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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild, Wild West...
A fine, criminally overlooked example of 70's rock at it's best. Led by future superstar producer Alan Shaclock's scorching guitar and Jenny Haan's throaty roar, Babe Ruth produced a fine debut.
Shacklock's love of Spanish music underlines much of the album, evident in many of the riffs and licks that adorn the songs. At the end of THE MEXICAN, they roar into a...
Published on 29 April 2003 by Mr. K. A. Bell

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memory lane
Bought this as a trip down memory lane really. Good packaging and the music is okayish. Some things are better left in the past!
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild, Wild West..., 29 April 2003
This review is from: First Base (Digi Pak Edition) (Audio CD)
A fine, criminally overlooked example of 70's rock at it's best. Led by future superstar producer Alan Shaclock's scorching guitar and Jenny Haan's throaty roar, Babe Ruth produced a fine debut.
Shacklock's love of Spanish music underlines much of the album, evident in many of the riffs and licks that adorn the songs. At the end of THE MEXICAN, they roar into a version of the theme from For A Few Dollars More and many of the lyrics conjour a picture of the wild west.
BLACK DOG begins quietly, even spookily but turns rock hard by the end.
They even manage a fair take on the old Zappa favourite, KING KONG.
The highlight however, is the beautiful THE RUNAWAYS, a true tale of angst set against a delicate melody which in turn is followed by a desolate piano motif which builds and builds into a grand rock-meets-orchestra finale.
later cd versions found First Base coupled with it's inferior follow up, Amar Caballero but here it reigns in all it's own glory.
If you enjoy crunching seventies rock with superior vocals and premiership quality guitar, you'll only be cheating yourself if you don't buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great stuff for all rock, Morricone and spaghetti western music fans, 11 Jan 2009
By 
DAVE HORN "Dave Horn" (Ellington Village, Northumberland, GB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: First Base (Digi Pak Edition) (Audio CD)
Seven 5* and one 4* tracks on an album can't be bad, especially when it was a debut (now supplemented with a single mix and non-album B-side).

This is Babe Ruth's absolute classic debut album from 1972 and, unfortunately, they would never match anything on it and it was all down hill from here.

The opener, the superb Alan Shacklock-penned tune "Wells Fargo", is just what its title suggests; a high speed romp through cowboy territory (of the spaghetti nature) like a stage coach, complete with a funky groove and wonderful dirty sax solo.

Ennio Morricone fans will love the western flavour of much of this platter, especially the incorporation of one of his tunes, "The Mexican", which just about defines this album. On this re-issue CD the non-album B-side is another Morricone song, "Theme From "For A Few Dollars More""; class spaghetti-western stuff indeed.

"King Kong" only gets a 4* rating because it's an instrumental and a cover (of a Frank Zappa song), though it's still a great cover version of the tune.

Jesse Winchester's "Black Dog" gets an even better treatment, starting slowly and building up to a crescendo via the keyboards, screaming guitar and Jenny Haan's changing vocals of course.

"Joker" is another classic Shacklock tune in a similar style to his "Wells Fargo" but sufficiently different to avoid repetition and boredom.

There are slow, introspective ballads here too (well all right, there's half a one, "The Runaways", which is a ballad at the start, then it builds slowly whilst maintaining that overall western feel of the album).

I thought that this was this album that went gold in Canada but, surprisingly, I read in the latest booklet notes that it was the vastly inferior and over-rated second, "Amar Caballero". Well, you learn something new every day.

This was an all-time classic album when I bought it on vinyl in the early 70s and it's stood the test of time, remaining a classic and now even better for the inclusion of the single plus it's in a nice digipack case.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic obscure rock, 8 Dec 2014
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M. Jones "sheepman" (north wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First Base (Digi Pak Edition) (Audio CD)
This is an obscure one.. Liam Howlett of the Prodigy introduced me to them via `The Mexican` which is a great spanish-style epic, with a bit of Ennio Morricone thrown in at the end! The songs are all quite long. There are some nice instrumental bits (The Runaways at the end is nice) and a bit of hardish rock. The female singer has some good vocals. Listened to it on youtube and decided to buy it..
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the "Best Of"., 25 Jan 2014
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This review is from: First Base (Digi Pak Edition) (Audio CD)
Two of the best rock tracks of all time are on this album - Black Dog and The Runaways. Shows what can result when a great arranger inspires his Band.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a home run, 26 Mar 2008
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D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First Base (Digi Pak Edition) (Audio CD)
Dating unmistakeably to the early 1970s, Babe Ruth's debut album consists of half a dozen lengthy rock workouts as per the norm for that era. 'Wells Fargo,' the first of three original titles, is hard rock with vitality and a preoccupation with Old West themes. As is the case across the album, the percussion is subtle rather than bludgeoning, giving the feel of the music a lean, distinct flavour. 'The Runaways' is a surprise after this, a gentle piece that builds slowly to a string-backed climax with a memorable, insistent melody. The other original song is the highly-charged 'Joker.'

'King Kong,' a Frank Zappa number, is a more prog-like instrumental that sounds out of place, but the other covers, 'Black Dog' and Morricone's 'The Mexican,' are superb. Though guitar dominates 'Wells Fargo,' keyboards are often more prominent on other tracks. The vocals tend to be a bit thin and at times shouty, but this is an album with a lot of energy and no small amount of craft.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memory lane, 18 Aug 2013
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This review is from: First Base (Digi Pak Edition) (Audio CD)
Bought this as a trip down memory lane really. Good packaging and the music is okayish. Some things are better left in the past!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old grey whistle test, 28 Mar 2013
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This review is from: First Base (Digi Pak Edition) (Audio CD)
Saw and heard this on the OGWT in the 70's,only the Black dog track.....so thought it worth the price as after the BG track it should be interesting.......sadly it was not.
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