Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Grapefruit: U.K. 60's Sunshine Harmony Pop
GRAPEFRUIT-Yes/Elevator France RCA 49910 1968
Grapefruit were formed in 1968 when three members of the U.K. beat/harmony/"surf" band Tony Rivers and The Castaways (Peter Swettenham-guitar, John Perry-guitar and Geoff Swettenham-drums) joined Aussie ex-pat George Alexander (bass) to form this highly underrated U.K. pop quartet. Alexander (real name Alexander Young) was the elder brother of Easybeats guitarist George Young and younger future AC/DC boys Angus and Malcolm. The band were looked after by Apple/Beatles associate Terry Doran, took their name from a Yoko Ono book and had a launch/release party thrown by the Fab Four. Despite all of their Beatles connections they were not a huge success (though their debut 45 "Dear Delilah" just bubbled under the U.K. Top Twenty). The single in question today was their second 45.
"Yes" is a piano driven slice of pop perfection. Beatles comparisons cannot be helped with the sunshine pop style of layered harmonies and just the general mood and pace of the song and the stellar production (c/o the band). "Elevator" is far more "way out" and upbeat, it reminds me of The Herd at their psych pop best. It's punctuated by the bands excellent harmonies and some cool sped up strings.
Both sides are available on the CD reissue of their first LP "Around..."