Helen Reddy: Angie Baby (1974)

 |   |  1 min read

Helen Reddy: Angie Baby (1974)

The damn fine Australian singer Helen Reddy could be convincingly MOR (I Don't Know How to Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar), kinda country (Delta Dawn) and standing proud (I Am Woman).

But this song was just downright weird.

It's one part odd fantasy and one part escapism then it gets very strange when the neighbour boy comes around and . . .

Well, as the song says “it's so nice to be insane, no one asks you to explain . . .”
This is a very unusual trip indeed and – aside from the strong melody – you do wonder why it appealed to Reddy.

But it certainly did the business because she took it to the top of the charts in late '74.

As with Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry and Richard Harris' MacArthur Park (written by Jimmy Webb), the public liked the idea of a song with mysterious elements and which needed unravelling.

Angie Baby was penned by a jobbing songwriter Alan O'Day who had begun in rock'n'roll then Beat-era bands and ended up lucratively writing songs for The Muppet Babies TV series in the late Eighties.

He'd had a few successes in the Seventies (Bobby Sherman, Cher) but it was this odd one which really made his name. Later in life he said he'd started with an idea from the Beatles' Lady Madonna then twisted it to make the central character more interesting, hence “insane”.

Yep. It's a weird one. 

.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Church: The Unguarded Moment (2004)

The Church: The Unguarded Moment (2004)

Just as John Lennon borowed, plagiarised and stole from early black r'n'b artists for riffs and chords on songs like I Feel Fine and Revolution, so too various phases of the Beatles' work has been... > Read more

Moby Grape: Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot (1968)

Moby Grape: Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot (1968)

Varying the speed of tapes in the studio is not uncommon, but asking that your listener get up and change the speed of their record player on an album is another thing entirely. Certainly there... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GRAMSCI, REVIEWED (2020): Sobering thoughts for staging a show

GRAMSCI, REVIEWED (2020): Sobering thoughts for staging a show

Many weeks ago during the second Covid lockdown in Auckland, Paul McLaney – mainman behind his Gramsci project – spoke via Zoom to my third-year music at Auckland university. I... > Read more

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Django Django (Late Night Tales/Southbound)

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Django Django (Late Night Tales/Southbound)

The pleasure in the on-going Late Night Tales series which started in 2001 is in just what obscurities the artists chosen to collate the compilation pull out. As aldums they often hang together... > Read more