Babybird is a British indie band, formed in 1995. The band is fronted by Stephen Jones, who has also released records as a solo artist, using his own name and the name Baby Bird.
Jones had begun writing songs and recording home demos as part of an experimental theatre group in Sheffield. A collection of these demos (I Was Born a Man) was released in the summer of 1995, under the name Baby Bird. Following a warm critical reception for this record, he recruited a band made up of Huw Chadbourne (keyboards), Robert Gregory (drums), John Pedder (bass) and Luke Scott (guitar), in order to tour and promote his work.
During 1995, two further albums of demo recordings were released under the name Baby Bird (Bad Shave and Fatherhood) and two in 1996 (The Happiest Man Alive and Dying Happy).
By the end of the year, a decent public following had been built up, as well as quite considerable excitment within the press and music industry. Babybird were signed to Echo Records (a division of the Chrysalis Group), and the first “proper” single, a full-band recording of “Goodnight”, which had appeared in demo form on Fatherhood, was eventually released in the summer of 1996, becoming a minor chart hit in the UK.
The second single, You’re Gorgeous, reached number 3 in the UK in October 1996, and was also one of the biggest selling singles of the year, going on to chart around the world. This remains the song for which Stephen Jones and Babybird are best known.
However, it presented a much more commercial face to the public in comparison to Jones’ previous work.
The early demo albums won Jones great credibility with those who heard them, but had not reached a wide audience (each one being a one-off pressing). Arguably, the commercial sound and success of “You’re Gorgeous”, which received massive exposure by comparison, made it hard for many to take Jones seriously as an indie artist. Essentially, what he was best at was no longer what he was best known for.