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Moby Grape

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Moby Grape


There are those who believe Moby Grape were the greatest of all the San Francisco acid-rock bands. Forming just after drummer Alexander "Skip" Spence left Jefferson Airplane in late '66, the Grape boasted three singer-songwriters: Jerry Miller, Bob Mosley and Spence (who ditched the skins for guitar). The band also possessed five-part harmonies and a triple-axe attack -- yeow. Unlike the Grateful Dead and their spacey improvisation, Moby Grape played tight, intricately crafted rock with manic energy. It's no understatement to hail the group's 1967 debut as the ancestral link between psychedelia, country rock, glam, power pop and punk. Unfortunately, those open-minded hippies weren't open enough to embrace such an innovative band, and the record flopped after a huge (some say misguided) promotional push from Columbia Records. Spence, a child of the times whose behavior grew increasingly erratic, surrendered full-time membership halfway through the making of the band's next record, a wildly bizarre opus titled Wow! Although fame never came, Moby Grape released a few more quality LPs, including the excellent Truly Fine Citizen, before slipping into semi-retirement in the mid-'70s.
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