Rachel Sweet - B.A.B.Y. The Best of Rachel Sweet (2001)

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Rachel Sweet - B.A.B.Y.: The Best of Rachel Sweet (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 411 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 155 Mb | Scans included
Pop/Rock, New Wave, Pop-Punk | Label: Metro | # METRCD048 | Time: 01:02:26

She was the teenage siren from Akron, Ohio that Jake Riviera signed to Stiff Records in the 1970's at the height of the new wave. She enjoyed the backing of some fantastic bands like The Records, The Rumour (also doubling backing Graham Parker) and Fingerprintz, who would go on to record 4 albums of their own. (If you listen closely, you can hear labelmate Lene Lovich singing backup as well!) Being in such esteemed company, she gained street cred by covering Elvis Costello's "Stranger In The House" (a rarity included with initial copies of his second album) and hitting with singles like a cover of "B-A-B-Y", "Who Does Lisa Like", "Suspended Animation", "Pin A Medal On Mary" and more. In days long before American Idol was even conceived, Sweet stands out as one of the genuine vocal artists and brightest hightlights of the 70's new wave/post-punk era.

It's very easy to remember Rachel Sweet as little more than a juvenile novelty within the Stiff Records canon, one more in a long line of headline-grabbing oddities who vanished from the radar around the same time as people stopped caring what the label itself was up to. To do so, however, serves up a dreadful injustice, to Sweet of course, but also to anyone who actually sits down to listen to Sweet's Stiff Records output and discovers there a treasure trove of excellence. Her Fool Around debut album, in particular, was a masterpiece, a country-new wave hybrid a decade ahead of its time, and littered with some sensational performances - "Who Does Lisa Like" is only the most obvious, the almost shockingly mature "Wildwood Saloon" only the most surprising. Of course there were a few obligatory bubblegum boppers in there, but when the novelty factor gets too grating, it's the songs ("Cuckoo Clock," "Girl with a Synthesizer") that jar, not the singer. Sweet's second album, Protect the Innocent, was less enthralling, although a lovely cover of the Velvet Underground's "New Age" and a strange take on the Damned's "New Rose" both thrill, while Sweet also unleashed a positively beautiful take on the oldie "I Go to Pieces." All of which lines B.A.B.Y. up as an excellent collection, and a fitting tribute to a singer who should never have been allowed to fade away as she did. At her best, she really was one of the best.


01. B-A-B-Y (03:07)
02. New Rose (02:13)
03. Who Does Lisa Like? (03:00)
04. Baby Let's Play House (01:58)
05. I Go to Pieces (02:42)
06. Spellbound (03:21)
07. Stranger in the House (04:06)
08. Foul Play (02:57)
09. Suspended Animation (03:16)
10. Fool's Gold (03:00)
11. Lover's Lane (03:27)
12. Pin a Medal on Mary (03:12)
13. Sad Song (02:52)
14. Take Good Care of Me (02:49)
15. Wildwood Saloon (03:56)
16. Stay Awhile (03:01)
17. Cuckoo Clock (02:47)
18. New Age (04:14)
19. Tonight Ricky (03:20)
20. Be Stiff (02:31)

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