Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Vintage - The Very Best Of Moby Grape
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
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Its nice to have all this Grape in one place!
B B McGuire | Montrose, CA | 04/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The San Francisco group "Moby Grape" consisted of 5 talented singer-songwriting musicians who blended rock, soul, country, blues and folk. Their self-titled debut album was stunning and definitely deserves it's classic status.
Unfortunately a few factors worked against the group: the wide diversity of styles set them apart from their contemporaries but probably alienated some listeners; they were also way over-hyped and they had such an odd blend of personalities (particularly the unstable Skip Spence).
It can't be denied that their musical output after the first album was a very mixed bag, but despite the fact that they never got close to matching the quality of the first record every album contains some excellent music. This is why a retrospective like this is the best way to appreciate their music. It's especially good for those new to the group and fans like me who have a bunch of old LP's and have longed for a compilation of their better material.
Thankfully, most of the "good stuff" is here, including the entire debut album, some rarities and a few curiosities. The individual members are well represented: lead guitarist Jerry Miller shines on songs like "Can't Be So Bad" and "Miller's Blues" and he shares the songwriting credit along with drummer Don Stevenson on some of their best songs like "Hey Grandma", "8:05", "Ain't No Use" and "Murder in My Heart For the Judge". (It's also no surprise that many place Miller in the same guitar league as Hendrix, Santana and Bloomfield). Bass player Bob Mosley's soulful voice is dynomite on "Mr. Blues", "Murder In My Heart.." and "Truckin' Man". Peter Lewis(son of the late movie-TV star Loretta Young) is probably the best singer-songwriter in the group and is great on "Ain't That a Shame", "Sittin' By The Window", "Right Before My Eyes" and uses his unique vocal vibrato to good effect on "What's To Choose". Last but not least, creative and slightly unhinged, Skip Spence rocks on the classic "Omaha", does a nice live version of "Changes" and has 2 different versions of his strange "Seeing".
Individually they were all talented, but when they really gelled as a group it would be hard to find a better rhythm section and 3 guitars that blended so well. You then add vocal harmonies that can positively give you the chills and you've got Moby Grape at it's best.
The one thing this CD can't reproduce is the adrenaline rush of seeing the group live; Mosley with his bass hanging down to his knees, Miller all over his hollow bodied electric guitar, the 4 and 5 part harmonies and, although he was never my favorite on record, in concert the whirling dervish Skip Spence always stole the show.