CD Reviews for 07/31/07 – Legacy Reissues (Moby Grape, Jefferson Airplane, The Remains

Compact Capsules for 07/31/07
by Dan Ferguson

We continue to play catch-up this week as part of our multi-part look at a host of recent releases from the reissue arm of Columbia and RCA Records (a.k.a. Sony BMG Music), that being the Legacy Records imprint. The last installment zeroed in on some dandy country reissue colelctions. This week we focus on classic albums from the Summer of Love. These include recordings from The Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, and The Remains. Let’s get to it.

It’s been 40 years since the phrase “Turn on, Tune In, Drop Out” was blasted into infamy. It was the summer of 1967 and turmoil was everywhere, including the world of pop music. In celebration of that long ago time, Legacy Recordings kicks off its own 40th anniversary celebration of the notorious Summer of Love with the release of three collections of 1960s artifacts from San Francisco bands Moby Grape and Jefferson Airplane and Boston-based rock and rollers The Remains. Just to set the record straight at the outset, only one of the three (The Remains) is a reissue and none were released in 1967. However, what they lack from a time point perspective, they clearly make up in the spirit of the times, that being the mid-to-late 1960s.

Listen My Friends: The Best of Moby Grape (Columbia/Legacy 05963) brings together 20 tracks from four Moby Grape albums made for Columbia Records from 1967 to 1969. Featuring a three-pronged guitar attack, Moby Grape was a jam band before there was such a beats making its mark mixing country blues, rock, and psychedelia into a mind-bending melange of sound. Listen My Friends is an outstanding overview.

The Jefferson Airplane also bent a few minds in its prime. Featuring liner notes by original member Jorma Kaukonen, Sweeping Up the Spotlight: Jefferson Airplane Live at the Filmore East 1969 (RCA/Legacy 81558) captures the band at its peak performing at one of the most hallowed halls of the late 1960s concert scene.

Name the band that opened for the Beatles on their final U.S. tour in the summer of 1966? Stumped? Why Boston local heroes The Remains. The Remains (Epic/Legacy 82851) combines the ultra-catchy 10 tracks from the band’s one and only LP from 1966 with another 10 bonus tracks. (Legacy Recordings, 550 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022, or

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)<...