Don’t Call Me Baby – Voice Of The Beehive

In purist Pop music terms Don’t Call Me Baby is a perfect specimen. It does things mere mortal pop songs can only dream of and age shall not whither it.

Elements of a timeless pop classic should include

  • A title so clear and obvious you can’t say it without wanting to sing it
  • An accent in the singers voice which could not be copied by absolutely anyone but can be sung along with ‘by’ absolutely anyone
  • More than one catchy hook (in this case) –
    • The obvious title one
    • The ‘Walkin’ and fightin’ and asking for favours’ one
    • the stop starty ‘Don’t call me… Don’t call me…’ one
  • A lyric about failed relationships that empowers and is relatable
  • Harmonized backing vocals that even those not already singing along can ‘opt in on’
  • A lite breezy pop guitar solo (never longer than 15 seconds)
  • A close to three minute run time (3.07 in this case)

To say Voice Of The Beehive played it by the numbers with a safe formulaic stab at a hit single is to miss the point. This is like a showcase of how it should be done. We need safe formulaic pop to be of a standard. And it at least needs to be sung by girls with long hair and leather jackets, or what’s the point of anything?

If these fundamentals aren’t adhered to somewhere we end up with garbage (not the band, they’re great) in the charts and there’s never a cross over between art and commerce. Don’t Call Me Baby is a beat generation, Phil Spector produced 60’s girl group attempt at garage rock. Except it’s none of those things in any way but in it’s heart.

In reality VOTB were an English indie band from the mid eighties with American girl singers and ex-members of Madness among their ranks. But they aspired to great intangible timeless things. With Don’t Call Me Baby they hit that mark.

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