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Moby Grape: the Moby Dick Of Live Rock by Mike Nessing

Moby Grape Live!
Sundazed Records is one of Rock NYC’s favorite labels. Everything they put out is of very high quality, and usually accompanied with plenty of extras and awesome liner notes.
Keeping with that standard, we anxiously await the very first official live release from seminal West Coast psychedelic outfit Moby Grape.
The original line up consisted of Jerry Miller, Skip Spence, Bob Mosley, Peter Lewis and Don Stevenson. Their Columbia debut LP, Moby Grape came out in June 1967. Even today, it is considered one of the greatest rock albums ever–a thrilling union of blues, soul, country, surf twang and day-glo garage rock, packed into original killer-pop songwriting. Although the band would quickly disintegrate under the weight of record company hype, bad business decisions and Spence’s tragic mental collapse, the Grape continued to make immortal albums, including 1968’s Wow and the magnificent Moby Grape ’69.
But the records told only half of the tale. Moby Grape, in their prime, were also one of America’s best stage bands, like the Beatles and Rolling Stones in one, with a breathtaking triple-guitar attack and stunning vocal harmonies. Look no further than YouTube for proof of this. This band played their sets in full-on attack mode, always leaving their audiences drained and gasping for more.
Live is the long-awaited proof. It features more than an hour of performances from soundboard and broadcast tapes, including tracks from the Avalon Ballroom in 1967 and the band’s complete long-lost set at the Monterey Pop Festival. This performance in particular, was hot off the heels of the release of their seminal debut album, released just a week prior. There are live versions of the great rare Grape songs “Rounder” and “Looper” and five tracks from a famous Dutch radio show featuring the 1969 lineup of Miller, Mosley, Lewis and Stevenson.
“Moby Grape- Live” climaxes with the historic first-ever release of Skip Spence’s acid-guitar masterpiece “Dark Magic”–never recorded in the studio by the original band but presented here in an epic 17-minute performance at the Avalon, on New Year’s Eve 1966.These four-decade-old recordings are promised by Sundazed to be spectacularly mastered, in “you-are-there fidelity”. The press release promises sumptuous packaging and rare photos in true Sundazed style, plus liner notes by Rolling Stone writer and Moby Grape authority David Fricke. Live presents, at last, the untold part of Moby Grape’s incredible story. It is San Francisco psychedelia at its zenith and promises to be the best historical rock release of the year.
Available April 20th at www.sundazed.com

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