Moby Grape (album)
|Studio album by Moby Grape|
|Released||June 6, 1967|
|Recorded||CBS, Hollywood, CA; March 11 – April 25, 1967|
|Moby Grape chronology|
Moby Grape is the rock band Moby Grape's eponymous 1967 debut album. Coming from the San Francisco scene, their reputation quickly grew to immense proportions, leading to a bidding war and a contract with Columbia Records. The album peaked at #24 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in September 1967.
|The Village Voice||A–|
Columbia chose to release ten of the thirteen songs on five singles: "Fall on You"/"Changes", "Sitting By the Window"/"Indifference" (2:46 edit), "8:05"/"Mister Blues", "Omaha"/"Someday" and "Hey Grandma"/Come in the Morning". The only single to chart was "Omaha".
Nevertheless, as Gene Sculatti and Davin Seay write in their book San Francisco Nights (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985; out of print), Moby Grape "remains one of the very few psychedelic masterpieces ever recorded." Justin Farrar considered that "(i)t's no understatement to hail the group's 1967 debut as the ancestral link between [sic] psychedelia, country rock, glam, power pop and punk." In addition, the 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide said their "debut LP is as fresh and exhilarating today as it was when it exploded out of San Francisco during 1967's summer of love." In 2003, the album was ranked number 121 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Noted rock critic Robert Christgau listed it as one of The 40 Essential Albums of 1967. As reviewed by Mark Deming, "Moby Grape is as refreshing today as it was upon first release, and if fate prevented the group from making a follow-up that was as consistently strong, for one brief shining moment Moby Grape proved to the world they were one of America's great bands. While history remembers the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane as being more important, the truth is neither group ever made an album quite this good."
Skip Spence, although a guitarist, Marty Balin asked him to be the drummer for Jefferson Airplane, he worked on Jefferson Airplane first album, including playing guitar on that album before he was replaced with drummer Spencer Dryden. Spence kept to guitar thereafter. In 2008, Spence's song "Omaha" was listed as number 95 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". The song was described as follows: "On their best single, Jerry Miller, Peter Lewis and Skip Spence compete in a three-way guitar battle for two and a quarter red-hot minutes, each of them charging at Spence's song from different angles, no one yielding to anyone else." Writing in 1967, shortly after the album's release, Crawdaddy! creator Paul Williams described "Omaha" as "the toughest cut on the album (and) one of the finest recorded examples of the wall-of-sound approach in rock. It surges and roars like a tidal wave restrained by a seawall."
On the front cover of the original release, Don Stevenson is "flipping the bird" (making an obscene gesture) on the washboard. It was airbrushed out on subsequent pressings, but the UK re-issue on Edsel/Demon restored the photo to its original state.
On October 9, 2007, Sundazed Records released a remastered CD version of the album's stereo mix containing bonus tracks, some of which were previously unreleased. In addition, Sundazed also released the album's mono mix on LP, but with no bonus tracks. Both the CD and LP versions were taken out of print, along with Wow and Grape Jam, on November 3, 2007, for reasons not officially stated. It has been widely circulated among the Moby Grape mailing list that former manager Matthew Katz, with whom the band has been in legal battles since the late 1960s, threatened to file a lawsuit against Sundazed claiming ownership of the album artwork.
Notable covers and soundtrack inclusions
Robert Plant covered "8:05" and "Naked If I Want To" as B-sides to 1993 singles; "8:05" is also included on the expanded reissue of his Fate of Nations album on Rhino Records. Robert Plant also performed "Hey Grandma" live when with his pre-Led Zeppelin Band of Joy, during the 1967-1968 period. The Move covered "Hey Grandma" on their eponymous first album, released in 1968. More recently, "Hey Grandma" was included in the soundtrack to the 2005 Sean Penn-Nicole Kidman film, The Interpreter, as well as being covered in 2009 by the Black Crowes, on Warpaint Live.
"Omaha" has been covered by The Golden Palominos in 1985 on their Visions of Excess album, with Michael Stipe on lead vocal. The song has also occasionally been performed live in concert by Bruce Springsteen.
Ain't No Use has been covered by bluegrass band Long Road Home.
8:05 appears on the 2013 album "Have Harmony, Will Travel" as a duet by Peter Case & Carla Olson.
- "Hey Grandma" (Jerry Miller, Don Stevenson) – 2:25
- "Mr. Blues" (Bob Mosley) – 1:55
- "Fall on You" (Peter Lewis) – 1:50
- "8:05" (Miller, Stevenson) – 2:17
- "Come in the Morning" (Mosley) – 2:04
- "Omaha" (Skip Spence) – 2:19
- "Naked, If I Want To" (Miller) – 0:51
- "Someday" (Miller, Stevenson, Spence) – 2:30
- "Ain't No Use" (Miller, Stevenson) – 1:33
- "Sitting by the Window" (Lewis) – 2:38
- "Changes" (Miller, Stevenson) – 3:13
- "Lazy Me" (Mosley) – 1:39
- "Indifference" (Spence) – 4:09
Bonus tracks on 2007 CD edition
- "Rounder" (instrumental)
- "Looper" (audition recording)
- "Indifference" (audition recording)(previously unissued)
- "Bitter Wind" (previously unissued)
- "Sweet Ride (Never Again)" (long version, previously unissued)
- Peter Lewis – rhythm guitar, vocals
- Bob Mosley – bass, vocals
- Jerry Miller – lead guitar, vocals
- Skip Spence – rhythm guitar, vocals
- Don Stevenson – drums, vocals
Album - Billboard
Singles - Billboard
|1967||"Hey Grandma"||Pop Singles||127|
- Allmusic review
- Christgau, Robert (October 18, 2007). "Mixed Grapes: Moby Grape". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Christgau, Robert (December 20, 1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide to 1967". The Village Voice (New York). p. 69. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
- Justin Farrar,Moby Grape, at www.rhapsody.com.
- Robert Christgau, The 40 Essential Albums of 1967
- Mark Deming, Review of Moby Grape www.allmusic.com.
- Rolling Stone, The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time
- At the age of 19; see Paul Williams.
- Paul Williams, "The Golden Road: A Report on San Francisco". Originally published in Crawdaddy! Magazine, August, 1967; republished February 27, 2008 in Crawdaddy! Webzine; www.crawdaddy.com.
- See Rare and Unrecorded Songs by Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin. See also "Robert Plant albums reborn with nine lives". News Release, Rhino Records, September 20, 2006.