The Babys was a band of art students formed in 1974 in Smalls Café on Fulham Road, London. Multi-instrumentalist Michael Corby and manager Adrian Miller came up with the idea of forming a band, and John Waite joined as the bassist/singer. Later, Tony Brock joined as the drummer, and Wally Stocker became the final guitarist before the group signed to Chrysalis Records, home to UFO, Jethro Tull, and Blondie. In December 1976, the band's self-titled debut album introduced their melodic rock direction, featuring Waite's soulful voice on the cover ballad, "I Love How You Love Me".
Sophomore album, "Broken Heart" (1977), landed the group their first hit with the driving hard rocker, "Isn't It Time", which reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Superstar producer Ron Nevison created a clear sound for the group, moving from electric blues rock to quiet ballads while paying tribute to the band's icon, Free. The Babys' third opus, "Head First" (1979), put them squarely in the Top 30 with the power of "Every Time I Think of You". The single broke the Top 20, landed the group on the TV series The Midnight Special, and moved them to headline status.
Despite their success, the dynamics started to change with John Waite's quick departure to fashion a solo career, and Jonathan Cain replaced Corby on keyboard, with Ricky Phillips recruited on bass. After 1980's "On The Edge," which was also produced by Keith Olsen, the group disbanded. Cain joined Journey, Brock and Stocker worked with Rod Stewart, and Phillips is currently the bassist in Styx.
Wally Stocker recalls his time with Rod Stewart and touring with him for about 18 months after The Babys broke up. They recorded a live album from that tour called "Absolutely Live" (1982), which was in the Top 50 and went gold in the US and platinum in Canada. When they returned home, they went straight to the studio and recorded "Body Wishes," which sold 9 million copies worldwide and was in the Top 30 in the US with the hit "Baby Jane". After working with Rod Stewart, Stocker toured with Jackson Brown recording "Lives in the Balance" (1986) and did a short stint with Australian singer Jimmy Barnes recording the rough and tumble "Two Fires" (1990).
In the meantime, Cain and Phillips rejoined Waite in the short-lived supergroup Bad English with guitarist Neal Schon and drummer Deen Castronovo. The group pulled off a Number #1 hit in "When I See You Smile" and put five other songs in the Top 100, and their debut went platinum. However, the group disbanded before finishing their second studio LP. The reason for their disbandment was Waite's unrelenting determination to leave his hard rock roots and be taken seriously as a singer/songwriter, according to Schon.
In conclusion, The Babys' short-lived run saw them make a significant impact on the rock scene with their melodic rock sound. Although the band may have disbanded, the individual members' legacies remain in their contributions to music history.