SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell. Reviewing Yesterday’s Sunshine CD by Grapefruit.


Ive been looking forward to receiving this. I remember going to buy their debut single on my birthday in February 1968. Grapefruit were George Alexander (bass) and songwriter par excellence, John Perry, and brothers Geoff and Pete Swettenham (late of Tony Rivers and the Castaways). Formed in 1967 they were the first (and only) band signed to The Beatles newly formed Apple Publishing. Named and supported by John Lennon in particular they had everything going for them. Great songwriting, musicianship, looks and the clout of The Beatles to promote them. They couldn’t fail, or could they? That debut single referred to earlier was of course ‘Dear Delilah’ an insanely catchy slice of pop/psyche complete with phasing and a haunting whimsical melody. A perfect debut, heavy airplay, radio/TV coverage, Beatles patronage, it should have gone all the way but somehow stalled just outside the Top Twenty (at 21). Still very respectable. The follow up was to be ‘Lullaby’ produced by Paul and John (the only time the two of them ever produced together for another band). Unfortunately The Beatles went off to ‘find themselves’ in India and ‘Lullaby’ was shelved. However the aforementioned George Alexander came up with the upbeat soaring harmonies and again incredibly catchy ‘Elevator’ another near perfect sunshine pop single. It flopped. And sadly this was a pattern that continued to plague Grapefruit. An excellent cover version of the Four Seasons ‘C’mon Marianne’ (a personal favourite) did manage a rather lowly position (35). So where did it go wrong? In my view one word – Timing-. By the time the album ‘Around Grapefruit’ arrived it was 1969. If ‘Dear Delilah’ had appeared in 1967’s ‘Summer of Love’ together with the follow up singles and album im convinced Grapefruit would have had the success they so richly deserved. By catching the tail end of the classic psychedelic era they simply missed the boat. This compilation of 20 tracks (some previously unreleased) is hugely enjoyable and for anyone with even a passing interest in pop/psyche its an essential listen that will put a smile on your face and gladden your heart. And for those of us of a ‘certain age’ will bring back memories of a unique era. Enjoy.

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Phil Gill… Nice story, and this looks like a great compliation too. Little known fact: John Perry played keyboards and sang backing vocals on a record I once played bass on. Other personnel were Wesley Magoogan, Andy Caine, Steve Demetri and Ray Fenwick. And of course, Jo Jo Laine – When The Boys Happy

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