Blake Babies formed in 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts. The three primary members were John Strohm, Freda Love Smith and Juliana Hatfield. The name "Blake Babies" was provided by the poet Allen Ginsberg; following a reading at Harvard University, the group (which had just begun to play together) raised their hands and asked him to name their band. Ginsberg's suggestion was likely inspired by the first half of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience.
The band toured the US and Europe, eventually achieving a moderate amount of notice, particularly among listeners of college age who were appreciative of the group's "intelligent" brand of rock music. The band's music (released on the independent North Carolina-based record label Mammoth Records) received little airplay on commercial radio, instead being played primarily on college radio stations.
The group formally disbanded in 1991 but reunited briefly in late 1999, performing a few shows in 1999 and 2000 and embarking on one last U.S. tour in 2001.
Following the band's breakup, Hatfield went on to fame as a solo artist, and Strohm and Love continued to perform together in the Indiana-based group Antenna. Hatfield and Love have since worked together in the band Some Girls along with fellow musician Heidi Gluck.