
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
- -
Ugly Beautiful
  • Released: October 1996
  • Labels: Echo
9 15
  • UK: Gold
1998 There's Something Going On
  • Released: July 1998
  • Labels: Echo
28 -
2000 Bugged
  • Released: June 2000
  • Labels: Echo
104 -
2006 Between My Ears There Is Nothing But Music
  • Released: September 2006
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
- -
2010 Ex-Maniac
  • Released: September 2010
  • Labels: Unison Music
186 -
2011 The Pleasures of Self Destruction
  • Released: October 2011
  • Labels: Unison Music
- -

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Details UK
1997 The Greatest Hits (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: August 1997
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
-
2002 The Original Lo-Fi (boxset) (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: November 2002
  • Labels: Sanctuary
-
2004 Best of Babybird
  • Released: February 2004
  • Labels: Echo
-

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
UK
[9]
AUS BEL FRA NZ
[10]
SWE
1995 "Snake Caves" / "Baby Lemonade" (as Baby Bird)
1996 "Goodnight" 28 Ugly Beautiful
"You're Gorgeous" (UK: Gold) 3 28 64 46 22 17
1997 "Candy Girl" 14
"Cornershop" 37
1998 "Bad Old Man" 31 There's Something Going On
"If You'll Be Mine" 28
1999 "Back Together" 22
Split 1 (split single with East River Pipe) (as Baby Bird)
2000 "The F-Word" 35 Bugged
"Out of Sight" 58
Double A EP ("Getaway" / "Fireflies")
2006 "Too Much" / "Dive" Between My Ears There's Nothing But Music
"Lighter 'N' Spoon"
2010 "Unloveable" Ex-Maniac

Compilation tracks[edit]

Promotional videos[edit]

  • "Goodnight" (1996, directed by Stuart A. Gosling)
  • "You're Gorgeous" (1997, directed by Stuart A. Gosling)
  • "If You'll Be Mine" (1998, directed by David Slade)
  • "The F-Word" (2000, directed by Rob Leggatt & Leigh Marling)
  • "Out of Sight" (2000, directed by Rob Leggatt & Leigh Marling)
  • "Lighter 'n' Spoon" (2008, directed by Philipp Pflüger)
  • "Unloveable" (2010, directed by Johnny Depp)

References[edit]

  1. ^ McKeating, Scott (14 February 2013). "Babybird". The Quietus. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 42. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 37. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Johnny Depp makes 'cameo appearance' on new Babybird album | News". Nme.Com. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  5. ^ "Unloveable by Babybird Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  6. ^ "first names announced for LeeStock charity event". eFestivals.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "UK Chartlog – 1994–2010 Darren B – David Byrne". zobbel.de. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Babybird / Artist / Official Charts". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  10. ^ a b "charts.org.nz - Discography Babybird". © 2006-2014 Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 

External links[edit]