The irony is that there’s really nothing at all scruffy about “Baby Come Back”, except perhaps for certain band members’ faces, circa 1977. The song opens with a cool, syncopated bassline and a tidy, just shy of uptempo, beat – the L.A. quartet had certainly absorbed some production lessons from their labelmates at RSO, the Bee Gees. The guitar harmonies on the song have an instantly identifiable, warbly tremelo effect that I don’t think I’ve ever heard on any other song, and if I had, it would almost certainly make me think of Player; and the verses have a soulfully aimless drift to them which makes the desperate pleas of the chorus that much more monumental. Unfortunately, for Player, the song proved an impossible act to follow, and while they recorded four studio albums and scored a couple of minor hit singles – their 1980 single “Givin’ It All” was a transparent rewrite of “Baby Come Back” – before they called it quits in the early 80s, Player were never able to replicate the success of their debut. Thank God for licensing.
The quartet reunited in the mid-90s and even put out a new album called Lost in Reality in 1996 for the River North label. In 1998, they released an excellent best-of set which collected a handful of songs from each of their albums (including the reunion record), and, at this point, you can probably pick that up for less than the price of a Swiffer Duster.