At the urging of friends, Jones sent out Baby Bird tapes to record companies, but his music was roundly rejected; however, Chrysalis Music did offer a publishing deal which Jones accepted, applying his earnings toward financing a series of independently released, limited-edition collections. The first disc of material culled from the vast Baby Bird archives, I Was Born a Man, appeared in 1995; within the course of a year, three other acclaimed albums -- Bad Shave, Fatherhood, and The Happiest Man Alive -- followed, and won Jones a contract with Echo Records.
Upon making the leap to a major label, Baby Bird mutated from a one-man project into a full band, as Jones assembled a backing group comprised of guitarist Luke Scott, bassist John Pedder, keyboardist Hugh Chadbourne, and drummer Rob Gregory. In its new incarnation, Baby Bird debuted in late 1996 with Ugly Beautiful, a lush, sparkling collection of re-recordings of favorite songs from Jones' back catalog, all selected by fans by means of postcard ballots included in the first four albums.
In 1997, Dying Happy was assembled; issued in a limited pressing of 1,000 copies, the disc compiled a number of previously unreleased songs that Jones had kicking around. There's Something Going On followed in 1998, and two years passed until the release of Bugged, Baby Bird's ninth full-length. ~ Jason Ankeny