First Hit #1: December 28, 1974
Angie Baby begins as a song about an odd girl who is obsessed with the radio, and then turns trippy for no real reason, as she somehow traps a boy in a radio. It’s somewhere between her fantasies and some sort of supernatural nonsense, and in all honesty it could have turned into a disaster if it wasn’t for one thing. That thing is Helen Reddy, who plays it completely straight and completely sensible. You know the lyrics sound properly classy, but Reddy isn’t showing her hand, so maybe you’re supposed to take them seriously. Maybe the song is supposed to be taken literally, maybe it’s supposed to take place within Angie’s mind, maybe it’s somewhere between these extremes, but Reddy’s performance keeps it from being too jokey and grounds the song in a bit of reality. It gives the song a curious touch, and one that makes you curious if there’s a real explanation for what’s going on. Any winks would ruin it, and Reddy’s straight-faced performance keeps it honest.