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Babe Ruth - First Base CD (album) cover

FIRST BASE

Babe Ruth

 

Heavy Prog

3.71 | 138 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
3 stars What might be said to be one of the strengths of Babe Ruth's first couple of albums, is you are not sure what their bag is, therefore this is an album offering a number of different musical styles and arrangements, an album of variation. But both the first two albums and their live performance, (personally caught '72 or '73) revealed power and considerable commitment. Jenny/Janita Haan's powerful inyerface, soul and blues voice, has often been compared with Janice Joplin's - and perhaps one explanation she was subequently signed with Motown, as well as the female voice of the Memorex Tape advert in the late 70's.

The danceable, Tamla with rock of Wells Fargo (with some brilliant Junior Walker style, screaming sax breaks - similar rock with soulful sax was copied later by Foreigner for their hit Urgent, using the genuine article, Mr Walker himself). With this track only there is the risk of Babe Ruth being compared to Rare Earth. Here too, showing the variation mentioned, is their first use of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti-western music as a coda to a Mexican flavoured tune - NOTE: 3 years after RCA Records had been selling truck loads of the Best Of Ennio Morricone albums to the British public. And the King Kong cover, stripped down from the Uncle Meat original and arranged for the band as a straight jazz rock group by the whiz Alan Shadlock - with a great electric piano solo. And then some half decent compositions by the band. A great first album for these 3, and now for me, long-lived tunes. An album worth checking out as one line of evolution heard in early 70's British rock - but not thought as mainstream prog at the time.

The Repertoise CD version has a extra tracks, including the shortened, single's version of Wells Fargo, which always got parties going.

Dick Heath | 3/5 |

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