Xero – “Oh Baby” (1983)

This is an interesting NWOBHM curio.  Why?  Because of the shady tactics involved.  The original EP/single (Brickyard Records) contained three tracks; Oh Baby!, Hold On, and Lone Wolf.  The last song, Lone Wolf, wasn’t even a Xero song.  And that’s the shady part.  As the story goes, Xero’s manager added Lone Wolf to the record without the band’s knowledge.  Lone Wolf was actually an old recording by a band called Shots.  And who was the lead singer on this track?  None other than Bruce Dickinson!  And as you can clearly see by the sticker affixed to the album jacket, Bruce Dickinson and the Iron Maiden name was used to market the record.  Of course, Iron Maiden never gave anyone permission to use their name or logo.  The record was subsequently pulled from the market as a result.  Re-issued versions of Oh Baby omit the Lone Wolf track.  And the saddest part of it all?  Lone Wolf is a pretty lousy song, with inferior sound quality to boot.

As for the two Xero cuts, well that’s actually some pretty good stuff.  Oh Baby! is a mellow rocker with a nice harmonized guitar melody (ala Thin Lizzy), and a rich vocal performance by Moon Williams (think Bob Seger with a fuller, deeper tone).  The faster Hold On is a less remarkable (but still serviceable) song, highlighted, once again, by Williams’ fine vox.  My score: B


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