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Babe Ruth - First Base CD (album) cover

FIRST BASE

Babe Ruth

 

Heavy Prog

3.71 | 139 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars One fo the classic rock albums of the 70īs. Oh, sure, this is hardly what you call a typical progressive album, but it is progressive in the broader sense of the the term. The base for this album is hard rock music, but it also wrong to call First Base a typical product of the genre. There are elements fo boogie, jazz, classical, latin music and even italian film soundtracks. All played by skilled musicians and sung by a very unique and powerful singer.

The original LP had this strinking cover designed by Roger Dean, of Yes fame. Inside you had the genius of guitarrist, arranger and mastermind Alan Shacklock leading the band through a serie of classics. Of course the main attraction is vocalist Janita Haan, one of the finest female singers of that era. She could handle every kind of music, being it a very vocal demanding hard rock (Wells Fargo) or a delicate symphonic ballad (The Runaways). On the remake of Zappaīs King Kong the group proved they could play as good as anyone. And, of course, no one can forget The Mexican: a great mix of heavy guitar riffs, spanich guitar introduction, historical lyrics and great percussion in the background. By the end of the song electric piano and guitar jumps with Ennio Morriconeīs For A Few Dollars More theme, which sends shivers down my spine everytime I hear it.

First Base is Babe Ruthīs best album, born a classic and although production and mixing could be better, it has an incredible tracklist. The Mexican may be their best (and most original) tune but the rest of the songs are not far behind that, offering an amazing display of styles and outstading perfomances. Unfortunatly constant line up changes, musical and personal clashes and general bad luck prevented the band to explore their enormous potential in full, both in artistic and commercial terms. but what a debut it was!

First Base is one of my favorite 70īs album. A CD that stood well the test of time and sounds fresh and exciting more than 30 years after its release. It also proved you donīt have to sound like Yes or Genesis to be progressive. As long as you have talented people and the will to expand bounderies, prog music could be found in many styles, even quite unlike ones like hard rock. And Babe Ruth did it brilliantly.

No, it is symphonic prog. But prog in the very orignal sense of the word. A masterpiece. 5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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