Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Baby Come Back" by Billy Rankin

Song#:  1824
Date:  03/10/1984
Debut:  89
Peak:  52
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Scottish guitarist Rankin had been professionally playing in bands on the pub circuit since he was fifteen. By 1980, he was a member of the rock band Nazareth. He stayed on for three albums before leaving for a solo career. He signed with A&M and issued his debut album Growin' Up Too Fast. This song was chosen as the first single and it did okay getting to #22 at Rock and almost breaking into the top half of the Pop chart. Unfortunately, follow-up singles failed to get any attention and after one more album for A&M, Rankin's major label solo days were over. He found his way back to Nazareth in 1990 and stayed with them for another four years.

ReduxReview:  I saw the title and immediately thought that I was in for a remake of the 1977 #1 hit by Player. Alas, it was not even close to that classic soft rock ballad. However, I do like this urgent tune that was written by Rankin. It's certainly more interesting and more pop-oriented than anything he was doing with Nazareth. It almost butts up against Billy Squier territory and oddly it reminds me of Barry Manilow's "Some Kind of Friend," but better. It should have gone a bit further up the chart.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  After leaving Nazareth in 1994, Rankin seemed to drop out of the music scene. Apparently, he worked a regular job as a truck driver and played gigs with a couple of bands on the weekends. He got a call in 2007 about a job as a radio personality on Scotland's first classic rock station and he remained with them until 2011 when the station changed hands. Rankin then moved over to host a rock music show called The School of Rock on a digital radio streaming site, which he still does as of this posting date. He has also written a book that features a lot of the stories he has shared over the years on his radio program.


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