Player - Best Of Baby Come Back

Player – Best Of (Baby Come Back)

90 / 100

This is a superb introduction to Player’s music, by all means, one all AOR fans should take note of.

Written by: Dangerzone

ARTIST: Player
ALBUM: Best Of ‘Baby Come Back’
LABEL: Polygram
SERIAL: 314 538 156-2
YEAR: 1998
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Peter Beckett – guitars, vocals * J.C. Crowley – keyboards, vocals * Ron Moss – bass, vocals * John Friesen – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Baby Come Back * 02 This Time I’m In It For Love * 03 Melanie * 04 Prisoner Of Your Love * 05 I’ve Been Thinking * 06 Wait Until Tomorrow * 07 Givin’ It All * 08 Who Do You Think You Are? * 09 It’s For You * 10 Bad News Travels Fast * 11 If Looks Could Kill * 12 Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid * 13 It Only Hurts When I Breathe * 14 Beautiful Love * 15 Footprints In The Sand



Although all of Player’s albums are now available on CD, this fifteen track compilation was the first time many of their songs were heard on the format. Known by general music buffs as the band responsible for the huge no 1 1977 hit ‘Baby Come Back’, Player had far more AOR depth than just that memorable cut.

They released four studio albums between 1977 and 1981 to a list of ever decreasing members, until an ill advised comeback in 1996, ‘Lost In Reality’. This set is a great overview of some of West Coast’s best lightweight AOR, with three tracks off ‘Player’, ‘Danger Zone’ and ‘Spies Of Life’, while four are taken from ‘Room With A View’. Two cuts from ‘Lost In Reality’ are included also.

The Songs

The 1977 debut is represented by (naturally) ‘Baby Come Back’, ‘This Time I’m In It For Love’ and ‘Melanie’. ‘Player’ was their lightest album and featured the lineup of Peter Beckett (guitar), J.C. Crowley (keyboards), Ron Moss (bass) and John Friesen (drums). The songs are typical cannon fodder for late 70’s rock radio with an abundance of acoustic work and vocal harmonies.

1978’s ‘Danger Zone’ toughened things up a bit, with lead single ‘Prisoner Of Your Love’ adopting a hard rock bent, with a vaguely disco influenced chorus. ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ is a soft ballad with a piano lead opening two minutes before exploding with a hot melodic guitar solo and bridge. ‘Wait Until Tomorrow’ is similar to Little River Band of the time, mostly in the layered harmonies.

Crowley left by the time of 1980’s ‘Room With A View’, by now a real AOR direction taking hold. ‘Givin’ It All’ is recipient of an amazing synth carried hookline, not too dissimilar to what Ambrosia were doing at the time. Not too heavy, but not a wimp out either. ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ is solid hard rock, while ‘It’s For You’ and ‘Bad News Travels Fast’ are textbook AOR ballads with some meaty riffs and some sax work.

Moss was gone for 81’s ‘Spies Of Life’ and Dennis Lambert came in to assist Beckett with the album. The three songs taken off it, ‘If Looks Could Kill’, ‘Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid’ and ‘It Only Hurts When I Breathe’ are the main reasons to own this. Mind boggling AOR, miles from the early work and of far better quality. The synth work is perfectly placed with vital choruses, making the actual album a must have.

The band folded soon after but in 1996 Beckett and Moss tried again and the two tracks from ‘Lost In Reality’, ‘Beautiful Love’ and ‘Footprints In The Sand’ are terrible MOR that even Michael Bolton would be ashamed of. The use of drum machines and keyboard samples destroy the competent melody.

In Summary

Since this CD was released in 1998 all of Player’s albums have hit CD also, notably a double disc featuring both the debut and ‘Danger Zone’ during 2001. This compilation appears to be the easiest to get hold of unless you go the import route for the actual albums, of which ‘Spies Of Life’ seems to be a must have. This is a superb introduction to Player’s music, by all means, one all AOR fans should take note of.

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