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..."

Hear "Yes":

Hear "Elevator":

1 comment:

clinie551 said...

Grapefruit were one of my three favourite bands. Miraculously all three came to Leeds town hall in May 1969 if I remember correctly (if not it was May 1970). It was my birthday and my dad secretly got tickets for the two of us. Grapefruit opened the show followed by Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich. Dave Dee waved back to me during Xanadu, the memory and adoration of such a simple gesture is as vivid in my mind now as it gripped my heart strings all those years ago! The finale brought on The BeeGees and I feel privileged to have had their talented company over the airways during the many decades of amazing music. For those of us who were teenaged during the sixties we have been able to share our pop idols with our children and grandchildren and still the music is current! Surely a tribute to the awsome talent around during our youth. Sadly very little radio airtime is given to Grapefruit which is a great shame as they held their own with the best. I especially want to thank you all for brilliant music and a fabulous night of memories from my audience with you at Leeds Town Hall. Thank you so much!