The name BABYBIRD resulted from a walk with a good friend in the countryside near Sheffield. Stephen Jones was on the dole, producing 400 songs in his bedroom on a four-track recorder. No money, Jones had one pair of shoes with holes in the soles. As they walked chatting Jones stepped on something that squelched through the hole and onto his sock. When the two friends looked down, there was a baby bird under his foot.
The stepping on the dead bird gave the two friends a band name. In the years leading up to this walk, Jones had sent his friend endless cassettes of demos. At that moment, Graham decided to become his manager and go to London to flog his wares. For 2 years there was no record company interest. Even Nick Beggs once of Kagagoogoo, then an A&R man, turned the music down flat. So Graham came up with the concept to release five albums in a nine-month cycle of a pregnancy, starting with ‘I Was Born A Man’ through to ‘Dying Happy’.
These albums caught fire in the press, regularly topping the NME charts. It was then the record companies came running back. Jones moved to Sheffield and formed a band, releasing a first studio album ‘Ugly Beautiful’, which sold 100,000 copies off the back of the huge megalyth ‘You’re Gorgeous’, a single which sold half a million, and stayed in the top 40 for 17 weeks. 8 other top 40 singles were released over the following years, including ‘The F-word’ which was used on 12 series of the Gordon Ramsey vehicle, of the same name.
In the 2000s Stephen wrote three novels, and recorded two albums ‘Ex Maniac’ and ‘The Pleasures of Self Destruction’ in America, on Johnny Depp’s label. Depp played the guitar on two songs and directed the short Babybird film ‘Unloveable’. Since then, Jones has recorded over 130 albums in just under 10 years, on Bandcamp, where he maintains full control of his output.
This collection of songs is a toe in the water of Stephen’s work of the past 10 years and what a truly beautiful collection it is.