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With baby face on the cover

Sweden Rock #5-2024

Sweden Rock Magazine issue #5/2024 features the 1971 Blackmore/Paice/Lynott project Babyface as their cover story, with a seven-page feature inside. Also in the issue: 4-page feature on the current Deep Purple, with Roger Glover being interviewed. The magazine also mentions that “Glenn Hughes has finished writing the music for his first solo album since 2016”.

The magazine (which is, naturally, all in Swedish) can be ordered through the publisher.

Thanks to our editor emeritus Benny Holmström for the info.

31 Comments to “With baby face on the cover”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:


    Good stuff, but mi-nein-shpecken-de-deutsche…

    Peace !

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    The name says it all in regards to that failure. Babyface????????? Is that the best name they could come up with? Next. Cheers.

  3. 3
    Stathis says:

    @2 And the (only complete) song title is “Space Rider”, so par for the course for the early seventies 🙂
    (Not half-bad, either – should be released some day)

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Given Lynott’s well known love for Americana and outlaw romance, I wouldn’t be surprised if the name was inspired by Midwest gangster and Dillinger associate ‘Baby Face’ Nelson.


    Mob romanticism was at its height in the late 60ies and early 70ies. Don’t think it would have been a bad name at all, Herr MacGregor, Ritchie had a penchant for outlaw mystique as well I think.

    I can’t say anything about the music – I’ve never heard anything -, but neither Ritchie nor Phil strike me as natural born trio players of the Clapton/Bruce caliber. Blackmore’s legend is being part of the “Gorgan” and he’s not really someone that likes playing a solo to just bass and drums plus finds rhythm guitar mostly boring. And Phil with his strummy rhythm guitar approach to bass playing isn’t a very foundational player either. Only Paicey seemed to me like an ideal trio player back then, but who knows what they would have come up with.

    I would imagine though that Ritchie fell in love with a trio image and Phil would have added that Hendrix look. Phil himself was no fan of trios either – Thin Lizzy started out as one, but their further development saw the addition of second lead guitarists and keyboard players. Lynott’s solo albums and his last project Grand Slam (a name much like Baby Face) all featured larger line-ups too. But who is to say no if guitar god Ritchie – eager to break with Purple tradition – approaches you with the idea of a trio?

    It might have been interesting for an album or so, but Lynott’s drug intake would have tested Ritchie‘s patience quickly. And neither of them were into power sharing.

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    @ 4- thanks for that gangster info Uwe, much appreciated & I have never heard of that name before. A few of the others are well known individuals from that era. I guess it is the reference to the word ‘baby’, it is a bit too much 60’s pop culture for my liking. Although remembering the 1970’s band The Babys, a rather good band with some decent songs, Isn’t It Time is a classic rock song. Obviously to the band members the name was a joke of sorts that worked quite well for them. The thing with that ‘Babyface’ trio would have been the songwriting link. Was Lynott, especially at that time a purveyor of decent melodies etc. It could have left us all with one of those one off albums that have occurred at different times. But then we wouldn’t have had MK3 etc. As we have discussed previously, yes indeed, Blackmore is far too lazy a rhythm player for a trio. Plus Lynott would NOT have put up with Blackmore’s antics. Cheers.

  6. 6
    Nino says:

    I very rarely feel sad when I think that there might not have been a Mark 3, but I always wonder what would have been if the Mark 2 had been able to continue and I think this apostasy played a role in the deterioration of the relationship between Gillan and Blackmore.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I believe Ritchie already thought (albeit falsely) by the end of Mk II that he could do it better all alone – and he would have gone solo even then had not the management and Jon + Paicey caved in to all his demands and allowed him to restructure the band as he wished: with a Paul Rodger’s type singer and an Andy Fraser type bassist. And Mk III certainly didn’t hold Blackmore’s attention and commitment for long. 18 months later he was already bedding with Dio (not a very long-lasting marriage either!).

  8. 8
    Georgivs says:


    If we use this approach to analyse Der Meister’s actions, Herr Uwe, it will turn out that his whole music career was but a prelude to his music and personal marriage with freulein Kandiss. And the rest has been the fugue he had been waiting to play all his life.

  9. 9
    Micke says:

    @ 1 For sure, swedish belongs to the german languages but it is still.. swedish. 😀

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Micke, these Tasmanians all have this very unfortunate tendency for generalizing sweeping statements …

    Georgivs, was everything always destined to end for Ritchie on Long Island playing mock knights & maidens music with a JAP (Jewish -American-Polish) princess as his wife and mother of his kids? I wouldn’t go as far as that, but, yeah, it all has become his lake of tranquillity. I’m happy for him.

    In contrast, I don’t think Ritchie ever loved Deep Purple. For a while, he saw it as his best platform for success and the guys from the Mk II line-up as a reliably good foil to achieve this, but he was blind to the fact that only the synergies within DP gave him the nutrient solution for remarkable artistic achievements WITH mass appeal. His folly was to believe that full artistic control by himself equates optimum quality output (and the public recognition to go with it) for his work. By and large that wasn’t the case. Not everything in Rainbow or Blackmore’s Night was crap and not everything within DP a stroke of genius, but on balance his work within Mark II, Mark III and even Mark V outclassed what he did outside of DP by a very substantial margin.

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    @ 10 – the comments that get ‘swept’ under the carpet…………like Roger Glover not being included in the ‘real’ producers category, he he he. Seriously though Blackmore isn’t a fool & not being a singer at all he definitely knew that a requirement of sorts was needed. Also the same with Jon Lord & Ian Paice, that is why he sort our certain musicians at first in DP then increased the artillery with Gillan & Glover etc. I know very well you are familiar with his pre DP history Uwe, so I don’t need to repeat any of those experiences that Blackmore had & took on board. Even the prolific singer songwriters need the right personal to create the ‘masterworks’ for want of a better wording. He was impatient & suffered no fools including himself, that doesn’t mean he thought he could ever do it all alone. He also had a penchant for taking risks at times, a devil may care attitude. He very well knew what was required & what the possible different outcomes could entail. And who is to say that he was after MASS appeal back then. By the time MKII imploded I do think Blackmore had seen enough of the circus of ‘stardom’ etc, (what younger people can get caught up with) and just thought, bollocks to it all, whatever happen happens. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Gregster says:


    To add to further speculation…

    I’d suggest that “Babyface” folded simply because RB would have learned that he is the weakest-link in the tripod, & so, pulled-the-pin.

    1. It’s clear that he actually got what he wanted, ergo, Ian Paice & Jeff Lynott…

    2. It would appear that management had already invested in the new band & backed it by putting-the-word-out.

    3. A 7-page full article in a prominent magazine is NOT a speculative article, it’s a ball-rolling article you would think.

    4. I’d suggest that there was too-much-work involved for RB to raise his abilities to be a chordal-player & a soloist… And since he was already mistakenly considered to be a great player by the masses, this newly formed band would reveal his limitations, & so it folded, before the truth of his inabilities were exposed.

    5. For sure you can play a rhythm-track(s) in a studio & record it, & then back-it-up with solos & melody-lines after wards to make a great song, as many do. But regardless, it appears that what actually went down in rehearsals, didn’t make the grade.

    6. You can make a great tune in a studio with a little time, & some skill with imagination, plus a few extra tracks, but can you get it to sound as good live ???…Some bands do, & do it really, really well…Others less so…

    Peace !

  13. 13
    Stathis says:

    @12 Jeff Lynne and Phil Lynott had a son? We should be told 😉

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    I do look at other three piece rock bands at that time & always think this is how a ‘British’ rock trio probably should sound. Robin Trower going ‘solo’ when leaving Procol Harem worked out very well after an initial trial & error. With Frankie Miller on vocals & ex Tull drummer Clive Bunker, Trower then kept James Dewar suggesting he sing & rightfully so as he had a superb voice & then went with a different drummer. Bingo, there we have it. When I think about Blackmore leaving DP & taking Ian Paice with him & attempting to get Phil Lynott, well enough said there. Ian Paice would have been fine no doubt, but the other two? The previous bands Cream, Hendrix etc also showed what is required. Rory Gallagher also did this with his initial power trio Taste with considerable success, although after that he also had a keyboard player for a while until he returned to the trio for a while. The guitarist has to get busy & play that rhythm big time & also crank the blues. The Green Bullfrog sessions show a little insight into what Blackmore may have done, although there is a keyboard player there from Procol Harem in Mathew Fisher & also Tony Ashton & other guitarists in Albert Lee & Big Jim Sullivan. A session album only with most band members not playing together at one time in a live setting due to other commitments. Maybe those sessions are what sparked Blackmore in that sense, but I could not imagine he would have have stuck to that blues based trio setting for too long before a keyboard player was added. Cheers.

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    How could I forget Budgie when waffling on about British three piece rock bands from that early period. I was only listening to them yesterday. It seems like Blackers would have been wiped off the floor me thinks if he did go any further with that Babyface proposal. Cheers.

  16. 16
    Gregster says:


    Typos…What can I say ???…Yet still the question remains why such a well advertised band folded before it delivered the goods ???

    One can only look at what may have been the weakest link in the tripod that crumbled.

    Peace !

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Back then, Phil Lynott was not yet such a huge star. Thin Lizzy had been around for a while, but not achieved much until their freak hit with an Irish traditional – Whiskey in the Jar – which Lynott didn’t like to sing or promote because he thought – rightfully so – it gave the wrong impression of the band (= the curse of a novelty hit). Thin Lizzy had toured the UK with Slade and Suzi Quatro and by all accounts encountered a hard time getting through with the rowdy Slade crowds (while newcomer Suzi went down well). Phil Lynott was not yet the rock god he became, him joining up with Blackmore and Paice would have likely met incredulity: “Phil who? That guy from that Irish folk band?!”

    And back then, Lynott’s bass playing really wasn’t on par with Nick Simper, Roger Glover or Glenn Hughes – by a mile.

  18. 18
    Gregster says:


    Herr Uwe stated qt.”Lynott’s bass playing really wasn’t on par with Nick Simper, Roger Glover or Glenn Hughes – by a mile”…

    * And yet “Babyface” formed, & dissolved quicker than an icy-pole on a hot-summers-day….

    There couldn’t have been 2 x poor ingredients in the mix, surely ???…Even if Lynott’s bass plating was average ( which I doubt ), he could sing…Perhaps he wanted more $$$ than RB for doing 2 x jobs at once ?…(And there wasn’t enough in the kitty)…

    Peace !

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    Stumbled upon this early Thin Lizzy three piece band live song from 1973. Pretty damn good & I have never heard that early Lizzy before. Still cannot imagine Blackmore with Lynott though. I forgot about many of those later Lizzy classics that I had heard to death in the late 80’s & early 90’s from the ‘metal heads’ I knew & often jammed with. I have never purchased an album of theirs for some strange reason. One of those bands who I have heard plenty of & respected & then sort of forgot about in certain aspects. Shame on me. So many great rock tracks & also a few classic slower ballads etc. I always liked Phil as a front man, Mr Cool indeed & he is one bass player & lead vocalist that I have always forgotten about when mentioning that breed of musicians. Classic rock indeed, great guitarists & not too bad a drummer. Much more interesting than the other twin guitar hard rock bands that were entering the genre at that time. That god damn smack again. Rest easy Phil Lynott. Cheers.


  20. 20
    Skippy O'Nasica says:

    As Uwe says, Lynott’s bass playing wasn’t yet very good back in 1971.

    Seem to recall an interview with Paice in which he specified that as a reason the project didn’t take off.

    Since Lizzy still had lots of great records to come, and DP went on to make “Burn”… Maybe just as well Babyface didn’t pan out.

    This article suggests that the band name may have been “inspired by Paice’s choirboy looks”.

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    @ 20 – thanks for the Babyface info, much appreciated. So it was allegedly Ian Paice’s face that it was named after eh? I suppose that is a touch more ‘innocent’ than some gangsters. Cheers.

  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Thin Lizzy fans hate me for this, but Lynott never turned into a particularly committed, skillful or naturally gifted bass player – there I said it (again). He switched to bass from acoustic guitar because it was needed in the band (so did I) and even in the 1973 vid you can clearly tell where he came from both by his pick technique and his fretting hand: he was a singer/songwriter acoustic guitar strummer and that stayed with him all through his career. For a heavy rocker, his bass playing was comparatively lightweight, and for a black man he was decidedly unfunky – Glenn of course, but also Roger are both (much) funkier. That doesn’t mean that Phil didn’t have his own style, that strummy, light touch bass playing worked well with Lizzy’s light-footed music (Brian Downey wasn’t really a heavy drummer either and he and Phil always swung nicely together, albeit in a not really foundational way like Little Ian/Roger), but it is hard to imagine it working as well in another band format. Even at his peak, Phil could not have done what Roger did on Made in Japan during Strange Kind Of Woman (those incredibly smooth and consistent triplets during the shuffle) or Glenn on Lady Double Dealer (nonchalantly copying Ritchie’s fast and intricate riff one octave deeper, Phil would have opted for throbbing root notes).

    Phil never grew to love bass (I did), if it wasn’t required, he’d rather play guitar as his solo albums show, Jimmy Bain often played bass for him. He is not alone in that: Greg Lake always preferred playing guitar to bass too and Joe Bouchard of BÖC and Overend Watts of Mott the Hoople all gave up bass playing eventually and switched (back?) to lead guitar because bass did not fulfill them – to me, however, playing guitar feels like having a toy in my hands, it has never attracted me again since the first time I picked up a bass in 1977.

    Now the collective wrath of Lizzy fans can be unleashed on me!

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    This ‘Whiskey In A Jar’ clip from the same 1973 gig has Lynott playing rhythm on a SG six string. I don’t think I have ever noticed a ‘guitarist’ with such
    over active strumming before. Possibly Dave Brock from Hawkwind which has just appeared from my memory bank. Cheers.


  24. 24
    Uwe Hornung says:

    OMG, that Lizzy vid, “all three have excellent timing – just not with each other!” 🤣

  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    Watching a Thin Lizzy doco recently & I never knew that Midge Ure played guitar with them. Thrown in at the deep end or what! Helping them out when Gary Moore left mid tour back in the day apparently & Ure didn’t know the songs at all & these days amusingly calls himself Lizzy’s worst guitarist ever. The trip over the pond would give him a little time to listen & note things down apparently, until he realised they had booked him on the Concord & before he knew it he was there & had even less time than he thought he had. Spinal Tap indeed. Cheers.

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:




    Midge Ure is a real gentleman about his time with Lizzy. To this day he dedicates a ballad he wrote about Phil Lynott in his gigs to him (always coupled with self-deprecating jokes about his guitar playing and his inability to tell the Thin Lizzy twin harmony guitar melodies apart “because they all sounded alike to me”). And when Lynott made him an offer to become a permanent member he said: “I’m not what you need. Somewhere in Britain there is this kid with a Les Paul under his bed and he has all your songs and all the solos down pat, you need to get him.” And it turned out that he was quite prophetic with his recommendation: When Lizzy started making waves early to mid 70ies, a young John Sykes (born 1959) was still busy playing his fingers bloody with blues runs on a nylon string guitar. When he finally joined Thin Lizzy in 1982 he was 23, six years younger than Midge. And yes, he had meanwhile swapped the nylon acoustic for a black Les Paul.

    We can’t let this post end without the first time I saw and heard Midge!


    I liked it at the time (still do), BCRish (no wonder same producer and songwriting team!), but then I never had issues with liking BCR too even while I was a teenage DP fan.


    To me that song is a great slice of Power Pop, and, if I may add, played and presented in a lot less heavy-handed manner than their nemesis band The Sweet were often prone to show.

  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks for the Midge Ure story & link at Louder, I cannot believe I missed that one. I was aware of Snowy White being in Lizzy for a while but not Midge Ure. That Japan story when he walked in & all the girls were calling out, Midge, it’s Midge, ha ha ha, I can just imagine the look on Lynott’s face, classic. He definitely doesn’t look the part on stage, never mind he enjoyed himself helping out a friend. He said on the doco that he was playing the wrong twin harmony guitar parts at first, so yes he probably did feel they all sounded the same at times. From the Slik band to Thin Lizzy. I remember the Bay City Rollers, over here they were huge but I cannot recall Slik at all. I do also remember hearing Midge Ure when he did a version of Tull’s ‘Living in the Past’ in the 80’s. Cheers.

  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And in case you think that Slik was just teenybopper crap of little musical value, then listen to the bass drum pattern in the intro of Forever And Ever and then give Vienna by Ultravox a listen, sound familiar? 🤣


  29. 29
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Slik were a last ditch effort by the powers that be behind the Bay City Rollers to create a band that the aging BCR could pass on to the torch. The predicament of teenybopper bands is that their fans grow quickly out of it (after two or three years) and move on to other music as they mature. By 1976, Les, Eric, Woody, Derek & Alan (or his successors Ian and Pat) were getting long in the tooth, Les was already shaving his breast hair, the writing of adulthood was on the wall. Forever And Ever was actually originally slated as a new BCR single, but as the band were lukewarm about it, the song was produced with Slik.

    But before Slik could really establish themselves with their (even in 1976 rather dated) shorter hair and 50ies style US baseball image, the Punk revolution overturned the UK music market + Midge Ure wasn’t really comfortable with his role as a teen star other people envisaged for him and broke out of the format radically by playing with Sex Pistols members in The Rich Kids, triggering New Romantic with Visage, helping out Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott’s solo career, giving Ultravox (who had lost their frontman John Foxx) a second (more successful) lease of life, co-writing the Band Aid classic Do They Know It’s Christmas, before finally starting his own successful solo career. He’s very much the consummate musician.

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    Yes as you already are aware Uwe I was rather dismissive back then as a youngster to other forms of music, even though quietly I always knew the good singers & songs etc. Pride & ego as I would NEVER admit to certain friends fearing the proverbial, “and you like that” scenario. Silly of course & in regards to Midge & Ultravox not to mention many others it took two different performances for me to admit to myself, I don’t mind this guy, he is actually really good at what he does. Pretty sad isn’t it, not to worry, better late than never. Plus he was Scottish also, he he he. The first was his guest appearance on Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson’s tv comedy Filthy Rich & Catflap & the second was his cover version of the Jethro Tull song Living in the Past. Thanks for the Vienna song, it was good to hear that again & to watch the clip & I also watched their Live Aid performance of it (I definitely did NOT watch that back then). A very dramatic & effective song indeed. A great singer Midge is & not too bad a guitarist also. Below is the Tull song. Cheers


  31. 31
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Midge sure can write a tune or two …





    I saw him some years back in a one-man unplugged show (and no, he’s no Leo Kottke on acoustic guitar) and was amazed (and entertained) by the breadth of his musical ouevre.

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