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Listen My Friends! The Best of Moby Grape

Moby Grape

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Album Review

As a single-disc, 20-track compilation of some of Moby Grape's best material (with a radio ad for their Truly Fine Citizen album tacked on at the end), this works fine. As something that should really be worthy of the name "best-of," it's more problematic. For Moby Grape really is a group best appreciated by a more extensive (yet still selective) overview of its most enduring work, an excellent one of which was compiled in 1993 for the double-CD Vintage: The Very Best of Moby Grape. This briefer anthology includes just two songs, "Changes, Circles Spinning," and "If You Can't Learn from My Mistakes," that didn't appear on Vintage, and can't help but suffer in comparison. That's not least because it includes just six of the songs from their self-titled debut album — universally hailed as their strongest record by far — where Vintage has every track from that LP. Listen! My Friends still has plenty of good stuff, judiciously cherry-picking their erratic post-Moby Grape albums for their strongest cuts, though the more melodic country- and folk-oriented songs hold up far better than the bluesier rockers. Indeed, almost every track is impressive, making a case for the band as one of the '60s outfits who most adeptly blended rock, folk, blues, and country with touches of psychedelia, as well as showing their post-1967 stuff (at least the best of it) to be sturdier than is usually remembered. If you remember the original releases, though, you'll find yourself wondering why highlights like "Someday," "Lazy Me," and (from the post-Moby Grape days) "It's a Beautiful Day Today" and "I Am Not Willing" aren't here. Unless you're an extraordinarily impatient listener, then, Vintage remains the comp to find.

Biography

Formed: September, 1966 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '00s, '10s

One of the best '60s San Francisco bands, Moby Grape were also one of the most versatile. Although they are most often identified with the psychedelic scene, their specialty was combining all sorts of roots music — folk, blues, country, and classic rock & roll — with some Summer of Love vibes and multi-layered, triple-guitar arrangements. All of those elements only truly coalesced, however, for their 1967 debut LP. Although subsequent albums had more good...
Full bio
Listen My Friends! The Best of Moby Grape, Moby Grape
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