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Babybird

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Babybird
OriginSheffield, England
GenresAlternative, lo-fi, indie rock, electronic
Years active1995–2000, 2005–2013, 2015–present
LabelsBaby Bird Recordings, Echo, Unison Music, RW/FF Recordings
Websitehttp://www.babybird.info
MembersStephen Jones
Danny Lowe
Robert Gregory
Luke Scott
Past members[Huw Chadbourn
John Pedder
Matt Hay

Babybird is a musical project centred around songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Jones, who has been releasing music since 1995. [1] While Jones' early solo work was released under the "Baby Bird" name, the altered "Babybird" was first used to distinguish the full band line-up that has changed often over the years. However in recent years, Jones has recorded many of the Babybird albums himself, in addition to recording as a solo artist, and under various aliases including Death Of The Neighbourhood, Trucker, Black Reindeer, Deluder, Arthritis Kid and others.

Stephen Jones started writing and recording songs at home and his first collection of these demos, I Was Born a Man, was released in July 1995 using the name Baby Bird. He formed a band in order to tour and promote this work. In 1996, Babybird signed to Echo Records and their first single was released in July 1996. Babybird were dropped from their record label in 2000 after their third album, Bugged, had poor sales. The band then split. Jones continued on his own, writing fiction, releasing solo work and created the score for the film Blessed. In October 2005, the band reformed with three members and created another album released in September 2006. They went on tour in November 2009 and then split again in 2013. After a number of Babybird releases on Bandcamp from 2015, Jones took the band back out on tour in late 2017 with a new line up. A compilation album Happy Stupid Nothing was released in 2019, featuring a selection of Babybird tracks from 2015 onwards [2].

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.[3]

Commercial release[edit]

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.[3][4]

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.[3] The album produced two more hit singles in "Candy Girl" and "Cornershop".

In 1997 the band returned to the studio, with producer Darren Allison,who had previously worked with Spiritualized and The Divine Comedy. They recorded two new tracks - a brand new version of Bad Shave, and a re-working of CFC. These new tracks were included on the 1997 U.S.A. release of Ugly Beautiful.

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.

Reformation 2006-2012, 2015-present[edit]

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".[5][6] Depp also directed the video. The following year, Babybird released the album 'The Pleasures Of Self Destruction'.


In 2013, Stephen Jones announced via his Twitter feed that Babybird was no more.[7] He launched his own site at Bandcamp, and released a number of albums under aliases such as "Black Reindeer", "Deluder", "Arthritis Kid", "The Great Sadness" and "Trucker".

In 2015, Jones started trading under the Babybird name again,reforming the band as a live unit in 2017[8] and in early 2019, toured as support to Dodgy with his new line-up[9]. A number of Babybird tracks from 2015 onwards were released on 1 March 2019 as a compilation album 'Happy Stupid Nothing' [10] Just a few months later, it was announced that another album 'Photosynthesis' would be released in July 2019. As well as these, Jones has been releasing a prolific amount of new Babybird albums via Bandcamp, often selling them as unique limited edition CDs.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
UK
[11][12]
NZ
[13]
1995 I Was Born a Man (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: July 1995
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
Bad Shave (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: 5 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: 1 April 1996
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
127
Dying Happy (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: 27 May 1996
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
Ugly Beautiful
  • Released: 21 October 1996
  • Labels: Echo
9 15
1998 There's Something Going On
  • Released: 24 August 1998
  • Labels: Echo
28
2000 Bugged
  • Released: 12 June 2000
  • Labels: Echo
104
2006 Between My Ears There Is Nothing But Music
  • Released: 25 September 2006
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
2010 Ex-Maniac
  • Released: 1 March 2010
  • Labels: Unison Music
186
2011 The Pleasures of Self Destruction
  • Released: 31 October 2011
  • Labels: Unison Music
2015 The Last Album
  • Released: 8 May 2015[15]
  • Labels: Self-released
Back to the Womb
  • Released: 3 July 2015[16]
  • Labels: Self-released
2016 Life After Death
  • Released: 8 June 2016[17]
  • Labels: Self-released
Take My Air
  • Released: 22 November 2016[18]
  • Labels: Self-released
2017 The Wrong Words
  • Released: 25 January 2017[19]
  • Labels: Self-released
I Miss Myself
  • Released: 17 March 2017[20]
  • Labels: Self-released
I Miss Myself 2
  • Released: 17 March 2017[21]
  • Labels: Self-released
People Do Stupid Things
  • Released: 18 June 2017[22]
  • Labels: Self-released
King of Nothing Part One
  • Released: November 2017
  • Labels: Self-released
2018 King of Nothing Part Two
  • Released: 4 January 2018
  • Labels: Self-released
2018 Selfies Inside The Coffin
  • Released: October 2018
  • Labels: Self-released
2019 NOTPOP/Toothpaste For The Soul
  • Released: February 2019
  • Labels: Self-released
2019 Photosynthesis
  • Released: 19 July 2019
  • Labels: RW/FF Recordings

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Details
1997 The Greatest Hits (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: 30 August 1997
  • Labels: Baby Bird Recordings
2002 The Original Lo-Fi (boxset) (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: 18 November 2002
  • Labels: Sanctuary
2004 Best of Babybird
  • Released: 16 February 2004
  • Labels: Echo
2012 The Original Lo-Fi Greatest Hits
  • Released: 25 October 2012[23]
  • Labels: Self-released
2013 Outtakes
  • Released: 10 January 2013[24]
  • Labels: Self-released
2014 A Personal Lo-Fi Mixtape: Part One (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: 1 July 2014[25]
  • Labels: Self-released
A Personal Lo-Fi Mixtape: Part Two (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: 1 July 2014[26]
  • Labels: Self-released
2015 Roadkiller
  • Released: 17 January 2015[27]
  • Labels: Self-released
Roadtripper
  • Released: 23 January 2015[28]
  • Labels: Self-released
Roadfiller
  • Released: 23 January 2015[29]
  • Labels: Self-released
Road
  • Released: 3 February 2015[30]
  • Labels: Self-released
Missing Lofi Part One
  • Released: 13 February 2015[31]
  • Labels: Self-released
Rehearsal Tapes
  • Released: 15 February 2015[32]
  • Labels: Self-released
Missing Lofi 2
  • Released: 21 February 2015[33]
  • Labels: Self-released
Missing Lofi 3: Songs
  • Released: 10 April 2015[34]
  • Labels: Self-released
Missing Lofi 3: Soundtracks
  • Released: 10 April 2015[35]
  • Labels: Self-released
Last Album Outtakes
  • Released: 15 May 2015[36]
  • Labels: Self-released
Fatherhood2 (as Baby Bird)
  • Released: 26 June 2015[37]
  • Labels: Self-released
2016 People Do Stupid Things
  • Released: 1 July 2016[38]
  • Labels: Self-released
2017 KONpilation
  • Released: 22 December 2017[39]
  • Labels: Self-released
2019 Happy Stupid Nothing
  • Released: 1 March 2019[40]
  • Labels: Psycho Mafia Recordings

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Details
2012 Live at the Electric Ballroom Bootleg 1996
  • Released: 30 October 2012[41]
  • Labels: Self-released
2015 Live Sessions 1995–8 Volume One
  • Released: 27 February 2015[42]
  • Labels: Self-released
Live Sessions 1995–8 Volume 2
  • Released: 27 February 2015[43]
  • Labels: Self-released
Cambridge Junction 1998
  • Released: 29 May 2015[44]
  • Labels: Self-released
Babybird Live in Vienna 2000
  • Released: 16 October 2015[45]
  • Labels: Self-released
2018 Babybird Live in Koln at the Luxor
  • Released: 24 January 2018[46]
  • Labels: Self-released

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[12]
AUS
[47]
FRA
[48]
GER
[49]
IRE
[50]
NZ
[13]
SWE
[51]
1995 "Snake Caves" / "Baby Lemonade" (as Baby Bird) Non-album single
1996 "Goodnight" 28 Ugly Beautiful
"You're Gorgeous" 3 28 46 74 16 22 17
1997 "Candy Girl" 14 184
"Cornershop" 37 125
1998 "Bad Old Man" 31 There's Something Going On
"If You'll Be Mine" 28 128
1999 "Back Together" 22
Split 1 (split single with East River Pipe) (as Baby Bird) Non-album single
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
2019 "King Of Nothing" - Happy Stupid Nothing - -
"In Place Of Love"

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)
  • "King Of Nothing" (2019, directed by [RW/FF])
  • "In Place Of Love" (2019, directed by [Stephen Jones])
  • "The Greatest Thing" (2019, directed by [Stephen Jones and RW/FF])
  • "No Cameras" (2019, directed by [RW/FF])

References[edit]

  1. ^ McKeating, Scott (14 February 2013). "Babybird". The Quietus. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  2. ^ Brown, Jason (4 March 2019). "Happy Stupid Nothing". [Discogs]. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 42. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 37. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ "Johnny Depp makes 'cameo appearance' on new Babybird album | News". Nme.Com. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Unloveable by Babybird Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20170120200833/https://twitter.com/babybirdmusic. Archived from the original on 20 January 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Babybird - New Songs, Playlists & Latest News - BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Dodgy | HOMEGROWN 25". homegrown25.dodgyology.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Babybird | HHAPPY STUPID NOTHING". https://www.discogs.com/Babybird-Happy-Stupid-Nothing/release/13287468. Retrieved 4 March 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  11. ^ "UK Chartlog – 1994–2010 Darren B – David Byrne". zobbel.de. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Babybird / Artist / Official Charts". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  13. ^ a b "charts.org.nz — Discography Babybird". © 2006-2014 Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  14. ^ a b "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for: Babybird (from bpi.co.uk)". Imgur.com (original site published by British Phonographic Industry). Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  15. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-album
  16. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-the-womb
  17. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/life-after-death-2
  18. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/take-my-air-e-p
  19. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/the-wrong-words
  20. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/i-miss-myself
  21. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/i-miss-myself-2
  22. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/people-do-stupid-things-2
  23. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/the-original-lo-fi-greatest-hits
  24. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/outtakes
  25. ^ https://exbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/a-personal-lo-fi-mixtape-part-one
  26. ^ https://exbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/a-personal-lo-fi-mixtape-part-two
  27. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/roadkiller
  28. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/roadtripper
  29. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/roadfiller
  30. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/road
  31. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/missing-lofi-part-one
  32. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/rehearsal-tapes
  33. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/missing-lofi-2
  34. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/missing-lofi-3-songs
  35. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/missing-loft-3-soundtracks
  36. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/last-album-outtakes
  37. ^ https://exbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/fatherhood2
  38. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/people-do-stupid-things
  39. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/konpilation
  40. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Babybird-Happy-Stupid-Nothing/release/13287468
  41. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-the-electric-ballroom-bootleg-1996
  42. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/live-sessions-1995-8-volume-one
  43. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/live-sessions-1995-8-volume-2
  44. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/cambridge-junction-1998
  45. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/babybird-live-in-vienna-2000
  46. ^ https://xbabybird.bandcamp.com/album/babybird-live-in-koln-at-the-luxor
  47. ^ Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  48. ^ "lescharts.com > Babybird dans les Charts Français" (in French). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  49. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Babybird – You're Gorgeous (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  50. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for: Babybird (from irishcharts.ie)". Imgur.com (original site published by Fireball Media). Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  51. ^ "swedishcharts.com > Babybird in Swedish Charts". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-25.

External links[edit]