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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grapefruit - Deep Water (1969 uk, excellent beat psych, repertoire extra tracks edition)

Grapefruit were one of the better Beatlesque late-'60s British pop-rock bands. In 1968 they seemed on the way to stardom, with a couple of small hit British singles and, more importantly, some help from the Beatles themselves. Led by George Alexander, brother of the Easybeats' George Young, the group were at the outset cheerful harmony pop/rockers with similarities to the Easybeats, Bee Gees, and some Paul McCartney-penned tunes from the Beatles' own psych-pop era.

Not quite as incessantly chipper as the Easybeats, not as melodramatic as the Bee Gees, and certainly not as inventive as the Beatles, they were nonetheless similarly skilled at blending melodic pop with sophisticated arrangements that employed baroque/psychedelic touches of strings, orchestration, and several varieties of keyboards. A disappointing second album, however, helped sink them out of sight, and the Beatles couldn't be of help as they were preoccupied with their own imminent dissolution.

George Alexander (born Alexander Young), who wrote most of the songs for Grapefruit, was the older brother of George Young and had stayed behind in the U.K. when the rest of his family emigrated to Australia. He was signed to Apple Music Publishing in 1967 by Terry Doran, who had been affiliated with Brian Epstein and the Beatles' organization for some time. Doran also managed the band, which was completed by several members of the light harmony pop-rock group Tony Rivers and the Castaways (who were managed by Brian Epstein's NEMS Enterprises).

Guitarist and lead singer John Perry has remembered that the idea behind Grapefruit would be to play music in the mold of the Beatles' earlier pop image, filling a gap left empty by the Beatles' growth into psychedelia and more sophisticated territory. The Beatles also got behind the group to some extent, as John Lennon named the band (after Yoko Ono's book with the same title) and went to press receptions introducing the band to the media.

Members of the Beatles pitched in ideas for Grapefruit arrangements and recording sessions, and Paul McCartney even directed a promotional video for their single, "Elevator." Grapefruit, despite all the Beatles associations, were not on Apple Records, which might have seemed their logical home. There was a pragmatic reason for this: Although Grapefruit began releasing discs in early 1968, Apple Records was not officially launched until quite a few months later.
by Richie Unterberger

1. Deep Water - 2:14
2. Can't Find Me - 2:07
3. Thunder And Lightning - 3:04
4. Lady Goodiva - 3:16
5. The Right Direction - 2:54
6. L.A. And Back (Bobby Ware) - 1:48
7. Come Down To The Station (Bobby Ware) - 3:03
8. A Dizzy Day - 2:49
9. Blues In Your Head (Bobby Ware) - 4:47
10.Time To Leave - 3:14
11.Deep Water (Mono Single Mix) - 2:13
12.Come Down To Station (Mono Single Mix) (Bobby Ware) - 3:02
13.Thunder And Lightning (Single Mix) - 3:04
14.Blues In Your Head (Single Edit) - 4:01
15.Sha-Sha (Single A- Side) (Moni James) - 3:32
16.Universal Party (Single A- Side) - 2:59
All compositions by George Alexander except where noted.

*George Alexander - Rhytm Guitar
*Mike Fowler - Piano, Organ, Guitar
*John Perry - Bass
*Geoff Swettenham - Percussion
*Bobby Ware - Vocals, Lead Guitar And Harmonica

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