Even though the debut LP from the English band Babe Ruth was called “First Base” it was more like a three-run homer.
But just like a pheenom baseball player, the band could never match it. OK, enough with the baseball analogies.
The songs were more about themes of the American West including the most popular track “Wells Fargo” with it’s great guitar riff. But that wasn’t the only treat.
They do a couple of neat covers including “Black Dog” (not the Zeppelin song), this was written by Canadian singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester.
And an incredible version of Frank Zappa’s instrumental “King Kong” reportedly done in one take with no overdubs.
'The Joker' and 'The Mexican' also work as the band moves from hard rock to prog rock to stylings from a Clint Eastwood movie soundtrack.
The Band was led by guitarist Alan Shacklock who wrote a number of the tracks including Wells Fargo, and vocalist Janita Hahn. I read somewhere that “she’s a combination of Janis Joplin and Robert Plant” and while that may be an overheated description, she can deliver a powerhouse vocal.
They are supported by bassist Dave Hewitt, drummer Dick Powell and keyboardist Dave Punston (who does some nice work) on “The Joker”.
That they could never really replicate this on their later releases shouldn’t discount the fact that this is a noble entry in the early 70’s rock catalog
The original article may be found here:
Debut Is A Home Run
Posted on September 22, 2022 by Tom King