Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Baby Rocker - Young And Mean (1977)


Baby Rocker.  What a murky background this band has.  What little there is to know is rather convoluted.  What I can tell you is the band isn't German, which has been widely reported over the years.  Baby Rocker were 100% eclectic american rock.  This appears to be strictly a one-off studio project, helmed by principals Michael Lewis, Laurin Rinder, Ruben Banuelos and Mark Dulski.  Each of them were collectively and individually part of a stable of composers and producers of early west coast disco under various guises such as El Coco, Le Pamplemousse and Saint Tropez.  Prior to this period, Lewis had been a brief member of The Standells, worked as a fill-in for Nicky Hopkins in Quicksilver Messenger Service and also recorded a rather obscure album with Banuelos, "Willie and the Hand Jive" in short-lived outfit, Joshua.  Dulski's roots trace back the the late 60's in south central Arizona, with area bands The Hearsemen and Hobbit.  Los Angeles based AVI Records was the primary outlet for many of the early disco records produced by this stable and Baby Rocker was one of the few rock acts to find its way on the label's roster.

The record itself is a strange one for sure.  A veritable mishmash of styles and sounds.  Here you will find mainstream rock, west coast pop, progressive pomp, smooth jazz and even a brief excursion into big band cabaret.  I'm happy to say that the majority of the record leans towards rock and pomp, with plenty of synth parts adding to the quirky feel of the record.  Perhaps the strangest inclusion on the records comes by way of a bizarre straightfaced reworking of the old vaudeville standard, "Hooray For Hollywood".  With a honking synth bass and nickelodeon Wurlitzer propelling the track, it's a wacky foray into schmaltz that needs to be heard at least once.

So what's everyone up to now?  Lewis still produces and performs in Hollywood. Rinder has found success as a photographer and painter in Hollywood.  Banuelos produces and records in Casa Grande, Arizona.  Dulski's whereabouts are unknown but he is presumed to still be residing in Arizona.

3 comments:

bobbysu said...

thank you very much

sosgotcha said...

Hello,

Is it possible to post good rare AOR or heavy ? For instance, I search GLIDER (1977).

Thank you very much,

Sosgotcha

J said...

I will do my best but I won't be spending much time updating dead links, since my time is still very limited. I would prefer to keep fresh content coming as opposed to focusing a whole lot on old posts. I'll update the link in just a moment!