Grooving sinuously in prime mid-80s form in a production redolent with funk, dub and new wave inflections, ‘Baby And Child Care’ is of a musical vintage whose dry complexity is even more appreciable today.
The revolutionary advice found within ‘The Common Sense Book Of Baby And Child Care’ opened doors in the mid-40s that are widening still; at the time of this album project, it had influenced a generation or two of generally young parents. At that time, The Red Krayola were a band on a musical roll, having just recorded and released ‘Black Snakes’ on the Swiss Rec Rec label. When presented with the lyric qualities of Dr. Spock’s psychoanalytic texts, passages of which had been transposed by Art & Language’s Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden, Mayo Thompson immediately set them to music. The Red Krayola ‘Black Snakes’ band - Ben Annesley on bass, Chris White on drums and Allen Ravenstine on synthesizer and soprano sax - provided musical accompaniment in performances recorded by Eric Radcliffe at Blackwing Studios in London.
32 years later, the conversant playing and production approach of ‘Baby And Child Care’ comes across with an enduring completeness that belies its position on the shelf for the past several decades. Despite the initial lack of release, its pride of place can now be appreciated, an example of the Red Krayola’s particular brand of collaboration.
Standing tall next to the already-known classics of early-80s Red Krayola, from ‘Kangaroo?’ through ‘Three Songs On A Trip To The United States’, ‘Baby And Child Care’ is essential listening for parents and progeny alike.