George Starostin's Reviews

MOBY GRAPE

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Introduction

Jeff (29.03.2006)

I disagree with the premise that Moby Grape guitars are essentially ď50ís guitar riffs played a lot higherĒ. Listen carefully to other Bay Area bands from that era, e.g., QMS, Big Brother, etc., and I think one will agree that few guitarists could match the tone and intensity of Jerry Millerís outstanding style. He had the perfect mix of flash and taste. The other MG players, while perhaps not as gifted as Miller, knew how to blend Ė and thatís what makes a great band. Although their vocal harmonies werenít quite as impressive at the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, they were pretty damn good.


ALBUMS
MOBY GRAPE

Peter /Asami Vandenberg <peterv@harbornet.com> (13.01.2004)

Here are some comments about your Moby Grape '67 review: I think in general it is difficult to be objecive about a rock'n roll album. We all have our favorites, and most likely would disagree about which are the best songs, and what are the relative strong and weak points about a particular album. Moby Grape was an album written by a band that was definitely a part of the psychedelic San Francisco movement of the mid-'60's. The album does have its psychedelic moments: the backwards guitar intro to Skip Spence's Omaha are pure 60's psychedelia. A song doesn't have to be a ten minute sitar, wah-wah drone to be psychedelic. While Moby Grape '67 is not overtly psychedelic, its sound has an indellible psychedelic imprint on it, even on the "ballad" songs. Saying that "nothing on this album is psychedelic" is a bit like a person saying that they're not stoned even though they've been sitting in a non-ventilated room with a bunch of stoners taking massive bong tokes all night. You couldn't come from San Francisco in 1967 and not be atleast a little psychedelic. "the harmonies save (Omaha) from being a disgrace" What a thing to say about the best overall song on a record full of great songs! It is amazing that Skip Spence had another song of equal caliber, the so-called 'Byrdsian' "Rounder" that was left off the album. Another Spence song, the long "Dark Magic" show that atleast the Grape were a psychedelic band at the Avalon Ballroom. Songs like "Dark Magic" were left off in favor of catchier, hit-potential songs. The fact that a bunch of other songs, notably Moseley's "Bitter Wind" and Miller-Stevenson's "Murder in My Heart For the Judge" were already in existence at the time of the first album suggest that what an amazing group Moby Grape was. I dare say Moby Grape's 1967 output is of much more quality than the Beatles' way overhyped, ultra-pretentious Seargent Pepper. Atleast Moby Grape was a real group in 1967 and not a bullshit studio concoction like the Beatles. Lastly, here are the best moments of the album: 'Omaha', '8:05', 'Fall On You', 'Mr. Blues', 'Naked If I want To'. Best album of 1967!

Michael H. <ratboymike@hotmail.com> (18.03.2004)

This album was released with the flipping off the camera on the washboard album cover. It had to be censored and re-issued with the offending digit airbrushed out. Looks like you have the UNCENSORED cover. Also Skip Spence is DEAD!

YOU HAVE THE ORIGINAL UNCENSORED ALBUM COVER it looks like


WOW/GRAPE JAM

STAN KATZ <stan_katz@prodigy.net> (20.06.2003)

Grape Jam was a full LP, not an EP as you suggest. I don't know what version you have seen to imply that Grape Jam is too short to be a full LP, but the first side (3 jams) runs 21 minutes, and the second side (two jams, one over 14 minutes long) a little over 19 minutes. Listening to it today, it sounds more like a coffeehouse jazz quartet playing some pleasant blues. Not bad, but nothing memorable.


OAR

Mark Corbett <mark.corbett@ctsu.ox.ac.uk> (23.01.2003)

I listened to this album a lot a couple of years ago. Overall I found it to be a little disappointing, bearing in mind its impressive reputation. However, when I first heard 'War in Peace' my ears pricked up like a dog hearing the rustle of biscuit wrappers! This song is what I call true psychedelic music. Most other psychedelic songs are only psychedelic lyrically, the actual music being fairly prosaic. 'War in Peace' is a rare exception, and it's truly intoxicating. I certainly won't be forgetting it in a long, long time.

James Hunter <jhmusicman12@hotmail.com> (30.01.2006)

I disagree. The greatest album made by an American lunatic is Pet Sounds. Or the rejuvenated SMiLE


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