Folk rock , psychedelic rock , psychedelic folk . Matthew Katz and Tommy Oliver . Jefferson Airplane Takes Off Surrealistic Pillow Marty Balin , Skip Spence.
Balin, Paul Kantner. Clay Warnick [n 1]. Lester Melrose. Balin, Jorma Kaukonen. Run Around 8. Let's Get Together 9. Don't Slip Away Chauffeur Blues High Flying Bird It's Alright Go To Her Early version Let Me In Original Uncensored version Run Around Original Uncensored version Chauffeur Blues Alternate version And I Like It Alternate version Blues from an Airplane Instrumental - hidden track Retrospectively speaking, this album is very aptly-named as we have the embryonic Airplane, still close to their folk rock roots both Kantner and Kaukonen were folkies hanging out in clubs around the bay area and the way rebels assembled their bands together.
The result of Marty Balin, a beatnick doodling in club ownership and toying with music, enticed Kantner to form a group, calling Kaukonen who himself called Casady from across the continent and findi,ng a local girl to handle the second twin lead vocals, the group was still missing a drummer, so Balin convinced this Canadian songwriter Skip Spence to become their drummer solely on his looks, nevermind that he had never played drums before.
Rebel and RnR??? Ya betcha!! Now the least we can say is that JA's take off is not really impressive and will remain only in history as the debut of an exciting adventure. It is actually quite hard to measure their two virtuoso's Kaukonen and Casady abilities on this album tracks selection, as they are quite bland. Blame it on their inexperience and a rather poor line-up , a problem that would almost solve itself: their average female vocalist settled down and started a family, while Spence, obviously fed up with this unnatural drumming role, will leave to form the seminal Moby Grape.
In would come their iconic Grace Slick from another Bay area group called Great Society with her two monstrous hits and the group had to resort to the LA scene to pry away the jazz-trained drummer Spencer Dryden, with the two newcomers quickly falling for each other. With all the right ingredients in the stew-pot and this next album to come, the face of this planet would change quite a bit as JA became the flagship of the Haight-Ashbury and the Summer of Love and the hippy generation.
And their rebellious attitude insured these musos would never settle for the easy way out. Glad they did! This first album is far to reach the quality of the tracks they played during this festival but this release was issued three years before.
Although the lineup is almost similar, the major difference of course is that Grace Slick will only join on the next album. This work is quite representative of the mid-sixties. Pop, politically correct no rebel song here as they will have the fame for later on. Not yet psychedelic but rather folky. The band will need to grow up before producing more interesting stuff. There are no real highlight to point out here.
Add to Cart. Add to Wishlist. Free shipping. Join our , fans. Blues from an Airplane Music Video. Bringing Me Down Music Video. Blues from An Airplane  2. Let Me in  3. Bringing Me Down  4. It's No Secret  5. Tobacco Road  6. Runnin' 'Round This World . Tracks on Disc 2: 1. Come Up the Years  2. Run Around  3. They were both very unique and original players, and their interplay formed the canvas that the vocalists and guitar players worked their magic on.
The various members, in various configurations, went on to make a lot of beautiful music that I still enjoy today. At their best, no one was even close to them. Okay, the Airplane are the only "favorite band" I guess I've ever had, and I suppose I felt I could call them that because they were nobody else's favorite band. All through high school and college I suffered alienation from being a fan of so-called "psychedelia" who happened to be indifferent towards the Dead and Phish.
I got a lot of blank stares. I guess all that contributed to my bitterness And believe me I know what ire I'm raising I know from rabid Hot Tuna devotees, the JA mailing list was lousy with them.
While I may absentmindedly acknowledge that Casady and Kaukonen contribute to the special dark sound of the band, I'm too ignorant of their peculiar disciplines to want to delve any deeper into their oeuvre. In addition to liking your cranky writing style, I like the fact that you acknowledge her vocal brilliance while generally disliking the Airplane's body of work. I disagree with you on the latter, but hey I happen to be the sort of person that thinks I've never been fond of the times in which I've been born, and while I think the baby-boomers were self-indulgent, near-sighted dunderheads for the most part, still I envy them without admiring them.
I think of their music as a photograph that includes smells and sounds and feelings. I'm starting to sound dippy, I know And just as a closing endorsement, I've always listened to the Airplane stone cold sober Anyway, despite the many ways in which our opinions on this band diverge, the places where they coincide kinda made me smile. I have a lot of respect for the Jefferson Airplane because they had a lot of dreams and ideas that went past just being in a band.
These guys in my opinion were chiefly responsible for America questioning our involvement in the Vietnam war back in the sixties. Before them, people didn't really openly question it. The phrase "question authority" totally came from them.
Grace Slick was the most influential female singer in the sixties. Idolized by girls, loved by boys, she was not only a beautiful hippie, she had tremendous talent as well. Not to be outdone, Marty Balin posessed a tremendous voice as well. Jorma was a good guitar player, but his roots always did lie in the blues. That's where he came from, and that's where he went back to after the Airplane. Paul Kantner eventually took control of the Airplane from Marty and through his vision, the Airplane became a vehicle for his own political views.
I read where Jim Morrison called the Airplane "the most boring band ever. Surrealistic Pillow is probably the second most listened to album of the sixties next to Sgt. I love the Airplane and what they stood for, and the fact that they had the guts to stand up and say "up against the wall motherfucker.
I had the privelege of interviewing Marty when I cohosted a radio show in Tampa and he told me that the sixties were such an idealized time that you had to see it for yourself. The Beatles without question owned the sixties musically, but the Airplane was the first band to make people think. I'm 18 and just went through all of my Dad's Beatles records, and I just recently discovered the Airplane. I found their greastest hits album, and it's amazing. There isint a single song on that album that hasen't either put a smile on my face 'It's no Secret' or made me feel really cool 'Plastic Fantastic Lover' got me all groovy 'Somebody to Love' or tripped me out at the peak of a hallucenogen trip 'White Rabbit', 'Chushingura'.
But I'm not sure if anyone has ever said this, but me and a friend of mine are on the same level of this one. Not just how 'White Rabbit' can clearly intensify your high, but 'Chushingura' is almost lifelike in representing what you feel and hear on a bad trip.
The eerie chords and spaced out bongo's only make things more intense, while the follow up song brings you to a nice calm. Almost like 'Embryonic Journey' following 'White Rabbit': your hit in the head with the most intense lyrics and riffs you've ever heard, then you relax to the mellow sounds of a classical guitar.
A forgotten gem. Not as groundbreaking as the Byrds' early work, but solid original folk rock nonetheless. Balin's voice is sweet, but not saccharine unlike later. The sound is totally guitar-centered, which prevents the sound from getting too cloying. The album, for me, really conjures up a lot of wide-eyed innocence -- even if the Airplane wasn't nearly as naive as the atmosphere of the songs indicates!
And it does have the most consistently unified sound of any of their albums. What is also striking is that, even at this early stage, the individual personalties of the other group members come through, despite Balin's control of the band. I don't particularly care for "And you Like It. I agree that Signe has an incredible voice, but it's too bad she didn't get a better song to sing. Paul gets to sing "Let Me In," but the song is a lot more noticeable for those incredible bass runs Jack plays -- try this one through headphones.
And Spence, who co-wrote "Blues for an Airplane" and the unjustly overlooked "Don't Slip Away," proves that he had quite a gift for melodies -- these are two major highlights of the album.
And they do the absolute BEST version of "Let's Get Together" ever released -- beating out the Youngbloods' rather ordinary take by a mile -- much more powerful. This could have been a major hit if someone had been smart enough to release it as a single.
Wonder what would have made them think that? Oh well. I find this one rather weak, actually. Some of the songs are so impressionless that you sometimes find yourself listening to Casady's bass lines instead of the actual songs. And, finally, you'd think that the group were heavily influenced by The Byrds' Fifth Dimension. I was very surprised to learn that the Airplane's debut was both recorded and released before that album.
That's quite impressive. Some more things in defense for the album; the playing is really solid and the harmonies are good. In the end, I'll probably give it a 7 - but that's generous. Felgenhauer kvaerner. Signe quit the band because she was pregnant.
It seems like a pretty good idea - I don't know if the drug-drenched hippie collective that was Jefferson Airplane was an ideal invironment for a child. Not to mention the touring, of course.
Jefferson Airplane is definitely one of my top five favorite bands of all time, and this is how they started. First, let me talk about Signe Anderson. She wasn't quite as good as Grace 'cause Grace was an absolute goddess , but she still has a marvelous voice that's downright stunning at times, most notably on "Chauffeur Blues", her only solo spot on the album.
Kick-ass song. Listen to her wail on the second verse and you'll see what I mean. Grace would be proud! And the re-mastered version of the CD has lots of pictures in the booklet.
In every picture, Signe has her long, black hair in pigtails. What a beauty she was. This song just kicks maximum ass from beginning to end. Love it, love it, love it! The former has a fabulous guitar line, too. And the aforementioned remastered CD version is a real treat.
Superb sound quality, elaborate liner notes and cool pictures. The last picture is one of Signe, in which she looks incredibly lovely I think I already mentioned that. And not only that, but you get nine - count 'em - NINE bonus tracks.
One of them is an excellent rocker called "Runnin' Round This World" and no, it's not just a re-write of "Run Around". There's also a glorious version of the song "High Flying Bird", in which Marty and Signe trade vocal leads to magnificent effect.
A strong debut. I had expected more, though. George is absolutely right; the album is not so easy to get into. To tell the truth, there are no real classics on Takes Off not counting the bonus tracks, at least , but some come close. The latter is, in fact, my favourite track here. Unfortunately, some tracks are rather bland and lack hooks. But the bonus cuts are most definitely worthwhile. Man, what gorgeous singing! How can one resist that contrast in voices singing the verses and the chorus?
I can't help but agree, but it's followed by a remark on Grace's role not being much more prominent. She DOES play on the two songs she wrote on that album. Oh, and recorder. That counts too. No big deal, since there's only like, four tunes where her recorder gets featured 'Comin' Back to Me', 'How Do You Feel', 'Martha', and 'Eskimo Blue Day' and she only plays piano on a few compositions before Bark , still, thought it might be worth mentioning I bought the original album in after hearing the Airplane live multiple times at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
I agree with your review. While Grace Slick and some of the slightly later psychedelic tunes are classics White Rabbit , this is the album that defined what I liked about Jefferson Airplane -- much better live by the way -- and why I stopped listening to them by Yes, there is no comparison to The Doors or to Janis Joplin. I saw The Doors live once outdoors on Mt.
Tamalpias with Janis Joplin, the Grass Roots, and some others. I saw Janis Joplin everytime she played the Bay Area for a couple of years. The Jefferson Airplane was not a great '60s band, but it was a defining band for us Bay Area hippies and flower children back in those innocent but slightly dark times and I won't forget Howlin' Wolf as the opening act at the Fillmore, followed by JA pre Grace Slick. Chaffeur Blues is a great song. Every song on this album makes me remember an unususal time of my life and the life of American youth.
Glad to see you like "Today", always one of my favorites, and "Funny Cars" great bass, great ensemble singing. Listening to the two Grace Slick tunes, 'Somebody to Love' and 'White Rabbitt', especially the latter give me goosebumps. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn can be frigtening but these two songs give me true scared-shitless goosebumps. This is exactly what I'm looking for, psychedelia taking the dangerous aspect, not the flower power side.
Piper does this perfectly and so does these 2 songs. After reading you review, I guess I do have to concede this is their best, although I like a lot of their later work. Every track is solid. I guess my problem is more with the production.
A lot of the band members complain that too much echo was used, and Jorma's lead guitar is kind of tinny sounding. And Spencer's drums are kind of buried. There's certainly more variety than on the last album. A major leap in lyrics -- a lot of twists and turns and more topical concerns. And again, the individual personalities of the band exhibit themselves -- except for Spencer, who was kept on a relatively tight leash.
Kantner's "DCBA " is indeed weird, but it's much better than "Let Me In" -- how can you not like a line "so many days are left unstoned" delivered in such an innocent, naive way?.
Jorma scores by co-writing and not singing! And Grace's classics just go without saying. The two outside tracks are delightful, sounding like more trippy songs by the Mamas and Papas.
Early Flight also contains a second version of "Go to Her," with Grace adding a memorable vocal. Come on, record company guys, you had room for these! Another one of those great records. Probably the most crafted, consistant and throughly solid work the Airplane put out. So the sound is a little inferior to what you're used to I think "D. The vocals are beautiful, and the guitar solo is one of the best on the album.
The melody actually seems Beatle-esque, so you ought to like it. The rest of this album is pretty much great and requires no comment, except that "How Do You Feel", "Embryonic Journey", and "Plastic Fantastic Lover" are not up to the rest of the album's standards, and "Today" is possibly one of the best songs I've ever heard.
This is one of the most fantastic collections of songs ever unleashed upon mankind. Grace's vocal delivery on it is the real highlight. I even say she beats Janis Joplin out for my favorite female singer.
Except Rachel Phillips, but that's probably only because she sits next to me in English so I have someone to talk to when we should be reading Julius Caser which isn't a bad play but my teacehr is so boring and But at any rate, 'Somebody To Love' is a glorious moment in musical history. Ferocious vocals, voracious guitars, fantastic song. But none of the rest are slouches either. Unashamedly romantic and beautiful, and the duet between Marty and Grace is truly something special.
Then of course, 'White Rabbit'. In a little over 2 minutes, Grace manages to blame parents for drug experimentation by pointing out the one of the most popular children's books of the times is basically an acid trip on paper. The bass line threatens to steal the show from Grace's delivery, but how can it???
The pure power of the vocals simply cannot be beat. A classic. But everything else is on the same general level as these classics! The former is quite cool. Very jangley and soft. I don't see anything wrong with the vocal parts. And 'Embryonic Journey' is simply lovely.
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