Release code: ODI195072
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Release Info: Moby Grape - Wow 1968 (Columbia)
Label : Columbia
Moby Grape is an American rock group from the 1960s, known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting and that collectively merged elements of folk music, blues, country, and jazz together with rock and psychedelic music. Due to the strength of their debut album, several critics consider Moby Grape to be the best rock band to emerge from the San Francisco music scene in the late sixties.
As described by Jeff Tamarkin, "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.
The second album, Wow/Grape Jam, released in 1968, was generally viewed as a critical and commercial disappointment, even though the album charted at No.20 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts, partially due to the unusual two albums for the price of one double-album packaging. Though Wow added strings and horns to some songs, their basic sound remained consistent from the debut album, featuring tight harmonies, multiple guitars, imaginative songwriting, and a strong level of musicianship. The album included the track "Just Like Gene Autry, a Foxtrot",a tribute to the ballroom music big band era which was tracked to only be played back properly at the speed of 78 RPM.The Grape Jam LP was one of loose improvised studio jams with outside musicians this detracted from the stronger tunes on Wow,such as the room-shaking shuffle "Can't Be So Bad." Also in 1968,the band contributed to the soundtrack of the movie The Sweet Ride,and appeared, credited,in the film.
The band was also introduced to a wide group of UK listeners in 1968 through the inclusion of "Can't Be So Bad", from on the Wow album, on the iconic sampler album The Rock Machine Turns You On (CBS).