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Babe Ruth - Babe Ruth CD (album) cover


Babe Ruth


Heavy Prog

2.91 | 42 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars eally!!

After a very average debut and a a slightly better sophomore album, BR suffered their first line-up change in the person of drummer Ed Spevock (ex-Pete Brown & Piblokto) and keyboardist Steve Gurl (from Tull spin-off Wild Turkey) this third album was most likely the third strike for them. Indeed they had had John Peel's backing and appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test, and yet could only garner very modest sales, and to be quite truthful, it is little wonder of why. Not being malignant here, but with the incredible offer of superb and wide spectrum of rock (ranging from prog to blues to jazz rock), you had to have something rather special to make your place in the sun, which BR sort of lacked. Blues-rock and heavily riff-based groups like them, Budgie, XXXX etc; were fifteen a dozen, and obviously they got lost in the shuffle, often overshadowed by more talent-less bands like Status Quo and the like. And the pretentious artwork wasn't fooling many either and even inducing possible fans into error.

After the pedestrian (and way toooo leeeeengthy) Dancer and the averagey-average Somebody's Nobody (engaging song titles, right?), BR returns to their Ennio Morricone themes with the instrumental Fistful Of Dollars. If this reprise provided a bit of breathing space from Haan's gritty vocals, it was not really that good and a bit short. On the A side, only the Curtis Mayfield cover of People Darker Than Blue (progressively adapted and rearranged) rises above the general boredom level, with a special ambiance that makes it unlikely that the track could've been written by a Motown artiste.

But unfortunately it is not the slew of average tracks to come that will better things with Jack O Lantern and Private Number (another cover) follows the unoriginal hard- blues rock vein of their debut and the start of this album. A little more breathing space in the Flamenco-laced Turquoise, where BR pulls a credible Carmen impression, but the Spevock-written Sad But Rich plunges again to their blues rock old tricks. The closer Duchess Of Orleans is the only other track of interest (three of nine is simply too few even if a correct batting average at the plate, it is minor league stuff for our beloved Archives), easily the most pleasing track on the album with its mellotron washes and drama, but it sounds slightly forced too, Haan's vocals not being that suited for prog "epics".

Three strikes and you're out: with Amar Caballero, and some tracks from their debut and this one, the count was 2 strikes and one ball and yet no hit. Shacklock (the main and almost sole writer) would then leave the squad, but let's face it, they were definitely not fighting to remain in the first division anyway.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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