May 15, 2007
Pop/Rock, Country-Rock, Psychedelic, Folk-Rock

Album Review

As a single-disc, 20-track compilation of some of Moby Grape's best material (with a radio ad for their Truly Fine Citizen album tacked on at the end), this works fine. As something that should really be worthy of the name "best-of," it's more problematic. For Moby Grape really is a group best appreciated by a more extensive (yet still selective) overview of its most enduring work, an excellent one of which was compiled in 1993 for the double-CD Vintage: The Very Best of Moby Grape. This briefer anthology includes just two songs, "Changes, Circles Spinning," and "If You Can't Learn from My Mistakes," that didn't appear on Vintage, and can't help but suffer in comparison. That's not least because it includes just six of the songs from their self-titled debut album -- universally hailed as their strongest record by far -- where Vintage has every track from that LP. Listen! My Friends still has plenty of good stuff, judiciously cherry-picking their erratic post-Moby Grape albums for their strongest cuts, though the more melodic country- and folk-oriented songs hold up far better than the bluesier rockers. Indeed, almost every track is impressive, making a case for the band as one of the '60s outfits who most adeptly blended rock, folk, blues, and country with touches of psychedelia, as well as showing their post-1967 stuff (at least the best of it) to be sturdier than is usually remembered. If you remember the original releases, though, you'll find yourself wondering why highlights like "Someday," "Lazy Me," and (from the post-Moby Grape days) "It's a Beautiful Day Today" and "I Am Not Willing" aren't here. Unless you're an extraordinarily impatient listener, then, Vintage remains the comp to find.
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Hey Grandma
  2. Mr. Blues
  3. 8:05
  4. Omaha
  5. Sitting by the Window
  6. Indifference
  7. Bitter Wind [Version One]
  8. Murder in My Heart for the Judge
  9. Can't Be So Bad
  10. He
  11. Motorcycle Irene!-best-moby/id253508488?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  12. Rose Colored Eyes
  13. Sweet Ride (Never Again) [#]!-best-moby/id253508488?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  14. Ooh Mama Ooh
  15. Ain't That a Shame
  16. If You Can't Learn from My Mistakes
  17. Going Nowhere
  18. Seeing!-best-moby/id253508488?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  19. Changes, Circles Spinning
  20. Truly Fine Citizen
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