Always be yourself. No matter how much that conformity may seem the path to success, be true to who you are. And you’ll have better stories. That’s the lesson learned for two musicians, Peter Beckett & JC Crowley, who decided to be who they were, separately attending a Black Tie party in t-shirts and jeans. The two guys found themselves amid a sea of black cumberbunds and immediately bonded over music and the depression of recent breakups. This meeting immediately led to a get together where they wrote one of the biggest hits not performed by a Gibb in 1978, Baby Come Back.
Player hit the top of the charts in early 78 for 3 weeks with their debut tune. Many in history have mistaken it for a Hall & Oates cut and who could blame them. From the bass & drum intro with the warbly guitar lick that sounds like it’s being played underwater to the chorus harmonies and high notes hit on the bridge,this slice of blue-eyed soul pop could have easily been dreamed up by the now famous Philadelphia duo. Except for one thing…it’s so chill. Yes, it has some high drama adn some passionate vocals, but that groove is mellow, it makes Pablo Cruise seem like Yes. And I’m sure there was a Pablo Cruise/Player concert some time back in the day, probably down in Mission Beach.
This is another of those West Coast songs that immediately puts me in that late 70s, So-Cal, Three’s Company, Hawaiian shirt state of mind. And when I was 7, I wanted to know where you could buy a mask of false bravado. That sounded so confusing, but so awesome.
And let’s talk about those lyrics, because when you read the verses, the first is almost the same as the second, except he flips the time of day. Pretty much the guy who lost his girl is fairly cool during the day or at least he feels like he has to bullshit everyone that everything’s OK. Not sure why? What does he do during the day? Maybe his girlfriend was his assistant manager at Wicks N Sticks in the mall and now that they broke up, she also quit her job. So everyone at work is wondering, ‘Hey, where’s Tawny? I need to switch my schedule.’ So he has that to deal with.
And then as the sun sets he really starts to lose his shit, like some horny werewolf. Now, what the hell does he do at night? He sounds like the Son of Sam, for Christsakes. Was he in a backgammon tournament and lost his practice partner? Does he miss snuggling under an Afghan rug watching Mannix reruns?
Then he wakes up, and he can’t deal with it. So he goes back out and spends more money, faking it as he goes. What a vicious cycle. Baby just go back to this guy already. You can blame everything on him, including the reason you cheated on him in the first place. I mean, c’mon. How is she gonna trust a musician in a group named Player?