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Moby Grape

Listen My Friends! (Sony Legacy)

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Of all the bands to call the Bay Area home in the '60s -- including the Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Quicksilver -- Moby Grape was the most underrated. But with the gift of hindsight, the Grape just might have been the best. As this career-spanning collection verifies, the band doesn't sound dated at all, which is more than can be said for most of its peers (and no, I'm not referring to the Dead).

There have been a fair number of modern indie bands evoking Moby Grape's sound, including Teenage Fanclub, Eleventh Dream Day, and Beachwood Sparks. That's because the Grape crafted power-pop with tight vocal harmonies and country/folk overtones. And unlike the band's peers, most of whom dug extended soloing, Moby Grape favored wiry guitar interplay (early on, the quintet boasted three six-stringers). Most bands then and now would kill to be able to pull off the magnetic intro and torrential motif of "Omaha" or the homey trippiness of "Changes, Circles Spinning." So listen, my friends: Both nostalgic types and neophytes should pluck this juicy Grape posthaste.

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