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Babe Ruth - First Base CD (album) cover


Babe Ruth


Heavy Prog

3.71 | 142 ratings

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3 stars If even remembered outside of progressive rock circles, Babe Ruth is often dismissed as pseudo-prog and though the group does show signs of the hard rock/pop in acts like Heart or Led Zeppelin, the first two albums are a brilliant and tasteful amalgam of symphonics and good old fashioned heavy blues. This debut from '72 is intelligent, clear-headed, direct and incredibly good. Guitarist Alan Shacklock's foundation and Dave Punshon's tailored keys seem made for each other, and pixie firecracker Jennie Haan is mesmerizing as the perfect rock belter, male or female. Bassist Dave Hewitt and drummer Dick Powell's work is also exemplary and keeps the band grounded. Party tune 'Wells Fargo' does its job of getting the blood flowing with some rhythm n' blues and sweet, ragged solos from Shacklock. The flavors of the American Southwest explored on the record begin to show in the quiet and on-the-range 'The Runaways' featuring an oboe and several cellos. The piece swells to three times its size and impresses, even among the already orchestral prog scene at the time. Frank Zappa's 'King Kong' is covered beautifully in one un-dubbed take, gentle 'Black Dog' starts pastoral and builds, classic 'The Mexican' is always a joy to hear, and sauntering FM rocker 'Joker' caps off a great set of straight-forward prog rock, neither simple nor complex, just a pleasure... and recommended.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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