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BABE RUTH - Grand Slam: The Best Of Babe Ruth (1994)
Grand Slam is a worthwhile compilation made up of tracks from Babe Ruth's first three albums, which represent the band's best material. All the tunes on this hits package showcase Babe Ruth's energetic, hard-rockin' progressive style, with a dynamic tinge of free-flowing jazz fusion that evolves from Steve Gregory's tenor sax and flute playing. The set takes seven tracks from 1974's Amar Caballero album, five from their debut, and four from 1975's self-titled album, spotlighting Janita Hahn's burly but emphatic vocals. Even though Alan Shacklock's Mellotron and Hammond organ give the music a certain progressive flair, it's actually the commingling of the guitars and percussion work that gives the bulk of the songs their edginess and rock depth. Cuts such as "The Mexican," "Doctor Love," and "Broken Cloud" are some of the band's sharpest, while the flitting and wavering of the trumpet, flügelhorn, and even the violin add some appreciated brilliance to some of the heavier pieces. The tracks from the Babe Ruth album, especially "Jack O'Lantern" and "Fistful of Dollars," show a casual drift toward a rockier future, which was confirmed on later (and weaker) releases like Stealin' Home and Kids Stuff from the mid-'70s. Although First Base makes for a solid listen, Grand Slam is the most opportune route to experience the best part of Babe Ruth's jazz-infused rock at one sitting. - allmusic.com
TRACKS: 01. Wells Fargo 02. Mexican 03. For A Few Dollars More 04. Joker 05. Dancer 06. Duchess Of Orleans 07. If Heaven's On Beauty's Side 08. Lady 09. Doctor Love 10. Gimme Some Leg 11. Jack O'Lantern 12. Amar Caballero (Sin Ton Nit Son): El Caballero De La Reina Isabella/Hom 13. Broken Cloud 14. Fistful Of Dollars 15. Black Dog 16. We Are Holding On
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