Babe Ruth – Que Pasa (2007)

FrontCover1Returning after a break of 33 years, you could be forgiven that Babe Ruth would be out of touch with music. You would be wrong. This marks a fantastic return to performing for Babe Ruth, an album that moves through countless genres to create something truly unique. There is still enough to mark this out as a Babe Ruth record, the ease with which they move from genre to genre is astounding. It may have been a long wait, but it was worth it. (Promo text)


“Que Pasa” is the 6th full-length studio album by UK rock/hard rock act Babe Ruth. The album was released through Revolver Records in 2007. That´s 31 years after their last album release “Kid’s Stuff (1976)”. Drummer Ed Spevok is the only remaining member in the lineup from that album, but the four other members in the “Que Pasa” lineup are not strangers to fans of the band. It´s the four original members from the debut album “First Base (1972)” who have reunited. So in addition to Ed Spevok we have Jenny Haan on vocals, Alan Shacklock on guitars, Dave Punshon on keyboards and Dave Hewitt on bass. With a lineup like that I initially had high expectations to the quality of the music…

…the album soon turns into quite the disappointment though. The execution of the music is professional enough but I think the tracks on the album lack power and bite. Jenny Haan doesn´t quite sound like her own rock mama self anymore either and that´s a big minus in my book. To be honest she sounds a bit tired and worn.


While the tracks as such are well composed they lack what made the early albums by the band so enjoyable and that´s attitude. There are 14 tracks on the album which are way too many when the music isn´t that interesting. My mind simply wanders several times during the album´s playing time. To call this a hard rock release is probably a bit misleading too as it leans more towards commercial pop/rock music than sweaty hard rock. There´s even some rather atrocious rap vocals featured on the album.

All in all “Que Pasa” is a big disappointment and a rather weak comeback album by Babe Ruth. As the sound production is of relatively high quality, the songwriting compositionally acceptable (but uninspired) and the musicianship on an acceptable level too I´ll give “Que Pasa” a 2 star (40%) rating, but it´s not an album I´ll put on for my own personal enjoyment. (by Umur)


Janita (Jenny) Haan (vocals)
David Hewitt (bass)
Dave Punshon (piano)
Alan Shacklock (guitar, keyboards, programming)
Ed Spevock (drums, percussion)
DJ Kidsmeal (turntables)
Kim Shacklock (saxophone, vocals)


01. 4 Dear Life 6.46
02. Que Pasa 5.04
03. The Sun, Moon & Stars 5.18
04. Mother Tongue (Pt 1) 2.19
05. Apache 1.48
06. Mother Tongue (Pt 2) 4.35
07. Doncha Wanna Dance 5.28
08. Break For The Border 5.34
09. Killer Smile 5,47
10. 4 Letter Word 5.32
11. The Blues 7.35
12. The Mexican Millennium (Pt 1) 3.04
13. Santa Ana 2.10
14. The Mexican Millennium (Pt 2) 0.36

All songs written by Alan Shacklock
except 05. which was written by Jerry Lordan




Babe Ruth – First Base (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgBabe Ruth are a rock band from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. They were initially active in the 1970s and reformed in 2005.

A predecessor of the group, called Shacklock after guitarist Alan Shacklock, was formed in 1970. Members included Janita Haan and Dave Hewitt, with Dave Punshon and Dick Powell later joining. The first release was their single “Wells Fargo”; their first album, First Base, went gold in Canada. In 1973, Ed Spevock replaced Powell and Chris Holmes replaced Punshon on the second album. In 1975, Steve Gurl, keyboardist from Glenn Cornick’s Wild Turkey replaced Holmes for the third album. The same year, Shacklock left the band to become a record producer and Bernie Marsden (Wild Turkey) joined the team for the fourth album. After this, Haan and Hewitt left.

Though no original member remained, the group incorporated Ellie Hope and Ray Knott for the fifth album in 1976. Shortly before Babe Ruth disbanded, they were joined by the young 17-year-old Birmingham born Simon Lambeth who made a few appearances on their last tour. Marsden moved on to join Whitesnake (after the short lived Paice Ashton Lord broke up) and Lambeth left the band.

Their 1975 single ‘Elusive’ (Capitol CL 15869) became a popular on the Northern Soul scene. In the US, “Elusive” also was a hit in the discos, peaking at #12 on the National Disco Action chart.

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A disco cover of Babe Ruth’s “The Mexican” appeared in the late 1970s, performed by the Bombers. This version inspired an electro/freestyle cover produced by Jellybean Benitez in 1984, for which he managed to recruit Haan on vocals – the cover subsequently becoming noted for its popularity as an underground dance hit.

Between late 2005 and early 2006, Haan (now Janita Haan Morris), Hewitt, Shacklock, and Punshon reunited to record new material together in Nashville,[2] with Spevock recording his drums in London. The album, titled Que Pasa, was completed September 2006, and after being made available in digital form via the band’s official web site, was released on Revolver Records in 2009.

The band embarked on a successful reunion tour of Canada in July 2010, playing three concerts at Ottawa Bluesfest, Metropolis Montreal, and Festival International du Blues de Tremblant.

On 28 June 2014, Babe Ruth played their only show in the world for 2014 at Milwaukee’s Summerfest; over 7000 attended. (by wikipedia)

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First Base is the debut album by the rock music group Babe Ruth. Produced by Alan Shacklock and Nick Mobbs, and engineered by Tony Clark at the EMI’s Abbey Road Studios between June and September 1972, it was released that year.

The album went gold in Canada, sold well in the US, but had disappointing sales by comparison in the UK. The song “The Mexican” has been covered and remixed many times. Among them, it was covered in 1984 by John “Jellybean” Benitez with vocals by Janita Haan. “The Mexican” was also mixed into the third track of The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One by Liam Howlett of The Prodigy in 1999 and covered by GZA in Poster.jpg2015.

The sleeve design, painting and photography were by Roger Dean. (by wikipedia)

First Base was British hard rock group Babe Ruth’s biggest success, both in terms of popular and critical acclaim. This LP defined an interesting junction between hard rock and progressive rock. The two driving forces behind this album were guitarist Alan Shackloc, who wrote most of the material, and vocalist Janita Haan, who came out as the perfect balance between Janis Joplin and Robert Plant. The album contained “The Mexican,” the band’s classic song which also includes a theme by western soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone (“Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu”). Other highlights include the powerful rock number “Wells Fargo,” the sweet-and-sour “Black Dog” (with nice piano work by Dave Punshon), and a surprising rendition of Frank Zappa’s “King Kong.” The strings and oboe arrangements in “The Runaways” don’t work as well, but at least they don’t get pompous. With its long songs (six to eight minutes) and lush arrangements, First Base seduced both the hard rock and the progressive rock crowds. The album cover was painted by Roger Dean, who illustrated many Yes albums. (by François Couture)

And “King Kong” was recorded in one take, no overdubs ! And listen to “Wells Fargo” with a fantastic saxophone solo by Brent Carter !


Rare singles from Spain and France

Janita “Jennie” Haan (vocals)
Dave Hewitt (bass)
Dick Powell (drums, percussion)
Dave Punshon (keyboards)
Alan Shacklock (guitar, organ, percussion, vocals)
Jeff Allen (drums on 02.)
Clive Anstee (cello)
Brent Carter (saxophone)
Manny Fox (cello)
Peter Halling (cello)
Gasper Lawal (percussion)
Harry Mier (oboe)
Boris Rickleman (cello)


01. Wells Fargo (Shacklock) 6.17
02. The Runaways (Shacklock/Whiting) 7.28
03. King Kong (Zappa) 6.44
04. The Mexican (Alan Shacklock) / Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu (For a Few Dollars More,) (Morricone) 5.49
05. Joker (Shacklock) 7.41