A trio of great albums from Babe Ruth – plus bonus tracks too! First up is First Base – the debut of a group so great and so groovy, they ended up having a huge influence on the early sound of hip hop – thanks to a wonderfully funky sound at the core of their progressive rock groove! Babe Ruth have this rhythmic impulse that's really amazing – a way of working bass, drums, and percussion together with qualities that go way past just prog rock noodling – and have this focus that really fits the lead vocals and guitar of Alan Shacklock, who also handled all the arrangements for this mighty debut too! Titles include their classic cut "The Mexican" – a famous sample cut from way back, with nice use of acoustic guitar and a Morricone riff too – plus versions of Zappa's "King Kong" and Jesse Winchester's "Black Dog" – and the originals "Wells Fargo
", "The Runaways", and "Joker". Next is Amar Caballero, an album with a horse on the cover, and a sound that's maybe even more soulful than the first mighty outing by Babe Ruth – quite a lot, given the strength of that debut! Female singer Jenny Haan seems to have an even greater presence here – working some nice currents of color through the group's great ability to riff, groove, and sometimes step into more acoustic modes – all while holding onto one of the hippest currents going in the Harvest Records scene – and one of the most unique as well! There's plenty of surprises throughout – and in addition to great cuts like "Broken Cloud", "Gimme Some Leg", "We Are Holding On", "Amar Caballo", and "Doctor Love" – the group also turn in a nicely offbeat remake of "Cool Jerk" too! Last up is the self-titled Babe Ruth, a set that really stands as a testament to their many musical influences! There's few groups who could ever hope to wrap together influences from Stax Records, Ennio Morricone, and Curtis Mayfield – and whole the whole thing could ever turn out well – but the mighty Babe Ruth do exactly that, and still find time for some of their own unique grooves as well! The group are every bit as groovy here as on their previous records – mixing fuzzy guitars, well-crafted rhythms, and a nicely compressed version of prog into an amazingly fresh sound that still delights all these many years later – thanks to well-crafted vocals from Jenny Haan, and sharp arrangements from Alan Shacklock, whose guitars and sense of wit really keeps the whole thing moving nicely. Shacklock penned most of the original tunes here – like "Dancer", "Somebody's Nobody", "Jack O'Lantern", and "The Dutchess Of Orleans" – and the group also turn in nice remakes of "Fistful Of Dollars", "We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue", and "Private Number". 3CD set features bonus tracks – "Wells Fargo
(single)", "Theme From A Few Dollars More", "Ain't That Livin", "If Heaven's On Beauty's Side", and "Private Number (single)" – plus a big booklet of notes.