Progressive rock unit Babe Ruth was formed in Hertfordshire, England in 1971 by singer Janita "Jenny" Haan, guitarist Alan Shacklock (whose surname lent the group their original moniker), and bassist Dave Hewitt. Pianist Dave Punshon and drummer Dick Powell joined the lineup prior to the 1971 release of Babe Ruth's debut single, "Elusive"; the 1972 LP, First Base -- which credited the explosive Haan with "vocal power" -- generated the group's best-known song, the Shacklock-penned "Wells Fargo," and despite limited interest at home, the album earned a following on North American shores, going gold in Canada.
Drummer Ed Spevock replaced Powell for the follow-up, 1973's Amar Caballero, while ex-Wild Turkey keyboardist Steve Gurl assumed Punshon's duties for Babe Ruth's self-titled third effort; the most pivotal blow, however, was the subsequent exit of Shacklock, with another Wild Turkey alum, guitarist Bernie Marsden, signing on for 1975's Stealin' Home. Though the album seemed poised to finally push the group into the British mainstream, Haan and Hewitt both resigned; singer Ellie Hope and bassist Ray Knott were tapped for 1976's Kid's Stuff, but without a single founding member remaining in the lineup, Babe Ruth disbanded months later.
Their self-titled release came out on 1975 and shows them branching out of the progressive rock style of earlier discs and adding touches of soul, folk, and movie theme music to their muses. With covers from Curtis Mayfield's "We People Darker Than Blue" and Morricone's "A Fistful of Dollars," Babe Ruth show their willingness to diversify from earlier days.
by Jason Ankeny and James Chrispell
1. Dancer (Alan Shacklock) - 6:33
2. Somebody's Nobody (Alan Shacklock) - 3:22
3. A Fistful of Dollars (Ennio Morricone) - 2:52
4. We People Darker Than Blue (Curtis Mayfield) - 5:09
5. Jack-O-Lantern (Alan Shacklock) - 3:36
6. Private Number (William Bell, Booker T. Jones) - 3:58
7. Turquoise (Erroll Garner, David Hewitt) - 3:24
8. Sad But Rich (Ed Spevock) - 4:07
9. The Duchess of Orleans (Alan Shacklock) - 5:22
*Janita "Jenny" Haan - Vocals, Bells
*Alan Shacklock - Guitars, Vocals, Mellotron, Moogs, Percussion, Vibes
*Ed Spevock - Drums, Percussion
*Dave Hewitt - Bass, Fuzz Bass
*Steve Gurl - Grand Piano, Keyboards, Moogs
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