Label: Echo ECSCX 24
Format: CD, Single, CD2, Digipak
Style: Downtempo, Synth-pop
1 Goodnight 2:54
Producer Steve Power
2 July 2 4:14
Producer Steve Power
3 Girl With Money 2:41
4 Shellfish 4:01
Producer S. Jones*
BABYBIRD HAVE RELEASED FOUR ALBUMS IN NINE MONTHS. THE PREGNANCY IS NOW OVER. BABYBIRD IS REBORN WITH AN ABNORMALITY – A FIRST SINGLE
The first single from Babybird the band
Features the original full length version of Harry and Ida Swap Teeth, a track that has turned up titles differing lengths and titles and used as intro tape for Babybird’s tour in 1996-97.
B-side July 2 is not the same as the album version
Goodnight originally appeared in ‘demo form’ on the album Fatherhood
Reached no. 28 on the UK charts in 1996
Review from The Bad Pages
“Not much abnormality about the title track on this very first single released as Babybird by Echo. On all accounts this must have been an obvious choice of agreement among several candidates as the one single selected to transform Babybird from indie curiosity into the next big thing.
Goodnight is a very charismatic and upbeat pop song taken as far away as imaginable from the original acoustic version on Fatherhood played only by Stephen. The only thing the two versions have in common is really the tune and not much else – especially when emphasizing the general atmospheres of both songs. So along with the next three singles to come this is probably the most radio-friendly and unreserved Babybird ever was. And that’s meant in every imaginable positive manner.
The great album track July is included as b-side track (along with the different version of July 2), and so are Girl with money and Shellfish, which both seem like a slight return to the old days with Jones singing only accompanied by looped beats and synthesizers. Only this don’t sound like is was recorded at home. The 12 minutes worth of dreamy, slow-mowing breakbeats of Happy and Ida is equally truly great.”
Baby Bird began as the alias of Stephen Jones, a prolific British singer/songwriter who initiated his performing career as a member of the Dogs in Honey “anti-theater” troupe. After buying a four-track machine, he began making his first lo-fi home recordings; over the next several years, he wrote some 400 eclectic pop songs, ranging in content from surreal, comic narratives to intensely personal meditations.
At the urging of friends, Jones sent out Baby Bird tapes to record companies, but his music was roundly rejected; however, Chrysalis Music did offer a publishing deal which Jones accepted, applying his earnings towards financing a series of independently-released, limited-edition collections. The first disc of material culled from the vast Baby Bird archives, I Was Born a Man, appeared in 1995; within the course of a year, three other acclaimed albums — Bad Shave, Fatherhood, and The Happiest Man Alive — followed, and won Jones a contract with Echo Records.
Upon making the leap to a major label, Baby Bird mutated from a one-man project into a full band, as Jones assembled a backing group comprised of guitarist Luke Scott, bassist John Pedder, keyboardist Hugh Chadbourne, and drummer Rob Gregory. In its new incarnation, Baby Bird debuted in late 1996 with Ugly Beautiful, a lush, sparkling collection of re-recordings of favorite songs from Jones’ back catalogue, all selected by fans by means of postcard ballots included in the first four albums.
In 1997, Dying Happy was assembled; issued in a limited pressing of 1000 copies, the disc compiled a number of previously unreleased songs that Jones had kicking around. Theres Something Going On followed in 1998, and two years passed until the release of Bugged, Baby Birds ninth full-length.