In the history of rock n roll, has there EVER been a great band that "fell" as far as did Jefferson Airplane, (Aka "Jefferson Starship", aka "Starship", all plenty gag-worthy, including the single "We Built this City" which was in some book/publication as the worst song in rock history....I won't argue, but actually some of the other drek they vomitted out ("Jane", many more) really don't settle any arguements as to what was the MOST nauseating thing they ever spit out, I'll leave it up to you as it's not REALLY the point.....
Well, first of all, I should have done this on January 7, my Dad's birthday (were he alive), my Dad LOVED Jefferson Airplane in thier glory daze, usually I do something for his birthday, this time it's a little late......I am going to break out the Jefferson Airplane albums that I DO have here (inherited a few from my Pops), and if you are looking for "Miracles" or some such crapola, please look somewhere else...preferrably, somewhere FAR FAR from here!
OK, here are the "real" Jefferson Airplane, kicking it off in the mid-1960's as one of the TRUE psychedelic/acid bands of the day, perhaps the definitive one. Originally, they were composed of singer/guitarist Marty balin, vocalist Signe Anderson (soon, of course, to be replaced by Grace Slick), guitarist Jorma Kaukonen,singer/rythem guitarist Paul Kantner, bassist jack Cassidy, and drummer Spencer Dryden (Skip Spence as the original drummer)......the earliest material appears on "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off!", which is more "interesting" than "great", still. it is most listenable, parts of it at least, and ya just KNEW something was going onn here (as a kid I got a lethal dose of this stuff every day)....there is plenty of good shit on "Takes Off", such as "Let's Get Together" and "Blues From an Airplane", this CD version is stacked with a lot of bonus material, you kiddies may want to hear all of this, you near-death seniors such as myself may just crack a smile over this set if you ain't heard it in a while!
Really, for most people, Jefferson Airplane really "took off" (GOD I am clever) with album #2, "Surrealistic Pillow".....of course it had a pair of Slick-voiced hit singles, "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love", both, of course, of which are fanstastic, unlike so many singles of that era, I am ALWAYS thrilled to hear "Somebody to Love", I may be wrong, but, perhaps, one of the great female rock vocals EVER? But there is so much more......"She Has Funny Cars", "Embryonic Journey", and my fave, "3/5 of a mile in 10 seconds" allwork together to create ONE of the greatest acid-rock a;bums of them all.....Five Stars, all the way, can't even imagine a lesser grade for this fine album, and even better, this is a fine "Deluxe" edition with tons of bonus material/unreleased tracks......wonderful release.
"After Bathing At Baxters" was released in 1967, it is FAR less commercially "accessible" than "Pillow", it is a psych masterpiece....It is divided into "suites", I guess you'd call them, and is FAR ahead of it's time....this is (for my dough) THE definitive Jefferson Airplane album, and, also, the definitive acid/psych LP as well.....a masterpiece that I cannot do justice with mere words.
The next year saw the release of "Crown of Creation", it's a pretty good effort as well, this was a band at thier creative peak or just past it, worth noting, I suppose, is David Crosby's menange-a-trois opus "Triad" which appears here and was deemed as too risky for the Byrds.....this also includes the great "The House at Pooneil Corners", and as an album recorded at the peak of their credibility, this is one you should hear as well, should you have just taken a sudden interest in them.
"Bless It's Little Poined Head" is sort of the definitive "live" acid/psych album, wonderful release.....compare these versions to the studio versions and you will see what I am saying, this was a band MADE for the stage....they take the previous versions of "Somebody To Love" and "3/5 of a Mile" and reinvent them, recreate them......five star album, one of the best live LP's of the era....fine, fine, live recording, the band were in their element and if not "at" their peark, just past it.
Not many bands have as much quailty material in the vault as did the Airplane.....thier output, up until this point, I'm sure you'd agree was pretty fine......so it is somewhat surprising that the next release, 1969's "Volunteers", may just be thier best ever release.....yet another classic, five star album, certainly you know the awesome title track and "hey Frederick", my version here has a handful of live tracks that are without question worth your money, one of the great albums of the late 1960's and made3 even better with a handful of bonus tracks.
OK, that's about it....I happen to have a few more albums, which outline the path to suck-city pretty well, "Bark" is the first album without Balin, also without Dryden.....Poppa John Creech, interestingly enough, takes over on violin, an inersting idea which, unfortunately, could have worked better.....it's here, if you want it, to be honest I don't care for it even a little.
Nor, frankly, am I much endeared with 1972's "Long John Silver"....couple decent tracks here, the title track and "Easter?", for example, but the moment was simply over/gone/finished, whatever adjective ya need......hey, I still have these albums, out of respect or whatever, but, nonetheless, these 1970's albums are, in my estimation, a pale, vapid imitation of the classic material we heard on "Volunteers" or "Bathing", or "Pointed", or "Crown"......the story was over.
Cause, that is all I got......, I am not about to start wandering in the wasteland that is "Jefferson Starship" or "Starship" or "Ship" or whatever they fucking call tehmselves this week, I don't have those discs, if you do, well.......hey, Baskin-Robbins has 31......I always thought one of the most comical lyrics ever came from the notorious "We Built this City"....lyric: "They're always changing corporate games...who cares? They're always changing corporate NAMES!"........uhhh, really? isn't that something like changing one's name from "Jefferson airplane" to "Jefferson starship" to "Starship" to.......whatever, fuck it, they fucking sucked all through the bulk of the 70's, the 80's, the 90's and whenever ELSE they decided to "treat" us to their stuff.....
Yep, I've been hard on them, so what? I gave them props for when they were GOOD, and simply commented the same way when they SUCKED.....the albums I have posted here are some stuff that you may wish to listen to, there is some GREAT music on them, if you wish to dig further, please do so on your own, it's just amazing to me....I can't really think of a band who EVER fell "further" in thier career, going from kings/queens of the revolution to absolute unlistenable corporate shills, hey, that is THIER choice, but if someone can name someone who took a deeper, further fall from hipness/grace, let me know, just for fun.
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE TAKES OFF-01 Blues From an Airplane/02 Let Me In/03 Bringing Me Down/04 It's No Secret/05 Tobacco Raod/06 Come Up the Years/07 Run Around/08 Lets Get Together/09 Don't Slip Away/10 Chauffeur Blues/11 And I LIke It/12 Runnin Round This World/13 High Flyin Bird/14 It's Alright/15 Go To Her/16 Let Me In/17 Run Around /18 Chauffer Blues/19 And I Like It
SURREALISTIC PILLOW-01 She Has Funny Cars/02 Somebody to Love/03 My Best Friend/04 Today/05 Comin' Back To Me/06 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds/07 D.C.B.A.-25/08 How Do You Feel/09 Embryonic Journey/10 White Rabbit/11 Plastaic Fantastic Lover/12 In the Morning/13 JPP McStep B Blues/14 Go To Her/15 Come Back Baby/16 Somebody to Love (mono Single)/17 White Rabbit (Mono Single)
AFTER BATHING AT BAXTERS-01 The Ballad of You Me and Pooneil/02 A Small Package of Value Will Come To You SHortly/03 Young Girl SUnday Blues/04 Martha/05 Wild Tyme (H)/06 The Last Wall of the Castle/07 Rejoyce/08 Watch Her Ride/09 Spare Chaynge/10 Two Heads/11 Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
CROWN OF CREATION-01 Lather/02 In Time/03 Triad/04 Star Track/05 Spare a Little Joke/06 Chusingura/07 If You Feel/08 Crown of Creation/09 Ice Cream Phoenix/10 Greasy Heart/11 The House at Pooneul Corner
BLESS ITS LITTLE POINTED HEAD-01 Clergy/02 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds/03 Somebody to Love/04 Fat Angel/05 Rock me baby/06 The Other Side of THis Life/07 It's No Secret/08 Plastic Fantastic Lover/09 Turn Out the Lights/10 Bear Melt/11 Today/12 Watch her Ride/13 Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
VOLUNTEERS-01 We Can Be Together/02 Good Shepherd/03 The Farm/04 Hey Fredrick/05 Turn My Life Down/06 Wooden SHips/07 Eskimo Blue Day/08 A Song For All Seasons/09 Meadowlands/10 Volunteers/11 Good Shepherd (Live)/12 Somebody to Love (Live)/13 Plastic Fantastic Lover (Live)/14 Wooden Ships (Live)/15 Volunteers (Live)
BARK-01 When the Earth Moves Again/02 Feel So Good/03 Crazy Miranda/04 Prety as You Feel/05 Wild Turkey/06 Law Man/07 Rock and Roll Island/08 Third Week In the Chelsea/09 Never Argue With a German If You're Tired or European Song/1o Thunk/11 War Movie
LONG JOHN SILVER-01 Long John Silver/02 Aerie (Gang of Eagles)/03 Twilight Double Leader/04 Milk Train/05 The Son of Jesus/06 Easter?/07 Trial By Fire/08 Alexander the Medium/09 Eat Starch Mom
Links be up shortly, hope ya like and comment on this post.....Brian almost has the Swans post ready, that will be VERY freaky and great......got some more Greek Punk coming, as long as a BUNCH of other shit I have in mind, hope you guys appreciate the musci and the effort so many people put into it (not ME, I'm FUCKING RETIRED!!)