Twice as “Desperate”: A tale of one ballad, two bands

A song that displays the songwriting prowess of Jack Ponti

To know the ballad DESPERATE song is to know Jack Ponti, musician, songwriter, record producer, manager, label executive, and consultant who started his career in the music business playing guitar in the rock band The Rest in his native New Jersey in the late 70s. The Rest featured a young Jon Bon Jovi as vocalist, but despite promotion by other successful New Jersey musicians and a demo produced by Billy Squier, did not obtain a recording contract and split up. Jon Bon Jovi went to form his own band and Ponti found a job as songwriter and producer for other rock bands.

In the late 80s and early 90s, Ponti co-wrote songs for Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Keel, Trixter, Nelson, Kane Roberts, Joe Lynn Turner, Bonfire and other artists. He also produced and wrote albums for hard rock and glam metal bands Babylon A.D. and Baton Rouge (he has co-writing credits on all 12 songs on their 1991 album Lights Out on the Playground). He’s also credited on a myriad of albums.

Here’s a list of some of the singles he’s co-written:

But to me, the ballad DESPERATE is Jack Ponti.

Babylon A.D.’s self-titled debut album was released in 1989 and featured the song Desperate, written by Ponti. Two years later, Baton Rouge’s sophomore effort Lights Out on the Playground also featured the song. Ponti also wrote other songs with both bands. According to an interview, Ponti also states that Desperate has been made into an Urban/R&B song however I haven’t been able to identify who recorded it.

The song’s first release by Babylon A.D.
Baton Rouge’s version – my personal fave of the two.

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