L-R: John Waite, Wally Stocker, Tony Brock, and Mike Corby.
|Origin||London, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Pop rock, hard rock, power pop|
|Associated acts||Bad English, Journey|
|Past members||Michael Corby
The Babys were a British rock group best known for their songs "Isn't It Time" and "Every Time I Think of You". Both songs were composed by Jack Conrad and Ray Kennedy, and reached #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in the late 1970s. The 1976–1978 Babys line-up consisted of keyboardist/guitarist Michael Corby, vocalist/bassist John Waite, drummer Tony Brock and guitarist Wally Stocker.
After Corby was unexpectedly sacked by Chrysalis in August 1978, a replacement was sought and the company brought in two musicians: Jonathan Cain as keyboardist and Ricky Phillips to take over as bassist. From 1979 until the final breakup in 1981, The Babys line-up consisted of vocalist Waite, drummer Brock, bassist Phillips, guitarist Stocker, and keyboardist Cain.
John Waite went on to produce a major solo hit, "Missing You", in 1984. Stocker and Brock worked with Rod Stewart and other mainstream artists including Elton John and Air Supply. Cain left to join Journey. Waite, Cain and Phillips joined Bad English in the late 1980s. Phillips currently plays for Styx.
|This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (November 2008)|
Founding member Mike Corby places the origin of the idea for the band at Smalls Café on the Fulham Road in London in 1973, during a chance meeting with manager the late Adrian Millar. An agreement was signed between Corby and Millar on 4 September 1974, and auditions were held to fill out the remaining members.
In their search for a drummer Waite and Corby found Tony Brock who was playing with a group called Strider. Brock was having some financial difficulties with that group and decided to take a chance with this group instead. The last member to join the line-up was Walt Stocker.
In 1977 they purchased a 24 track mobile unit with which to record their music. They went to a ranch house in the Malibu mountains and put down the tracks in six weeks. The influences of the songs came about from their first year in Los Angeles and the culture shock of their relocation there.
The names "Cry Babys" and "Big Babys" were also proposed with Millar ultimately deciding on "The Babys."
In a 1979 Hit Parader magazine interview, Waite stated,
"The name was meant to be a joke. We took the name simply because the record companies wouldn't listen to any bands they thought were rock & roll. I mean, they wanted sure-fire teen bands, pre-teen bands. We couldn't get anybody down to hear us to get a record deal, so we called ourselves The Babys. We thought we'd keep the name just for two weeks. Then, the word got around in London that there was a band playing rock & roll called The Babys and it seemed so off the wall, so completely crazy, that it was worth taking a shot with. It really appealed to everyone's sense of humor."
The Babys eponymous first album (highlighted by the single "If You've Got The Time"), was recorded in Toronto, Canada with producers Brian Christian and Bob Ezrin and released in January 1977, although it appears that Millar and Corby were unhappy with the production.
Some critics felt the teen-friendly packaging on their second album, Broken Heart, may have affected the group's appeal to wider audiences, although it is claimed that it was part of an experiment by Corby with group members looking like characters from the film A Clockwork Orange. As far as record sales were concerned, The Babys seemed to live in the shadow of other Chrysalis artists Blondie, Pat Benatar, and Leo Sayer. The Babys second album, Broken Heart, (released in September 1977) produced a Top 20 U.S. hit, "Isn't It Time" (written by Jack Conrad and Ray Kennedy), that peaked at #13 on the Billboard chart. They continued to tour the U.S. successfully with The Babettes, which included singers from Andrae Crouch and the Disciples: Lisa Freeman Roberts, Myrna Matthews and Pat Henderson. The album spent two weeks at #1 in Australia, but did not produce another Top 40 single.
Disputes with Chrysalis management resulted in the firing of original manager Millar in 1978.
Corby's Sacking and the third album 
On Monday, 28 August 1978, it was Corby who was asked to leave.
Corby describes the day:
"In the morning I received a phone call requesting my presence for a meeting at the Lookout Management offices that afternoon. I called back, spoke to a secretary, and explained that I did not think I would be able to attend the meeting because I was tied up with my wife and newborn son. My wife was in bed recovering from the birth, and I could not get a nurse until the evening. So I said that I would accept the decision made by the majority of the other three band members."
Despite Corby's departure, the remaining three members completed the third album, Head First (released in December 1978). Early in 1979, "Every Time I Think of You," (another Jack Conrad/Ray Kennedy composition) reached the Top 20 in the United States (peaking at #13) and Top 10 in Australia.
The Americans: Cain and Phillips 
Equipment Manager Ray Sheriff states:
"Almost immediately after the sacking, the remainder of the band went into auditions for a replacement. In fact, two other musicians were hired with the idea, I believe, of promoting John Waite. Jonathan Cain, in fact, became Mike’s successor, but I am sure he had not been selected until after Mike left. The other musician was Ricky Phillips, who played bass. I think from what John, Wally and Tony said that it was they, and not Chrysalis, who selected these two successors, and I think that at about this same time Lookout Management ceased to be the band’s managers." 
Two American musicians became a part of the lineup the following year; keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Cain replaced Corby, and bassist Ricky Phillips (of "Nasty Habit") joined in 1979, making it a five-piece band. Because Corby and Millar had the original documents for the band, Cain and Phillips were never contracted. The band's fourth album, Union Jacks, (released in January 1980) had a more punchy sound similar to fellow label-mate Pat Benatar, with the single, "Back On My Feet Again," spending a very short time in the Top 40. During an extensive tour in 1980, The Babys opened for supergroup Journey, a band that Jonathan Cain would soon join. The band's fifth and final album, On the Edge, was made during the 1980 tour, and released in October 1980. The single, "Turn and Walk Away," only reached the Top 100.
During a performance in Cincinnati on 9 December 1980 (the day after John Lennon had been murdered), John Waite was pulled from the stage by an overzealous fan during an encore and seriously injured his knee. Following a subsequent final performance by the group in Akron, Ohio, the remainder of the tour was cancelled, and the group disbanded following the tour. Although different members of the group have given various reasons for the band's demise, the general issue seems to have been disillusionment that the group never really achieved the success they felt they deserved given the quality of their albums and live shows. Waite later mused, "We were better than people thought we were."
John Waite, Ricky Phillips and Jonathan Cain later played together in the hard rock/glam rock-infused supergroup Bad English. By this time, Cain had already gone on to enjoy great success with Journey. Tony Brock spent many years drumming for Rod Stewart, as well as drumming and co-producing for Jimmy Barnes and producing for Keith Urban. Wally Stocker went on to play guitar for Rod Stewart and Air Supply, as well as a reformed version of Humble Pie in the 1990s. Wally Stocker and Tony Brock have not worked with John Waite since the breakup and there have been no rumors of any kind of reunion for the 1979 lineup. And given the persistent acrimony surrounding Corby's departure from the group, there is also little chance of the original 1976 lineup ever getting together again.
|1977||The Babys (1976)||133||Chrysalis|
|On the Edge||71|
|1981||Anthology (compilation album)||138|
|2006||The Official Unofficial BABYS Album||-||ORK|
|2007||Live in America (live album)||-||Store for Music|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1977||"If You've Got the Time"||88||—||The Babys|
|"Isn't It Time"||13||45||Broken Heart|
|"Every Time I Think of You"||13||—||Head First|
|"True Love True Confessions"||—||—||Union Jacks|
|"Back On My Feet Again"||33||—|
|"Turn and Walk Away"||42||—||On the Edge|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or not released to that country|
- "The Babys official". MySpace.com.
- Pop Scene - Australia's International Pop Magazine, issue No 2, Gordon and Gotch, 1977.
- John Waite FAQ-The Babys.
- Life Story of John Waite - The Babys.
- The Babys Official Unofficial Archives and Chronological History - Introduction
- The Babys Official Archives and Chronological History - Bio
- Life Story of John Waite - The Babys.
- "Chart Stats - The Babys". chartstats.com. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Tony Brock - Tony Brocks Studios
- John Waite - John Waite Official European website
- John Waite - John Waite Official