Pato Banton (feat. Ali and Robin Campbell) – Baby Come Back


Release Date: Aug 94
Chart Position: 1

Gouldy
There’s been a bit of a weird atmosphere at Neggae Towers this week, with Neggae Elder Jamie moving out to look after his newly arrived Neglet. Good luck with that mate, I think you should film a slo-mo action montage with you in a Dredd wig and ‘Brothers in Arms’ playing in the background.  As I was saying the ambience has been like Ramsay Street in the aftermath of Helen Daniels’s death, I for one miss having a dog dressed up as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry running round the house. Hardest hit has been his older brother Vince, who’s just been sitting in his room, staring forlornly at his Toby Anstis poster and listening to Big Mountain on loop. There couldn’t be a better moment for this neggae classic to come around frankly and with the fresh impetus Keith De Vivre is bringing to the blog I predict exciting times ahead.
This week’s entry isn’t messing about, it’s straight in with a skanking bass and driving ska horns instantly adding the neg to the original arrangement by the Eddy Grant fronted ‘The Equals’. Neggae’s elder statesman weighs in with his usual reliable contribution and this isn’t some limp cover to pay the tax bills, he’s singing this with heart. I like to think he’s emotionally dragged back to his childhood in Dudley, playing dominoes with his brothers, Robin, Alistair, Darren, Malcolm, Donald and Fraser. Whatever his motivation it draws out a passionate and emotive performance as he begs his disgruntled lover for forgiveness. Then our favourite Irish neggaeist comes in and lists the possessions his ex has run off with;

  • Colour TV;
  • Bob Marley CD collection.

Having come back to his flat to discover all his entertainment missing all Pat wants to Pato+Banton+-+Baby+Come+Back+-+5-+CD+SINGLE-73488do is have a jif and consider his options, then the full horror of her ransacking is uncovered, she’s nicked his bag of Sensi. This is heinous stuff and frankly makes Lorena Bobbit’s revenge look a minor misdemeanour. The rest of the song carries on in relentless fashion with some keys giving it all a sixties vibe, if Ram Jam Holder had got the Austin Powers gig ahead of Mike Myers this song would be the theme. The song ends with Paddy begging his love to come back, although the last two pleas are for his CD collection and bag of Sensi, which makes me doubt the sincerity of his words.
The video opens with the doors to some ‘Ready, Steady, Go’ type sixties scenario and the Yowbs onstage then cuts to Paddy O’Banton arriving home from wetherspoons after his postal round to discover his flat’s been done over and all he has left is a seventy year old TV and one of Lulu’s hats. Then we get a real peek into how technology has moved on, David Bowie and Mick Jagger planned to sing a duet over satellite link up during Live Aid but had to abandon the idea due to technical issues. Now just ten years on Pat O’Banton and Ali Campbell mange to not only duet over satellite link up but are actually able to do it 40 years apart, we’re through the looking glass people. Obviously Pat’s a bit annoyed, he’s lost his missus, TV, CDs and Sensi so he sits down to watch a bit of the Yowbs time travelling. Weirdly he then spots his ex in the audience of the Yowbs crowd from forty years ago and can’t believe his eyes, we know it’s not a Sensi induced hallucination as that’s been nicked. Pat’s sitting there wondering what the hell is going on frankly and it’s at this point he notices the aerial’s not plugged in, intrigued he investigates and suddenly everyhting’s gone a bit ‘Automan’, Pat’s transformed into a dapper sixties type and then it goes full ‘Poltergeist’ as Pat jumps into the TV to be reunited with his lady. It transpires she hadn’t left at all but had travelled back 40 years to watch a gig by a band that weren’t even born then. If I’m honest it’s all a bit confusing and reminds me of the time I went to see ‘Pulp Fiction’ in a state of bonged out inebriation, fell asleep countless times and every time I woke up there’d be a character I’d already seen get killed doing some kind of monologue. It does raise the interesting question that Pat was probably solely responsible for introducing Sensi to the sixties and creating a whole counterculture, similar to the Happy Mondays and Ecstasy in Manchester.

Score: 9/10 – It’s a neggae mod classic, there’s even a scooter in the video, also if Pat hadn’t travelled back to the sixties music wouldn’t have evolved and we’d still be listening to people playing the washboard.

Keith de Vivre
After last weeks dirge that was CJ Lewis and his Best of My Love atrocity comes this absolute belter from Banton and his brummie bredren. A deserved number 1, if there’s any justice in the neggae world – and I suspect there won’t be – this will be there or thereabouts come judgement day. Or whatever it is you’re planning to do with all this. I can’t remember and I can’t be bothered to check as i’ve been hungover for 38 hours now, so i’m going to keep this short.

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Pop history is littered with cover versions that are arguably better than the original. …Watchtower (Hendrix); …Rising Sun (Animals) Rocket Man (Shatner). For me, this is up there.
Anyone who gives this anything below an 8/10 needs to have a long hard look at themselves, preferably whilst being slapped in the bits with a two-tone cap.
Score: 9/10


Atkins
The first no 1 we have reviewed for a while and what a gem! Good original which Robin and Ali stay true to and arguably deliver as good as if not better than The Equals, but Pato’s verses really sweeten the deal. It was the fourth biggest selling singe of ’93. Which in a year that included East 17’s Stay Another Day, D:Ream with that one they did and Manchester United’s creatively titled Come On You Reds is a massive achievement!
Love the vid which seems to be on an early TOTP set. People generally happy and skanking away to the tune cutting to Pato thinking of the girl that has left him. Don’t worry mate with this type of groove you’ll easily pick something else up.
Score: 10/10  9.5/10 from me! These boys should have done more together, although I reckon Pato could get tiresome after a while; berk factor would be very high.
Update – Jonny retrospectively downgraded after realising if he gave this a 10 he would have to give Here Comes the Hotstepper 11 or 12.

Vince
It really is all downhill from here, so let’s savour this pinnacle of Neggae pop perfection. After Baby comes Back, there will be a few more spikes in the neggae QA chart – but for me this is the point in the story where Neggae gets usurped by its chirpsy, British neighbour Britpop. 1995 rolls into view soon, and the likes of Some Might Say and Country House deservedly start taking the top spot instead of Suggs and Ricky from Eastenders. But let’s concentrate on what we have here…
Pato Banton is yet another Brummy Badbwoi – the sheer talent that this great city from the middle of England produced in the 80s and 90s was quite remarkable. Having  cut his teeth in the 80s with seminal artists the Beat and Mad Professor, he was given a long overdue leg up to chart success by a couple of UK pop stalwarts. The Campbell brothers are on hand to provide the sweet UB harmonies we all know and love here, and the song was produced by Sting’s team.
And what a marvellous thing it is to – a 90s ska-house monster with some beautiful touches that for me improve on the Equals’ original. Gone is the lumpen, proto-glam stomp, replaced with a skanking ska-house thump. The horn flourishes in the build-up to the bridge are a masterstroke, as are the hammond organ stabs and solo.
Like Suart Barr at Thursday night 5-a-side, Pato himself is ‘the difference’ here. We all know about the Marley CDs/Colour TV/Bag a Sensi lines (by the way, what an absolute cowbag she was to do that to him), there are two other vocalisms that are just as inspired.
“Biddy-bye-bye-bye-bye, biddy-bye-bye-bye-bye!”
Hello Pato! Whata cracking entrance, I know who’s now in charge of the song.
and:

“Every time me think of my Liza (Baby come back)
Water come a me eye (come back”)

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I’m not f*ckin surprised you’re crying. She’s a fine specimen of a woman. But you’ve spooned it, plus she’s taken your bits and bobs. Probably for the best anyway as you’d only mope about getting toasted listening to Legend. Dust yourself down, iron a shirt, and go out there and get another one.  Beautiful counter-melody though.
The video is yet another time travelling odyssey, but at least Team Pato have spent some money on the thing (unlike the Happy Shopper effort form last week). There is narrative consistency, I liked the leccy special FX and especially liked the bit where he dived into the telly.

This song hung around the charts for an absolute bloody age – 4 weeks at number 1, but it rattled around the top 40 ’til nearly Christmas – and I remember starting to hate it quite vehemently. Can’t find a clip, but it prompted Spitting Image to parody the video. I think the words got changed to “Baby we’re CRAP!” or something tedious. At the time, I thought it was the funniest thing since Round the Bend, but that’s because I was a 15 year old berk that didn’t know pop class when he saw it. Now I’m a 34 year old berk who does, so it’s a 9/10 from me.
Score: What I said above.

Norm
Alrighty then, that’s two weeks in a row now that we’ve been treated to some good old fashioned Neg . The Yoobs and Pato team up for a pretty amusing and well put together tune and video. This has to be one of the better efforts that involves UB40 for me. Their reggae tones seem to be amplified in this offering. Pato adds a nice twist to the proceedings  coming in at around 1.04 to talk his way (too slow to actually label rap) through his mistakes with his lady friend. The best line of that verse was about coming back with his colour tv and cd collection of Bob Marley. I’m not sure if the comedic levels of the video and the inclusion of one of my favourites, Pato made me lighten up and appreciate their ability that I have overlooked in reviews past but the Yoobs have gone up in my estimation – at least for this week. The video had me rolling, watching Pato faff around with the tv, dodgy hat and his missus on the tube. The back to the future type electric shock from the tv cable was genius but not as genius as the acrobatic lunge that Pato made to go head first into the TV. Overall, a nice tune with the usual UB40 horns and bassline, complimented by a great video. Well done UB40 for at least trying to come up with something interesting although it was probably Pato Banton’s artistic influence that made this all come together.
Score: 8/10 – Good stuff chaps. Not all of 1994 was a let down.

NEGGAE SCORE: 9
Update NEGGAE SCORE after Jonny changed his mind: 8.9

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