"Moby Grape deserves a remastering of this album which is one of the best sets of music to come out of the sixties. This is on a label owned by Matthew Katz, one time Moby Grape manager and owner of much Moby Grape's licensing rights. Katz even owns the name and has locked horns with former members of the use of the name without approval. The retail asking price is outrageous, considering it is a low qaulity CD transfer that sounds like it was transferred from a second or third generation tape. You can get better quality recording of Moby Grape on the internet for free! Katz will continue to exploit Moby Grape name as long as there are people willing to shell out 20 bucks for his garbage.If bands like Ultimate Spinach and Peanut Butter Conspiracy are significant enough to be accorded remastering, then Moby Grape deserves a well done box set of all of their releases. Don't buy this garbage from Katz's San Franscico Sound label which has all but destroyed the integrity of the original vinyl issue. If Katz can't peddle this overpriced trash, maybe he will relinquish the rights to the Moby Grape albums to the surviving members of the band and they can work to release a proper digitally remastered re-issue of their catalogue. I don't care if they individually release their albums or issue a Moby Grape Box. We've all waiting too long for Mr. Katz to put this great band's music into the hands of someone who will do justice to the Moby Grape legacy."
The greatest could-have-beens of all time?
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 02/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Moby Grape is a band about which one seems to be able to speak only in superlatives: Greatest sixties psychedelic band - One of the Greatest Debut Albums Ever - Most Disappointing Subsequent Career Ever - Most Forgotten Band of the Sixties - Most Mismanaged Band Ever. What they were was stunning. A quintet with drums, bass, and three slashing, dancing lead guitars, Moby Grape was an enormously talented band that managed to blend driving pop, hard rock and roll, folk, blues, and country into some wonderful new concoction. Although the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane became better known, neither at their best could come anywhere close to Moby Grape's virtuosity, drive, and passion. And neither group ever produced an album anywhere near as good as this great, great debut album.The album is littered with great songs from beginning to end, and the best ones are incredibly exhilarating with their power, energy, and tight structure. If the Grateful Dead was loose, almost nonchalant with their songs, with long, rambling, unfocused instrumental breaks, Moby Grape worked hard to cut out all nonessentials. My personal favorite Moby Grape song "Fall On You, for instance, clocks in at a manic 2:21. The only question someone can asks after hearing such stellar songs as "Fall On You," "8:05," "Omaha," and "Hey Grandma" is: Why weren't these guys huge? Well, that question and "What happened?"What happened was a series of problems that perhaps no band could have withstood. The band had legal problems, management problems, creative differences, personal problems, and a horrible relationship with their record company. Although they continued to make albums, some of them not at all bad, they never again reached the incredible heights of their debut. Worst of all, in 1968, one of their singer/songwriter/guitarists, Scott Spence, suffered a mental breakdown (not at all unlike Syd Barrett), and would spend the bulk of the rest of his life (he died in 1999) struggling with mental illness. Another member, Bob Mosley, suddenly joined the Marine Corps. In short, almost nothing went right for the band.All the bad things that followed cast a bit of a pale on this awesome album. The knowledge that this was as good as it would ever get for the band generates a great sadness in me. Moby Grape should have been one of the great American bands of all time, and for a brief period of time, they actually were. The proof is contained on this album."
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 03/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The three star rating represents an average: 5 stars for the album itself, and 1 star for this overpriced, underproduced reissue from the San Francisco Sound label.As other reviews testify, Moby Grape's 1967 debut represents both the band's high-point and an artistic peak of the mid-60s San Francisco scene. Contained in this album's scant 32-minutes are many of the brilliant threads that surfaced in then-contemporary bands (e.g., folk and rock sensibilities, country music sounds, group harmonies and songwriting, etc.), but boiled down to their essence by a keen commercial sensibility. The deftness with which Moby Grape packed their wares into 3-minute songs is impressive to this day, and David Rubinson's stereo production, especially the panning of the multipart harmonies, is breathtaking.What's disappointing about this particular reissue is San Francisco Sound's combination of premium-price and budget-quality. Not only does this straight-up reproduction offer none of the extras befitting a landmark album such as this, it does so at an absurd list price. Compared to Columbia's 1993 2-CD "Vintage" set, lovingly produced by Sundazed Records' head-honcho Bob Irwin, this reissue appears anemic.The pedestrian construction of this San Francisco Sound reissue is little surprise: the label is owned by one-time Moby Grape manager, Matthew Katz. The long, strained history between the band and Mr. Katz is well documented (including in the liner notes of "Vintage"), and includes Katz's attempts to keep the band from using the "Moby Grape" name (he apparently owns the copyright), as well as "fake" Moby Grapes that have been sent on tour. Extensive details of Katz's legal wrangling with It's a Beautiful Day, Jefferson Airplane, and others are widely published.While Moby Grape diehards may pick nits with the "Vintage" compilation, it provides a superb overview of the band's career. It includes the entire debut album (augmented with an unreleased instrumental that wasn't finished in time for the original release), and is filled out with in-studio chatter, mono singles, live tracks, demos, selections from Moby Grape's later albums, a sessionography, photos, interviews and extensive liner notes. Used copies of "Vintage" can be found for the price of this single-disc reissue, and new copies appear to be available from amazon.co.uk. It's a mark of just how good this album is that even San Francisco Sound's lackadaisical reissue can't dim its brilliance."
This record probably changed my life.
Jeffrey Parsons | Nashville TN | 11/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a young, inexperienced musician, I was fortunate enough to see a Moby Grape concert shortly after this record was released (at the Psychedelic Supermarket in Boston). I still remember that show as the best concert I've ever seen. Unfortunately, I saw them again a year later and, as many people know, things had taken a bad turn by then. I must confess I paid less and less attention to the band after that, but this first album has remained among my all-time favorites. I've recently changed careers after 30 years as a professional musician, a life I may not have had if this record hadn't ripped the top of my head off as a teenager. It makes me feel so great that general interest in this band is returning, even though one of the reasons for it is the death of Skip Spence. Nowadays I listen to jazz and classical, new rock and old rock, but Moby Grape will always be at the top of my list. Do yourself a favor and check it out."
Worth every penny and then some
Neal Waters | Hallowell, ME | 09/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am constantly purchasing new albums and forgetting about my old ones just as quickly, but this one remains one of my favourites. Every track is amazing, from the beginning of 'Hey Grandma' to the last notes of 'Indifference'. So many guitar parts intertwined mean that I hear every song differently each time I listen. I often pick up on a riff that I never noticed before, a fourth or fifth guitar buried deep beneath the rest. The vocal harmonies are also beautifully done - 2 or 3 voices mixing together like thread in a tapestry. 'Lazy Me' is my favorite track, but I can honestly say that I love each and every cut off the album. Its a pity they didn't make any more like this one."