Moby Grape (album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||June 6, 1967|
|Recorded||March 11 - April 25, 1967|
|Studio||CBS Studios, Hollywood, CA|
|Moby Grape chronology|
|Singles from Moby Grape|
Moby Grape is the 1967 debut album by rock band Moby Grape. 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.
Production began on Moby Grape in Los Angeles in March 1967. Produced by David Rubinson, it took just six weeks, and $11,000, from March 11 to April 25, to record all thirteen tracks. Another song "Rounder" was also recorded, but no lyrics or vocals were completed for it at the time.
The cover photograph is by noted rock photographer Jim Marshall. On the original release, Don Stevenson is shown "flipping the bird" (making an obscene gesture) on the washboard. It was airbrushed out on subsequent pressings, but the UK reissue on Edsel/Demon restored it.
The flag behind Skip Spence is actually a United States flag that Columbia Records decided to obscure through airbrushing, presumably due to the political climate of the times. On the original release, the flag is colored red. When the cover was revised to remove the offending finger mentioned above, the flag was changed from red to black, again presumably due to possible political interpretations (the association of the color red with communism). The Edsel vinyl (1984) and CD (1989) re-issues restored the photo to its original state, with Don Stevenson's displayed finger and an un-airbrushed United States flag. Other CD re-issues use the cover from the first pressing, with the finger intact and the flag tinted red.
|The Village Voice||A–|
Released on June 6, 1967, Columbia chose also to place ten of the thirteen songs on five singles released on the same day: "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". Of these five, only "Omaha" and "Hey Grandma" charted. All five records were issued with picture sleeves showing the same album cover photo.
Nevertheless, as Gene Sculatti and Davin Seay write in their book San Francisco Nights, 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 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.
The album was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981). 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."
In 2008, Skip Spence's song "Omaha" was listed as number 95 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". The song was described there 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."
2007 Sundazed Reissue
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
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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.
British band Diesel Park West have covered many Moby Grape songs both on record and live. From this album, they covered "Lazy Me" on their outtakes album Flipped from 1990. They have covered "Fall On You" live and based the opening track, "Charlotte, It’s All Over" from their latest album Do Come In, Excuse The Mess around the guitar riff.
In 2015, band member Peter Lewis's daughter Arwen recorded a track-by-track cover of the album. It is slated for release in Fall 2015.
|1.||"Hey Grandma"||Jerry Miller, Don Stevenson||2:43|
|2.||"Mr. Blues"||Bob Mosley||1:58|
|3.||"Fall on You"||Peter Lewis||1:53|
|5.||"Come in the Morning"||Mosley||2:20|
|7.||"Naked, If I Want To"||Miller||0:55|
|1.||"Someday"||Miller, Stevenson, Spence||2:41|
|2.||"Ain't No Use"||Miller, Stevenson||1:37|
|3.||"Sitting by the Window"||Lewis||2:44|
|Bonus Tracks, 2007 Sundazed CD edition|
|15.||"Looper" (Audition recording)||Lewis||2:36|
|16.||"Indifference" (Audition recording)||Spence||2:51|
|17.||"Bitter Wind" (Previously unreleased)||Mosley||2:38|
|18.||"Sweet Ride (Never Again)" (Long version previously unreleased; from the motion picture The Sweet Ride, 1968)||Spence, Miller, Mosley, Stevenson, Lewis||5:56|
- Moby Grape
- Peter Lewis – rhythm guitar, vocals
- Jerry Miller – lead guitar, vocals
- Bob Mosley – bass, vocals
- Skip Spence – rhythm guitar, vocals
- Don Stevenson – drums, vocals
Album - Billboard
Singles - Billboard
|1967||"Hey Grandma"||Pop Singles||127|
- "Statement of Decision 07-20-2005" (PDF). Retrieved 28 March 2012.
- Moby Grape. Moby Grape (Sundazed Records, 2007).
- Sculatti, Gene and Davin Seay (1985). San Francisco Nights. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 161. ISBN 0-312-69903-4.
- 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.
- Some sources, notable the 2007 Sundazed release, state May 1967 or May 25, 1967.
- "Billboard". June 17, 1967: 5.
- Sculatti, Gene and Davin Seay (1985). San Francisco Nights. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 187. ISBN 0-312-69903-4.
- Justin Farrar,Moby Grape Archived 2008-08-30 at the Wayback Machine, at www.rhapsody.com.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Retrieved March 16, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- 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". Archived 2013-11-11 at the Wayback Machine News Release, Rhino Records, September 20, 2006.