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Babe Ruth

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Babe Ruth Kid's Stuff album cover
1.69 | 26 ratings | 5 reviews | 23% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Oh! Dear What A Shame (4:18)
2. Welcome To The Show (5:13)
3. Since You Went Away (3:37)
4. Standing In The Rain (4:41)
5. Sweet, Sweet Surrender (3:58)
6. Oh! Doctor (3:42)
7. Nickelodeon (2:46)
8. Keep Your Distance (4:24)
9. Living A Lie (6:06)

Total time 38:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Ellie Hope / vocals
- Bernie Marsden / guitar, vocals
- Steve Gurl / piano, organ, synth
- Ray Knott / bass
- Ed Spevock / drums

- Don Airey / string arrangements (2), Moog & organ (5,9)
- Neil Murray / bass (3,5,9)
- Tony Carr / percussion (3,6)
- Chrisostomos Karanikis / percussion (2,3,6)
- Frank Riccotti / vibes (3,4)

Releases information

Artwork: Brian Palmer

LP Capitol Records ‎- E-ST 23739 (1976, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BABE RUTH Kid's Stuff ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(8%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (31%)
Poor. Only for completionists (23%)

BABE RUTH Kid's Stuff reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Toss him out of the game!

What happened to this band? What happened to them after their amazing debut? While it's true that the band was able to produce some quality music after their first album I don't think anyone expected something like this to come from the group. But what group are we talking about now? None of the band members who saw the light of First Base are even on the album! Who decided to take the band's name and wipe it's face in the clay dirt of the baseball diamond? Truth be told, this is simply an album that you should avoid - it has nothing to do with the band that was once so great. I don't think that the album was ever even remastered onto CD, it's that avoidable.

This is not simply an attack without warrant however, there are fundamental problems with this album. First off - yes, the band members are all different. Whatever record label decided to let the people use the band's name is beyond me. Secondly - While even going into their 4th album the band was starting to lose their progressive feel, and on this album it's gone completely! This is not a prog album, heck it's barely even a rock album. What we have here is a mix of clicky riffs mixed with disco and R&B to make something really not worth listening to. If you buy this album expecting heavy prog, boy you're far off. Even the new singer, Ellie Hope (and ironic name for the band, actually) while not a bad singer should definitely have stuck to not trying to fill Jenny Haan's shoes. While Jenny was a kind of wild female-Geddy-Lee-Mixed-with-Joplin powerhouse this new singer is more or less your standard blues act. Now that would have been okay if not for the instrumental sections. Where the band used to have wonderful Zep inspired riff-based songs such as the marvelous Wells Fargo this one has riffs that flounder to even be classified as a good riff as evident when the needle hits the grooves on the opening Oh! Dear What A Shame (another ironic title).

There is unfortunately nothing to redeem the album, even the attempt at an emotional thrill ride such as the reflective Welcome To The Show fails to impress. Why oh why? Perhaps the best song on the album is the instrumental Nickelodeon which is more or less an uninspired version of Caught At The Plate from their previous album - at least that's how it comes off.

This one is very easy to give a 1 star to. Nothing to like about this album and one seriously has to question the moral standards of people who can take the name of an excellent band and drag it like they've done here. 1 star, the final end (although they'd reunite sometime later) to a career that started off wonderfully. Go buy First Base and just ignore the fact that this disc even came out.

Review by ClemofNazareth
1 stars Babe Ruth’s debut album featured a hard-rocking blues singer (Juanita Haan) that could have gone toe- to-toe with Janis Joplin, a pianist who played like he’d just downed a half-bottle of white crosses, and multi-instrumentalist Alan Shacklock who gave the band most of the sounds that landed them with the ‘progressive’ label in the early seventies. Each of the three albums that followed was decent, but none of them approached the power and energy of that debut.

With ‘Kid's Stuff’, the fifth and final Babe Ruth album, the band hit rock bottom. And I use the term ‘band’ loosely, since Ms. Haan was gone by the time this released. In fact, none of the original members of the band were still around. Drummer Ed Spevock, who had replaced Dick Powell before the second album was the only member who had even appeared on any of the band’s hit singles, and the none of the rest of the players on this record had even been in the group for more than a year.

It seems Babe Ruth was one of the first progressive bands to fall victim to the disco and punk eras, and they had wasted no time in doing so with the suspiciously disco-sounding and Spevock-penned single “Elusive”, released in early 1976 from their fourth album “Stealin’ Home”. Things would only get worse after that. Ellie Hope and Ray Knott were recruited (possibly with help from Capitol) to fill out the group for a final album, but copies would be fitted with cutout notches before it even hit store shelves. A supporting tour was too little, too late and most of the members left after the tour. Bernie Marsden went on to be part of an early lineup of Whitesnake; keyboardist Steve Gurl backed an early Virginia Astley vehicle known as Victims of Pleasure; and Ed Spevock landed a gig with a briefly reformed Chicken Shack lineup, and later spent time with the long-lasting music turnstile known as Enigma. Ed’s last known gig was with a Steely Dan tribute band known as “Stealing Dan”. And so it goes.

But it gets even worse than that. Hope and Knott carried on for a while even after the label dropped them, and eventually changed the group’s name to Dream Coupe and enlisted a couple members of a regional cover band known as Brewster. Given the times (1977) and the band’s interest in making a little money, they changed their name once again, this time to Liquid Gold, and went over to the dark side for good. Liquid Gold would release a string of disco hits in the late seventies and early eighties, including the mega-hit disco anthem “Dance Yourself Dizzy”. And the prog gods were most distressed.

You’ll notice I haven’t commented on any of the songs on this album, and I’m not too inclined to, but decorum dictates that there at least be some mentions.

None of the songs on the album are progressive in the least, and a few like “Since You Went Away”, “Sweet Sweet Surrender” and “Oh! Doctor” are nothing more than dance tripe in sheep’s clothing. The rest are comprised of fairly tame blues-leaning contemporary rock except for the short instrumental “Nickelodeon” which sounds (interestingly enough) like something Virginia Astley would have been proud to put out. Go figure.

So in the end this is nothing more than a really, really bad album, packaged and pushed out like a lamp- heated fast food meal on a Styrofoam plate. If that sort of thing appeals to you then you might actually find something to like on this record; if that’s the case, I might also suggest you improve both your musical and culinary tastes. This is a one-star album if I’ve ever heard one (and actually I’ve heard several so I can say with confidence this one fits the bill perfectly). Not recommended.


Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars This band has never played in the major league. Even heir debut album was just OK to be honest. Their major asset was the voice of the formidable Janita. She has now gone.

At best, some heavy blues numbers could raise the overall quality of their work; but again it was thanks to Janita fantastic vocal performance. Nothing as such here. Just a mix of dreadful songs which are as close to heavy prog that I live close to the Everest.

Three band members survived to the line-up of the previous recording; but not a single founding one.

Some disco feeling Since You Went Away, a dispensable and syrupy ballad (Standing In The Rain) and a folkish Welcome To The Show are the type of songs you can have the pleasure to discover on this album. Oh yes, I forgot the funky Welcome To The Show and the disco-funk and the excessively weak Sweet, Sweet Surrender.

The band still had a great sense of humour: the opening song is called Oh Dear What A Shame (I didn't choose the title). I can tell you that this is real close to the content of this poor album.

The major problem is to determine which song is worse: is it Oh Doctor? It definitely deserves a spot on th epodim, no doubt about that!

The only moment of relief is a short and keyboards instrumental. Keep Your Distance that keeps us away these awful sounds for a little less than three minutes. Nothing great, but at least a decent track.

The hard-bluesy Keep Your Distance is another good song from this offering. The good work from the new vocalist (Ellie Hope) is not alien to this. Actually, she was not too bad in her role. But to relieve Janita was not an easy task.

The closing blues-rock Living A Lie is by far the best song available. It is on par with the best ones from the band actually: a typical but great bluesy one which figures an excellent guitar solo as well as a great vocal part.

If only the band would have released more songs like the last three ones featured on this album, they would have achieved a much better work.

One star (even if Living A Lie is a good song).

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Kid´s Stuff" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK rock/hard rock act Babe Ruth. The album was released through Capitol Records in the US and through EMI Records in the UK in 1976. A major change to the lineup occured before the recording of the album, as lead vocalist Jenny Haan left the band to be replaced by Ellie Hope. As a consequence of that there is not a single remaining member left on "Kid´s Stuff" from the lineup who recorded the debut album "First Base (1972)".

Regardless of the lineup change on the lead vocalist spot, the music actually still sounds like Babe Ruth even though a few funky elements have found their way into the band´s sound. The compositions are generally not very strong though and I´d only mention the rocking "Oh Dear, What a Shame", the pretty good "Welcome To the Show", the short instrumental synth track "Nickelodeon" which is the only track with ties to progressive rock on the album, the hard rocking "Keep Your Distance" and the power ballad "Living A Lie" as decent tracks on the album. The rest are either pretty bad or not worth mentioning at all. The comparisions to Wishbone Ash and Led Zeppelin still hold true, but think of the weakest material released by those artists and then this is still a bit weaker.

New vocalist Ellie Hope has a raw rock mama voice and does a decent job on the album, but she struggles to reach the heights of the fantastic Jenny Haan. The production is well sounding and suits the music. A warm, organic, and pleasant sounding seventies production. "Kid´s Stuff" isn´t a catastrophy to my ears but it´s not really a good album either. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted. Do yourself a favour and check out any of the band´s previous four albums before listening to this one. It would be wrong to form an opinion about Babe Ruth on the grounds of the material on this album.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Well, I finally found a copy of this album after waiting for years to give it a chance. A friend got a remastereed CD version and I must say that Kid´s Stuff was not nearly as bad as I initially thought it would be based on the ratings this record got here at PA. By this time the band had lost the two last original members, singer Janita Haan and bassist Dave Hewitt. With Bernie Mardsen as their leader now they moved on recruiting Ellie Hope and Ray Knot their replacements. The results? Well, not really their best LP ever. But not really bad either. There are some good stuff, but generally the feelingof losing Haan was too much.

Hope has a good blues voice, but replacing an iconic and powerhouse singer like Haan was really beyond most mortal beings. Besides, the band seemed unsure on which way to go musically too (a problem that plagued Babe Ruth for far too long, and together with the constat line up changes, pratically destroyed their chances to made it big after their stunning debut a few years before). So while most of the tracks are good hard rockers, there is some funky and soul stuff creeping in too but NOT disco as some reviewer here claimed. You know, there is a difference between funky and soul to disco, specially the bass and drums patterns and definitly, Babe Ruth did nothing disco in their career. But the black danceable rhythms were indeed featured both on Kid´s Stuff and, to a lesser extent, to their previous one. Songs like Sweet Sweet Surrender, Oh Doctor and Since You Went Away are very much influenced by those musical forms. If you´re open minded person and/or like funky stuff, you´ll see they are quite good. However, overall I feel Kid´s Stuff lacking a strong musical direction. Their previous album, Stealin´Home, was varied, but was much more focused and the repertoire was way stronger (not ot mention Haan´s presence!).

Still there is at least one great number here, the closing Living A Lie, not only an excelent blues rock sample but surely one of their best songs ever (and oddly enough, sung by Marsden, who takes over lead vocal duties on several tunes). The only prog connection here might be the instrumental Nickelodeon, a short, nice, keyboard only track. While the tracklist overall isn´t great, there is not hacks either (as long as you like the funk and soul stuff, which I do). Marsden would eventually join David Coverdale´s Whitesnake, where this mix of styles would be far more succesful).

Conclusion: nice blues/rock/funk record, but nothing more. Not on par with Babe Ruth´s debut (whcih, by the way, none from their discography is) and sorely missing Janita Haan´s distinctive voice. Not much prog here either. Final rating: something between 2 and 2.5 stars.

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