Sunday, December 4, 2016

A taste of Grapefruit -- a group that both Paul McCartney and John Lennon wanted to succeed

Cherry Red Records
The song “Dear Delilah” by Grapefruit was one of our favorites back when it was released in 1968. We loved the phasing sound that this song featured. “Goodnight Sweet Josephine” by the Yardbirds used a similar effect.

Though “Dear Delilah” was their best-known song, not too many people knew that the Beatles had some connection with Grapefruit. John Lennon had suggested their name and they were the first group signed to Apple Publishing. The original group was made up of John Perry, Peter Swettenham and his brother Geoff. Their manager brought in George Alexander (real name George Young, brother of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC), who himself was former rhythm guitarist with the Easybeats.

The group's music, though signed to Apple Publishing, didn't get released on the Beatles' Apple Records label. John Lennon attended a press reception held for them and Paul McCartney directed one of their promo films. But Grapefruit's songs didn't make much of an impact on the charts. “Dear Delilah” only hit no. 98 on the Billboard charts in the U.S. and no. 21 in the UK, while the follow-up, “C'mon Marianne” (the song also recorded by the Four Seasons) only hit no. 31 in the UK.

They were, however, quite good. Their two original albums, “Around Grapefruit” and “Deep Water” (both with bonus tracks) have been on CD from Repertoire for a while. “Yesterday's Sunshine: The Complete 1967-1968 London Sessions” (Cherry Red Records) was released earlier this year. It includes the first release of the speeded-up stereo version of the song "Lullaby," which was produced by Lennon and McCartney. And if you look around, you'll find there's a Japanese only “Around the BBC” CD that has 12 music tracks comprising their BBC appearances, some previously unreleased stuff and two interviews.

If you've heard “Dear Delilah” (listen to a rare live TV version below), you'll got a taste of the group's psychedelic rock sound. This is great stuff, all of it.