Moby Grape - Moby Grape (1967). Orig. US Mono + 4 bonus
24bit/96kHz (High Resolution Audio)
01. Hey Grandma
02. Mr. Blues
03. Fall on You
05. Come in the Morning
07. Naked, If I Want To
09. Ain't No Use
10. Sitting by the Window
12. Lazy Me
14. Can't Be So Bad (45 version)
15. Bitter Wind (45 version)
16. Looper (Columbia Audition)
17. Indifference (Columbia Audition)
All tracks are Mono.
These mixes did never appear officially on CD with the exception of Tr. 16-17
- Technics 1210mk2
- Jelco SA-750D Tonearm (w/ JAC 501 cable)
- Audio Technica AT-33PTG
- Pro-Ject Tube Box SE-2
- Yamaha CA-1010
- RME ADI-2 A/D Interface
- Audition 3.0 used for adjusting DC bias. editing. (incl. manual removal of clicks
and pops.. adding gain and making the cue points.
- Click Repair 3.5.3 used with setting Cl: 5. Cr: 0
- CueListTool v1.7 & Mediaval CueSplitter used for generating the .cue's & .m3u's.
Transfer & Restoration by Prof. Stoned
Here's another one in the series "essential in mono but not available on cd".
I've previously shared the mono version of this album in 2009, transferred from the withdrawn Sundazed reissue.
This new rip however is taken from a pristine US Columbia copy, which I've bought in still-sealed condition.
The Moby Grape story is well-known among its devotees, so I won't bother repeating it here. But one quick
recommendation to those who are unfamiliar with their works: Moby Grape was the ultimate 60's West-coast band,
consisting of 5 extremely talented individuals who together managed to create a modest catalogue that continues
to thrill and delight a relatively small group of music lovers. Their debut is universally recognised
as their magnum opus. The amount of bad luck that befell them continues to affect their legacy up to this
day, with the first two albums being out-of-print due to legal threats by former manager/scumbag Matthew Katz.
I'm a huge fan of Moby Grape's Columbia works and this album is one of my top 10 desert island records.
The fact that it never reached a wider audience is something that stings me on a personal level. Such injustice!
However, I'm very pleased to offer what I believe is the 'ultimate version".
IMO, the mono mix is considerately more enjoyable than the stereo, though both have their merits and neither one
can be called a sonic benchmark.
Aurally, I think the Columbia original has an edge over the withdrawn 2007 Sundazed. Bob Irwin, who mastered
the reissue- tends to prefer the highs a bit more subdued. I respect and love Bob's work but the Columbia sounds
more lively and involving to me. And then, there's also the fact that the original mastertapes
seemed to have been damaged in places, as there are 2 very obvious patches on the Sundazed (taken from a not so
great sounding vinyl rip).
Still, there is one track on the Sundazed that sounds superior to the original and that is Omaha.
This recording appears near the end of the first side, it has a very aggressive sounding response (heavy on the
upper-mids) and was cut with no regard for inner-groove-distortion by the Columbia cutting engineer.
So rather than sticking with authenticity, I have used the Sundazed cutting for that song.
Sacrilege? Maybe to some.. but I'd just hate to hear this little gem sounding like a distorted mess,
especially when the mastertape is not like that.
As a bonus, we have the rare mono mixes of Tr. 14 & 15 which Sundazed (who did a more than splendid job of
plundering the Grape archives with their compilation "The place and the time") have not yet made available.
This 45 is pretty hard to find (though not overly expensive when it pops up) and I tried a number of copies
to find that elusive pressing that I felt suitable for ripping. However, after the fourth copy I had to conclude
that the first one I got was still the best. This too suffers from an overly loud cutting which affects
the sound, no matter how mint the pressing (a common flaw among Columbia cuttings from this era).
So, while these tracks do sound a bit rough, this is likely the best we're gonna get -unless Sundazed digs up
the mastertapes for a Record Store Day single reissue.
Finally, we have two tracks from "The place and the time" that I did not wanna omit from this compilation.
These raw mono recordings were made in early 1967 in order to secure a recording contract with Columbia.
The version of Indifference is even more rowdy than the final version and we also get to hear an early version
of Looper, a song which eventually popped up in reworked form on the fourth album "Truly fine citizen".
These two tracks are of great historical importance and Bob Irwin cannot be praised enough for unearthing them.
The records were professionally and carefully cleaned in three steps using Audio Intelligent�s
Enzymantic formula, Super Cleaner Formula, and Ultra pure water on a VPI 16.5
(using VPI brushes) and Nitty Gritty mini-pro 2. After applying a light setting of CR, a handful of clicks
were removed manually, as the vinyl was very quiet to begin with.