Monday, February 25, 2013

121 Moby Grape- The Mobiest of all the Grapes

Album: Moby Grape
Artist: Moby Grape
Year: 1967
Genre: Rock


  1. Hey Grandma
  2. Mr. Blues
  3. Fall on You
  4. 8:05
  5. Come in the Morning
  6. Omaha
  7. Naked, If I Want To
  8. Someday
  9. Ain't No Use
  10. Sitting by the Window
  11. Changes
  12. Lazy Me
  13. Indifference

Be honest: have you ever met a Moby Grape fan? Has anyone out there ever encountered someone who responds "The Grape!" when you ask them for their favourite band? Has anyone ever actually met someone who can hum a Moby Grape tune if you put in a request? Can anyone recall a time when they heard a Moby G song on the radio?

No? Thought so.

It's a pity because The Grape are actually pretty darn good if you can handle music that's psychedelic  If you don't mind a bit of trip in your listening they're a hell of a lot of fun. So why aren't they more popular?

Sadly Moby Grape were one of those bands who just couldn't keep things together enough to forge a career with any longevity. They released this album which did well and then began shedding members and breaking up a bit and then not breaking up so much before breaking up a lot and getting together a bit... the sort of thing that lots of bands who just can't get it together enough end up doing.

Also holding them back was the lack of a coherent sound. Their debut album is fun but a bit all over the place thanks mainly to the fact that unlike most bands, the Grape had a bunch of songwriters. All the members contributed tunes which means there are five different credits in the tracklisting and with no clear vocal talent leading the band the album sounds more like a compilation than a group effort. The different song-writing styles combined with the fact that all five members contribute vocals creates an overall effect which lacks the coherency of an album recorded by a band with a song-writing duo and a lead singer.

All the songs on Moby Grape are great. There isn't a weak track in the bunch. But also missing is an obvious barnstorming single or two. There are no songs which are standout tracks that immediately tower over the others. It's incredibly consistent without any moments that make you reach for the remote because a song was so good you just have to hear it again.

Moby Grape is a psychedelic gem that I highly recommend but it sounds more like a Sounds of Psychedelic San Francisco compilation than a coherent band effort.

Influenced by: Drugs and blues
Influenced: Druggy bands who play blues

Highlight: Aint no Use
Lowlight: Naked if I want to

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "I discovered this band (and album) from Rolling Stones' 500 greatest albums list. I can't believe I had never heard of them. The songwriting, harmonizing, and instrumentation are incredible; it's such a shame they went sideways."

-That's very cool. I'm glad the list is helping people out.

So do you drink of the grape or do you prefer to abstain? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. There are lots of trippy psychedelic albums out there and this one stands pretty high above the pack. If you get what I mean.