Beach Baby

Album: The First Class/The First Class SST (1974)
Charted: 13 4

Songfacts®:

  • "Beach Baby" is yet another Billboard hit by a one-hit-wonder band... but hold on. Doesn't the lead vocalist sound familiar? That's because he's Tony Burrows, a session singer who performed for a number of small bands, including on Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)," The Pipkins' "Gimme Dat Ding," and Brotherhood of Man's "United We Stand," amongst many others. Not such a one-hit-wonder now, is he?

    "Beach Baby" sounds like it's the lost Beach Boys hit with the overproduction of Blood Sweat & Tears on a coffee binge. But it's written by John Carter (also here on backing vocals) and his wife/ collaborator Gillian Shakespeare. Carter-Shakespeare collaborated on a number of hits and John Carter was a record producer for many marquee pop acts in the '60s, including Herman's Hermits and The Ivy League. There is no doubt that they were certainly trying to milk the last wave of nostalgia out of surfer music with this hit, since it was enjoying a brief renaissance in the mid-1970s.

    Burrows's first band was The Kestrels. Never heard of them? They included Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook, who would go on to form the legendary songwriting team. They also sang backup for British talent such as Benny Hill. How about now? Oh, and Burrows' second band was The Ivy League, who morphed into The Flower Pot Men. Never heard of them either? Two of The Flower Pot Men, Jon Lord and Nick Simper, would go on to become part of Deep Purple. How about now?

    Carter's work extends to not just writing and producing songs, but commercial jingles as well. Amongst them are commercials for Vauxhall, British Caledonian and Rowntree.

Comments: 5

  • Dave from UsTony Burrow also fronted The Pipkins in 1970, not long after Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, Brotherhood of Man.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenThanks for the info! Never realized this was Edison Lighthouse's voice.
  • H2ofield from LethbridgeHas anyone figured out what is being said in the 'radio announcer voice' at the run-out of the song?
  • Dan from Nyc, NyListen carefully to the lyrics. It's not really a love song. His girlfriend has abandoned him and he's asking her if she remembers the promises she made to him.
  • Peter from Birmingham, United KingdomAmazingly, in February 1970, 'Beach Baby' lead singer, Tony Burrows, appeared as lead singer for 3 different bands on a single edition of BBC's weekly 'Top Of The Pops' TV show. The songs and bands were: 'Love Grows' by Edison Lighthouse (which was at number 1 that week); 'My Baby Loves Loving' by White Plains and 'United We Stand' by Brotherhood of Man'. A feat which has never been equalled.
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