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Babe Ruth - Stealin' Home CD (album) cover


Babe Ruth


Heavy Prog

2.48 | 28 ratings

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2 stars This would probably have been a more appealing album if I had heard it back when it first released. But that didn’t happen, as this was a band that had limited appeal on the coasts of the U.S., but was pretty much unknown in the Midwest. So my introduction was many years later and by then the band were long gone, as was this type of music.

Like the more elaborated self-titled album, this one features Juanita Haan on vocals, and once again she sounds like a melding of the range of Heart’s Annie Wilson and the spitfire bluesy delivery of Janis Joplin. Musically this is a blues rock album with keyboards, and the keyboards are the only reason I can think of that would get the band slapped with a prog label. I think that’s a mistaken label though; this is a very energetic and well-played blues rock album, but there’s absolutely nothing about it that warrants being considered progressive. If anything it was a bit dated when it released, with this kind of American hard rock having been largely supplanted on the airwaves by more ‘artsy’ rock bands like Styx, Journey, and Boston, as well as by a whole slew of pop poets like Boz Skaggs, Eric Carmen, Billy Joel, and the Boss. The time for this brand of American rock was in serious decline by 1975.

There are a handful of pretty decent tunes here despite the mainstream sound, particularly “Fascination” with Ms. Haan’s girl-done-wrong torrid vocal delivery; the ballad-like “2000 Sunsets”; and the awesome rapid-fire electric guitar riffs on “Tomorrow”.

But these are offset by weaker tracks like “Elusive” with its disco beat and confusing lyrics (Ms. Haan sings “I’m as graceful as a swallow” in a tone that sounds like she’s about to kick your ass); and “Caught at the Plate”, a muddy, poorly-mixed instrumental whose title tries too hard to make an association to the band’s clever name and album title.

Like I said, I might have taken to this album a bit if I’d heard it in 1975. But I didn’t, and it hasn’t aged all that well, so I think that two stars (for collectors and fans only) best describes it.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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