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Grand Slam: The Best of Babe Ruth – Babe Ruth

Grand Slam: The Best of Babe Ruth - Babe Ruth Artist: Babe Ruth
Album: Grand Slam: The Best of Babe Ruth
Release Date: 1995
Duration: 01:17:03
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Prog-Rock, Album Rock
Recording Date: June, 1972 – 1975

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.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Wells Fargo / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 6:15
The Mexican / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 3:25
For a Few Dollars More / Ennio Morricone Babe Ruth 2:19
Joker / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 7:34
Dancer / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 6:04
The Duchess of Orleans / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 5:04
If Heaven’s on Beauty’s Side / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 3:46
Lady / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 3:35
Doctor Love / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 3:01
Gimme Some Leg / Janita Haan / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 6:00
Jack O’Lantern / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 3:21
Amar Caballero (Sin Ton Nit Son): El Caballero de la Reina Isabella / Janita Haan / Alan Shacklock / Traditional Babe Ruth 8:42
Broken Cloud / Janita Haan / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 3:55
Fistful of Dollars / Ennio Morricone Babe Ruth 2:38
Black Dog / Jesse Winchester Babe Ruth 7:59
We Are Holding On / Alan Shacklock Babe Ruth 3:25
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