Grapefruit was a psychedelic pop rock band formed in 1967 by Terry Doran, a publishing manager for the Beatles-owned Apple Publishing company, after having some songs pitched to him by John Perry that he initially turned down, and instead proposed combining Perry and his bandmates, Geoff Swettenham and Pete Swettenham, with George Alexander to form a new group. The group is named after a book by Yoko Ono of the same name. According to the group’s Wikipedia page, The Beatles took a lot of interest in the group, and seemingly Brian Jones, Donovan, Cilla Black, Jimi Hendrix, and others as well. The group only stayed together until 1969, with a release of two singles in 1971 by former members of the band under the Grapefruit name. This album, Deep Water (1969), is the group’s second and final studio album together, which had a single that reached up to #19 in the German Top 20 charts. I’m pretty stoked to give this album a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Deep Water” gets started with a simple, repeating bass line that is soon joined by a spacious beat from the drums on the left side of the soundscape and some shakers on the right side of the soundscape with a quick tambourine on the beat. Oh wow, I’m really digging the organs in this track, which blend really nicely with what sounds to be a brass instrument on playing on top of them. Super sweet track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Can’t Find Me” starts out with some really mellow pedal slide guitar, some sweet strumming of an acoustic guitar, and some really pleasant piano that all combine to form a sort of country folk sort of sound that feels indicative of the direction psychedelic rock would start heading in the early 1970s. I’m really digging this track. Holy smokes, there’s a really sweet, twangy acoustic guitar line that comes in at the end of the song and pulled me even closer to my speakers. Great track.
“Thunder & Lightning” gets started with a sort of classic psychedelia-inflected blues rock intro that reminds me a lot of a sort of mix of Cream and The Groundhogs. I really dig the bluesy rollicking piano lines in this track combined with some sort of garage rock guitar chords. Oh wow, there’s a really sweet and quick guitar solo for a moment that almost introduces a sort of softer psychedelic blues rock sound. Oh wow, the track almost picks up some surf rock-like quality in the reverb near the end of the song. Great tune.
Oh wow, “Lady Godiva” has a really groovy, steady, rumbling psychedelic rock sound with the tight, low bass line, and the deep, fuzzed guitar. Oh wow, I really dig the clapping in this track. Oh wow, the tambourine comes in as another layer as the band builds up to a chorus that seems to break through with some sweet brass instruments that seem to be backed by some psychedelic organs at times. Holy smokes, the electric guitar really lets loose nicely for the final jam segment of the track. Super sweet tune.
Oh wow, “The Right Direction” starts out with a really sweet, twangy banjo that is soon accompanied by a harmonica for a moment to introduce some sort more country folk flavors. I really the folksy clapping on the right side of the soundscape while some drums and a bass keep a classic country-sounding rhythm on the other side of the soundscape. Oh wow, I really dig the slick electric guitar that sort of has a sweet country guitar sound in this track. Super sweet tune.
“L.A. & Back Again” gets grooving with what sound to be some early rock and roll/pop rock flavors of the earlier 1960s from artists like Dion. Oh wow, the band breaks through nicely to the chorus with some rollicking piano, some super groovy organs, a big bass line as the momentum from the drums and guitars seems to build even higher. Great tune.
“Come Down to the Station” gets started with some classic British blues-based psychedelic rock sounds somewhat reminiscent of Cream. Oh wow, there’s a really big note from an electric guitar that turns into feedback as it continues to ring out into the soundscape, and almost seems to tease at a solo for a moment. Oh wow, the guitar seems to gradually let loose some tension as the vocals seem to build up more tension in between different lines, seemingly teasing at the solo even more. Oh wow, I really dig the outro coda in this song. Great tune.
“A Dizzy Day” starts out with some classic bluesy rollicking piano that set a nice, grooving tone for the track. I really dig the use of brass instruments in this song after the long vocal line that seems to end each chorus. Oh wow, the electric guitars and the piano get into a really sweet, rollicking, bluesy, psychedelic jam. The drums and bass keep the track going nice in steady with a classic psychedelic rock sound that reminds me a bit of psychedelic rock from around 1967. Great track.
Oh wow, “Blues In Your Head” has a really epic, sort of dark, psychedelic blues rock sound reminiscent of songs like The Blues Magoos’ version of “Sometimes I Think About”, which essentially has the same melody and arrangement as The Animals’ version of “House of the Rising Sun”. I’m really digging this song so far. The band almost builds up and breaks through in the chorus in a sort of psychedelic prog rock manner reminiscent of groups like Felt. Holy smokes, the lead electric guitar hits some really interesting tones that remind me a lot of the experimental psychedelic rock nature of The United States of America. I really dig the classic heavy blues rock nature of the beat, and the use of the piano and a slick electric guitar really add an almost folksy nature to the soundscape. Great track.
Oh wow, “Time to Leave” starts out with a medley of country flavors with what sounds like a pedal steel slide guitar accompanied sweet acoustic guitar and some almost light psychedelic pop-like piano. The vocals in this song remind me a bit of John Lennon’s vocals too, which I’m really digging. Super sweet track, and a super sweet way to finish the album.
I’m pretty stoked I checked out this album tonight. The band touches on a number of genres throughout the listening experience, from psychedelic blues rock to light psychedelic pop, psychedelic prog rock, and even to country and folk. Based on what I saw online, I totally was not expecting any sort of country flavors throughout the listening experience, but I was pleasantly surprised to have heard them; it was almost like the band was hinting at the future of the psychedelic rock genre with the use of country flavors amidst psychedelic blues flavors. I really dig the use of brass instrumentation that’s present in some of the tracks as well, which seem to nearly walk the line between a sort of jazz-like NOLA sound, and a more classical baroque sound. If you’re into psychedelic blues rock from the late 1960s, as well as a dynamic feel from song to song that seems to maneuver around the style of the psychedelic rock genre from years in the past and years in the future, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.