Sunday, November 15, 2009

Way Trippier than Melville

You're looking at the self-titled debut album of Moby Grape, the 1967 San Francisco critical darlings that time seems to have forgot. As one commenter put it, "The Grape's saga is one of squandered potential, absurdly misguided decisions, bad-luck, blunders and excruciating heartbreak, all set to the tune of some of the greatest rock and roll ever to emerge from San Francisco. Moby Grape could have had it all, but they ended up with nothing, and less."

This album is equal parts CSNY, late-1990's Beck and 60's Motown. I realize how ridiculous that sounds but it just flat out has to be heard. The only "hit" on here is a song called Omaha which the Boss has been known to cover occasionally and which charted all the way up to #88. Other standouts include "Come in the Morning," "Hey Grandma," and the beautifully short ballad "Naked, If I Want To" (only 58 seconds).

Accolade-wise, the rock press has always been and continues to be very kind to both the band and in particular this album, which ranked #121 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The band's become more well known of late for in-fighting and litigation, but it's worth noting that they did in fact perform at the infamous 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, during which The Who smashed their instruments and Hendrix notoriously lit his guitar on fire during an odd sacrificial ritual.


Sanju Sebastian said...

where's the link?

EricMLeventhal said...

It's linked twice: in the title of the post and the #121.