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Style  AOR/Hard Rock

Country Australia
PhotobucketThe Baby Animals were formed in Sydney in 1989 by singer Suze DeMarchi, drummer Frank Celenza, guitarist Dave Leslie, and bassist Eddie Parise. De Marchi had previously recorded threes singles with EMI in the United Kingdom, and before that had played with Perth bands Photoplay, The Kind, and DD and the Rockmen.

November 1989 saw the band’s first gig at the Kardomah Café in Sydney, under the name ‘Woody’s Heroes’, and the start of constant touring through the city’s pubs and clubs. The name ‘Baby Animals’ came about after seeing an advertisement for a local TV show, Wheel of Fortune, hosted by ‘Baby John Burgess’. Another version suggests the name came from a calendar in a mall. In at least one interview, however, DeMarchi mentioned they changed the origins of the name in different interviews as it got boring answering the same questions.

The Baby Animals’ early success was driven by The Angels including one of the band’s demos “Break My Heart” on the B-side of their single “Dogs Are Talking”, along with tracks from two other rock and roll bands – Rob Tognoni’s Desert Cats & The Hurricanes. A national tour showcasing all four bands shortly followed.

In August 1990, the band signed a publishing deal with SBK Songs (now EMI Songs). Whilst attending one of their gigs, Terry Ellis, president of the newly formed Imago Recording Company signed them to his label. He described the experience as: “the band was great, the songs were terrific and to me Suze clearly had that indefineable magic that separates one artist from the crowd and makes them a star.”

PhotobucketThe band flew to New York to record the debut album (Bearsville Studio / Second City Studio, Long Island), produced by Mike Chapman. DeMarchi said of the production process: “It was great. Basically, Mike left us alone to make the kind of music we know how to make; and whenever he did have a suggestion, it was always something that made the sound better. So what you hear is pure recording, the band as it really is.

Their debut single, “Early Warning”, was released in April 1991 and immediately reached the Top 20 on the Australian Singles charts. After the release of the single, the band flew to the United States for a series of showcases for the Imago/BMG people, to coincide with the earlier release of the album there. With the Top 20 chart success of “Early Warning” at home, the second single “Rush You” was released in August 1991.

Their eponymous debut album Baby Animals was released in September 1991. The album debuted at number six on the ARIA Charts and spent six weeks at number one, eventually going eight times platinum and becoming the highest-selling debut Australian rock album until the release of Jet’s album twelve years later.

After listening to the band’s album, Bryan Adams asked the band to join him on his European tour. Whilst overseas, the band picked up the ‘Best New Act’ at the inaugural 1991 Australian Music Awards. Christmas 1991 saw the band back in Australia for more touring, and the release of two more singles from the album “Painless” and “One Word”. The ‘Let Go Of My Ears’ tour saw the band playing to sell out crowds all over the country.

In 1992 the band joined the Black Crowes on a national tour of Australia and New Zealand. They made an appearance on the David Letterman Show, performing the single “Painless”. The band picked up a number of honours at the 1992 ARIA Music Awards, receiving awards for ‘Best Debut Album’, ‘Best Single’, and ‘Best Album’. DeMarchi was also nominated for ‘Best Female Vocalist’.


The band then toured in the opening slot for Van Halen’s “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge Tour” across America from 28 January to 31 May, again playing to arena-size audiences. Eddie Van Halen requested their presence after his wife Valerie heard their album, and suggested them.

Australian Rolling Stone placed DeMarchi on the cover. It was the first time they had put an Australian artist or group on the cover on the merits of a debut album. The Editor’s letter was used to explain why DeMarchi is on the cover, despite the fact that the band insisted on a photo of the whole band or no cover at all.

Sales of Baby Animals reached 8 times platinum in Australia, and topped 800,000 worldwide. The band having played over 500 shows when they stopped touring in August. In 1993, the band returned to New York (Bearsville Studio, where they also recorded their first album). After two weeks of pre-production they went to the Bahamas, where they spend two months recording at Compass Point Studio (AC/DC) which resulted in a more mature sound with producer Ed Stasium. Next, the band move on to Los Angeles, where Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) met up with the band. He contributed his songwriting/guitar skills (“Because I Can”) and produced “Life From A Distance” and “Be My Friend”. He also contributed to “She Does Whatever” on the Shaved and Dangerous Tour CD. Shaved and Dangerous was released in August 1993 and they supported Robert Plant’s US tour, before returning home around Christmas time to prepare for a 27-date Australian tour.

Touring was cut short when DeMarchi experienced throat problems, which required her to undertake surgery for her vocal cords. In August 1994 Baby Animals shared the stage with Extreme in a concert on the Azores island of Sao Miguel. DeMarchi and Bettencourt’s wedding ceremony was also performed there. Songwriting/recording for the third record was anticipated for November. In 1995 on the verge of their first major US tour, their US-based record company Imago Records folded after losing its distributor, BMG. In early 1996 the band officially disbanded.


In October 1999, DeMarchi released her first single, “Satellite” as a solo artist, which was followed by her debut album, Telelove. In June 2004, she was one of the inaugural inductees into the WAM (West Australian Music Industry Awards) Hall of Fame. In 2007, the rumors of a reformed Baby Animals with all original members were confirmed. They released an acoustic CD of their hits titled Il Grande Silenzio on 19 January 2008, as part of the Liberation Blue Acoustic Series. The following month, Liberation Records re-released their previous two albums (Baby Animals and Shaved and Dangerous remastered) as a 2 CD set. The remastered version of their first record was missing the track “Big Time Friends”. The band indicated that they had such a great time recording that they wrote more songs which will be released in a future, as-yet-untitled CD. Meanwhile, the band has some Australian tour dates already confirmed for January 2008. The band also appeared live on the Australian breakfast TV program Sunrise on 22 January 2008.

On 12 January 2009, The Baby Animals announced another Australian tour, playing 14 shows across Adelaide, Melbourne, Wollongong, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast during April 2009. Prior to embarking on this tour, it had become evident that the band could not sustain a creative partnership, owing to internal conflicts. With Celenza’s resignation and two day later self-reinstatement, and Parise’s resentments bubbling beneath the surface, Demarchi and Leslie decided to continue with a couple of hand-picked Sydney musicians, Matt Cornell (bass/ vocals) and Mick Skelton (drums).

The tour was a success with fans attending all shows and culminated in a sell-out show at the Metro Theatre in Sydney. There the band was joined onstage for a song by Richard Clapton and for the encore by Bettencourt for a version of Extreme’s “Get The Funk Out”. In April 2013, the Baby Animals released their first new single – called “Email” – in nearly 20 years. It was followed by the release of a new album entitled This Is Not The End in late May.

DISCOGRAPHYdiscography Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketBaby Animals - This Is Not The End (front)

– Baby Animals [1991]
– Shaved and Dangerous [1993]
– Il Grande Silenzio [2008]
– This Is Not The End [2013]

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