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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grapes Of Wrath - Grapes Of Wrath (1964-73 us, fine garage beat psych, 2010 Gear Fab issue)




The sixties were a very exciting time in history, and musically, a very magical time. When people think of the sixties, mod clothing, protest marches, long hair (though by today's standards hair was comparably short) and the British rock and roll invasion all come to mind. 

As a result of that invasion, rock and roll groups sprang up on every corner of every city large and small across the nation, and Phoenix was no exception. I remember it fondly, as I was one of the thousands of young boys who combed his hair forward in an effort to emulate John Lennon and Paul McCartney. So were Steve and Michael Whitehurst, Stuart Wood and Brent Burns. 

Collectively, we were the Grapes of Wrath, one of about a dozen of the more popular rock groups around Phoenix between 1964 and 1973. The material on this album is a very good representation of our direction as writers and sound as a unit. The Grapes were unique because of those Phoenix bands that were lucky enough to find themselves in a recording studio, we were one of the few that recorded primarily original material. 

We also had the advantage of regular access to professional recording gear at live performances, which we made use of frequently. As a result, there is a considerable collection of live and studio tapes available on the Grapes, some of which are represented on this album. 
by John Hesterman


Tracks
1. If Anyone Should Ask (Steve Whitehurst, Tony Bacak) - 2:35
2. Not A Man (Steve Whitehurst , Stuart Wood) - 2:46
3. Irene (Steve Whitehurst) - 2:13
4. Life's Not For Me (Only For You) (Steve Whitehurst, Stuart Wood) - 4:06
5. Have A Good Time On Me (Steve Whitehurst) - 2:34
6. Bawm Diddy (Wipe Out) (The Safaris, S. Whitehurst, M. Whitehurst, J. Hesterman, S. Wood) - 2:44
7. Makin' It Through ’71 (Steve Whitehurst) - 2:30
8. If You Leave Me (Steve Whitehurst, Brian Allan Black) - 2:51
9. I'm In Love With You (Brian Allan Black, Steve Whitehurst, Sheldon Skinkle) - 2:14
10.The Party's Over (Steve Whitehurst, John Hesterman) - 2:49
11.For Awhile (Steve Whitehurst, Brian Allan Black, John Hesterman) - 2:32
12.Shades Of Lillian White (Steve Whitehurst) - 2:47
13.If She Leaves Me (Steve Whitehurst, John Hesterman) - 4:25
14.Suicide (Steve Whitehurst) - 3:30

Grapes Of Wrath
*Steve Whitehurst - Drums, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Michael Whitehurst - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Stuart Wood - Bass, Vocals
*John Hesterman - Organ, Drums, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Brent Burns - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

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Legend - Legend (Red Boot) (1971 uk , roots rock, pub rock, Repertoire bonus tracks edition)



In some circles, Mickey Jupp is something of a minor legend, a roots rocker with excellent taste and a cutting wit, best heard on the songs "Switchboard Susan" and "You'll Never Get Me Up in One of Those," both covered by Nick Lowe. 

Basher's endorsement is a clear indication that Jupp is a pub rocker, a guy who specializes in laid-back good times, so it shouldn't come as a great surprise that his first band, Legend, was proto-pub, an unabashed celebration of old-time rock & roll, filled with three-chord Chuck Berry rockers and doo wop backing vocals. Nevertheless, listening to their 1970 LP is a bit of a shock, as it's completely disassociated with anything that was happening in 1970, even with Tony Visconti enlisted as their producer. 

Legend's sensibility is ahead of its time in its retro thinking, pointing the way to the rock & roll revival of the late '70s and not even that similar to the country-rock of Eggs Over Easy or Bees Make Honey, as this has little of the rustic feel of the Band: it's just straight-up oldies rock, a trait emphasized by those incessant doo wop harmonies that are on almost every cut on this LP (but do disappear on the bonus live cuts on the Repertoire reissue, possibly because they were too busy playing to harmonize). 

Those harmonies and the light, almost goofy, touch of Jupp's writing here distinguish Legend and also illustrate why they made no waves in 1970; it's hard to see the counterculture getting roused over the verse "If you were an apple you'd be/Good good eating/If you were a book you'd be/Good good reading." 

These slightly silly flourishes do have a lot in common with the wry humor of Nick Lowe, who at this time was denying this mischievous streak as he attempted to sound like Crosby, Stills & Nash, but at this point, Jupp was largely on his own doing this light, good-time pub rock. That may be why it sank without a trace at the time, but heard apart from its era, Legend is a minor delight, one of the first flowerings of the pub rock sensibility. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Tracks
1. Cross Country - 3:28
2. Cheque Book - 3:22
3. Lorraine, Pt. 1 - 2:58
4. Nothing Wrong with Me - 2:06
5. Somebody in Love - 2:42
6. Goin' To - 2:37
7. Anything You Do - 3:08
8. My Typewriter - 2:57
9. Five Years - 3:00
10. Hole in My Pocket - 2:09
11. Lorraine, Pt. 2 - 3:34
12. I Feel Like Sleeping - 3:16
13. Life - 3:02
14. Late Last Night (Single B-Side) - 3:54
15. Don't You Never - 2:56
16. Someday (Single B-Side) - 2:16
All songs by Mickey Jupp

Legend
*John Bobin - Bass, Vocals
*Bill Fifield - Drums
*Mickey Jupp - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Mo Witham - Guitar, Vocals

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