Babe Ruth - "First Base" (Harvest 1972)
Good hard rock from England. As the title indicates, "First Base" was their debut. It's a quite varied album that ranges from aggressive hard-rock, to jazz-influenced material and to melodic symphonic tracks. Their sound is mostly dominated by guitar and some el-piano. Most of the vocals are sung by their female singer Jenny Haan. "Wells Fargo" opens the album in a very aggressive way with a thundering riff and roaring saxophone. This track was also a minor hit for the band when it was released on single in an edited version. Their cover-version of Frank Zappa's "King Kong" shows the more jazz-influenced side of the group. "Black Dog" is a track that can remind of both Affinity and Frumpy and it has got some really intense and emotional guitar-themes at the end. The real highlight for me on the album is the heavenly, symphonic and melodic beauty "The Runaways". This track alone makes the album worth the price. It builds up from a beautiful vocal-part to a really majestic and symphonic instrumental-theme that I wish could go on forever (and it almost does!). "The Mexican" is another good track, and the best known song from this album besides "Wells Fargo". It incorporates an Ennio Morricone theme. Maybe a little bit tasteless, but still cool. And the album ends just as thunderous as it started with "Joker". Really though track! Great stuff for anyone into '70s hard rock.