Moby Grape - The Moby Grape - Columbia 1967

The Moby Grape - front cover

front cover - First issue with "The Finger"
Later deleted

The Moby Grape - rear cover

rear cover


Music - 5 stars

Moby Grape was a band of immense talent and versatility but unfortunately they always labored under a dark star.
Everyone in the band could sing, was a fluent musician, and everyone contributed to the songwriting.

The Grape could really belt out the rockers, and sing beautiful harmonies on their slower songs. The wonder of all this is that the Grape didn't sound like any of their San Francisco peers or groups anywhere else for that matter.

Just to be sure that that the Grape's first LP sold well, Columbia decided on a press junket at the Avalon Ballroom on the evening of June 6th. The debut album was to be released the next day.
In a spectacular, over-the-top publicity stunt, Columbia released 5 singles from the album simultaneously which confused everybody including radio programmers. "Omaha" was the only single to chart, at an anemic 88.

The fun wasn't over yet. The cover photo of the group shows Don Stevenson with his middle finger prominently shown against a washboard. The poster inside is the identical album jacket. Mounting complaints forced Columbia to pull the album out of stores and airbrush out the offending digit.

Despite all the nonsense and controversy, Moby Grape is a great rock and roll album which holds up well today.