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Moby Grape

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Moby Grape was an American roots rock and psychedelic rock group of the 1960s that was known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting, and who collectively merged elements of jazz, country, and blues together with rock. 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.

The group was formed in late 1966 in San Francisco. Frontman and rhythm guitarist Skip Spence (the original drummer for the Jefferson Airplane), lead guitarist Jerry Miller and drummer Don Stevenson (both formerly of the Frantics), rhythm guitarist (and son of actress Loretta Young) Peter Lewis (of the Cornells), and bassist Bob Mosley all wrote songs for their debut album Moby Grape (1967). In a marketing stunt Columbia Records immediately released five singles at once, and the band was perceived as being over-hyped. Nonetheless, the record was critically acclaimed, and fairly successful commercially, with The Move covering its sardonic ode to hippiedom, “Hey Grandma”. Spence’s “Omaha” reached the lower rungs of the American singles charts in 1967, and Miller-Stevenson’s “8:05” became a country rock standard (covered by The Grateful Dead, Robert Plant, Guy Burlage, and others). Moby Grape has today achieved the status of a highly respected rock album.

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