Isn’t It Time

For my 600th blog post on My Song of the Day for Today, I decided to go back to the 1970s. That decade was a time when my lifelong love for music really was blooming and branching out as I discovered more bands, often listening to late-night FM radio; other than concerts, that was the leading platform to hear emerging bands in a pre-Internet world.

Serendipitously, “Isn’t It Time,” recorded in 1977 by the British rock group The Babys, has come up on random play a few times lately on Apple Music. It seemed like a good accompaniment for this little trip back in time. Until listening to the song recently, I didn’t pay that much attention to its lyrics and meaning. For me, the song’s theme of deciding whether to surrender to love is symbolic of a time of life when I was trying to make my way in the world as a youth and young adult; often lonely and yearning, and constantly facing choices that could have lasting consequences.

I talk about the band in my post on their 1979 hit “Every Time I Think of You,” including then-bassist and lead singer John Waite’s explanation of the name and its odd spelling. Please check out that post while you’re visiting.

The Babys didn’t write “Isn’t It Time.” It was composed by the same duo who wrote “Every Time I Think of You,” American singer, songwriter, musician and producer Ray Kennedy (1946-2014) and Jack Conrad (for whom I couldn’t find any information). Not surprisingly, today’s selection has a much different feel from some of the group’s other pieces that I’ve heard.

“Falling in love was the last thing I had on my mind
Holding you is a warmth that I thought I could never find

(Sitting here all alone) just trying to decide
(Whether to go all alone) or stay by your side
(Then I stop myself because) I know I could cry

I just can’t find the answers
To the questions that keep going through my mind
Hey, babe!
Isn’t it time?

(Baby in life it’s your time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)
Isn’t it time?
(Baby in life it’s your time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)

I’ve seen visions of someone like you in my life
A love that’s strong reaching out
Holding me through the darkest night

(Sitting here all alone) just trying to decide
(Whether to go all alone) or stay by your side
(Then I stop myself because) I don’t want to cry

I just can’t find the answers
To the questions that keep going through my mind
Hey, babe!
Isn’t it time?

(Baby in life it’s your time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)
Isn’t it time?
(Baby in life it’s your time to wait)
(Falling in love could be your mistake)

I feel a warmth in my heart and my soul that I never knew
This love affair gives me strength that I need just to get me through

(Sitting here all alone) just wondering why
(Then I stop myself because) I know I could cry
(Then I think of you) and everything seems alright

I’ve finally found the answers
To the questions that keep going through my mind
Hey, babe!
Isn’t it time?

(Maybe this time you don’t have to wait)
I know it’s time
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
Ooh, yeah
(Isn’t it time?)
I know it’s time

(Maybe this time you don’t have to wait)
It must be time (don’t have to wait)
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
(Isn’t it time?)
It must be time

(Maybe this time you don’t have to wait)
(Don’t have to wait)
It oughta be time
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
(Isn’t it time?)

(Maybe this time you don’t have to wait)
(Don’t have to wait)
It must be time
(Losing this love could be your mistake)
(Isn’t it time?)”

“Isn’t It Time,” by Jack Conrad, Ray Kennedy.
Unofficial lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.

The production of “Isn’t It Time” is impressive and lavish, right from the introductory piano riff and Waite’s polished vocal, plus chorus singing by The Babettes (Lisa Freeman Roberts, Pat Henderson, Myrna Mathews). And the band’s excellent instrumentation, including some brilliantly-controlled drum work leading into the chorus, is significantly expanded with string and horn arrangements by Alan MacMillan. Finally, in the song’s outro, the chorus lines “Isn’t it time?” and “Don’t have to wait” alternate between left and right stereo channels, a production method often used as studio recordings became more sophisticated. (Another example of this is the left-right shifting of the chorus “The boys are back in town” in the famous 1976 Thin Lizzy song).

“Isn’t It Time” comes from The Babys’ second studio album, Broken Heart (1977).

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio for the song from The Babys Official YouTube channel:

With my best wishes to you,

Steve

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