Come Home Baby (Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil)

   
by Rod Stewart and P.P. Arnold
The song was written by the immortal song writing team of Mann and Weil. 

The arrangement begins with a very simple and tasteful intro consisting of two sustained guitar chords backed with bass and drum accents.  Rod sings the first verse with P. P. providing an answer vocal on the chorus.  She really tears into the second verse.  In fact, this may be one of the best vocal performances of her career.  It is truly amazing how she can put so much power into a vocal without losing the plot melody wise. 

The instrumental passage is very nice indeed.  Two horns play a call and response, which hauntingly echoes the vocals.  This gives the song a flavour reminiscent of the best Bacharach and David arrangements. 

The rhythm section really moves the song along.  The inventive bass part is highly original in its choice of notes, while still retaining a rawness which gives the song its edge.  (S
ee below for the surprising and as yet unconfirmed list of session players)

The weakest thing about this song is Rod Stewart’s vocal, which actually is quite good and he obviously has already found his trademark style.  It’s just that the song, the backing and P. P. Arnold’s performance are all so much better.

It is simply a great performance of an excellent song.  If it had been released in 1967 and properly promoted, it could have been a huge hit and probably still being played on oldies station today.  If history was different, Rod Stewart and P. P. Arnold may have gone on to become one of the great singing duos.
Note: There are three released mixes of this recording;  two have pointless drum overdubs that are not improvements whatsoever.  In fact, the overdubs are quite mediocre.  Both mixes fade out earlier than the original version, which clocks in at about three minutes and features the excellent and unadorned original drum track. 
Come Home Baby

Demo - Recorded 1967

Vocals: Rod Stewart and P. P. Arnold
Guitar:
Keith Richards (unconfirmed)
Bass:
Keith Richards (unconfirmed)
Drums: Micky Waller
Keyboards: Nicky Hopkins, Keith Emerson
Brass: The Georgie Fame Brass Section

Produced by: Mick Jagger
"...The Immediate contract was another two singles a year deal and Rod was able to get out of it because the second single was not released and therefore the option lapsed.  The planned follow up was to be the Jagger produced Lee Dorsey hit “Working In The Coal Mine” on which Rod would share vocals with another Immediate artist, P. P. Arnold.  The session was arranged and the song recorded and then there was an argument in the studio with Jagger who said that Rod could not hit the high notes, and that his voice was not right for the song as he thought it should be done.  Jagger walked out in a temper and took the tapes with him and shortly afterwards had a row with Andrew Oldham and no one knows what happened to the tapes.  One song which did survive from the session was “Come Home Baby” which eventually got released on an obscure American compilation album called “Rod Stewart and The Faces” on the Springboard label...”

Note: Although the booklet identifies "Come Home Baby" as a demo, it sounds like a finished master that is ready for release.
The following was taken from the liner notes to
the CD “Rod Stewart 1964–1969” Pilot 44 (2000):
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Other known versions

1. Come Home Baby / Take A Little Love - Wilson Pickett - Atlantic 2271 -
1964
2. Come Home Baby / Beyond The Hill - Keith Powell - Piccadilly 7N 35249 - 1965
3. Come Home Baby - Manfred Mann - recorded
1966 / released in 1992 on EMI
4. Dirty Lady / Come Home Baby - Terry Knight - Cameo 495 -
1967
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