Favorite Airplane Album?

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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby JoeD80 on Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:25 pm

Susan Butcher wrote:I love "DCBA" and "My Best Friend". I think the words have a secret side to them. "How Do You Feel" I could do without.


How Do You Feel is probably one of the more enjoyable tracks on that album for me.

EmbryonicRabbit68 wrote:I even find myself liking Bark and Long John Silver over it sometimes... :shock:


I like Bark better that Volunteers myself. I didn't like Long John Silver at first but that album has really grown on me. After Bathing at Baxter's is my favorite though.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby lnk43 on Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:50 am

man this is a hard one for me.. I'm probably going to have to go with thirty seconds over winterland there is something about those performances (not much the songs) that I just can't stand not to love. My favorites on there though would be not in order: Trial By Fire, Have You Ever Seen The Saucers? (for cassadys line.. holy mashiz), and When The Earth Moves Again.
Other then that album I love Surrealistic Pillow and well ofcourse The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane, mostly just for Lather though.. I love that song.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:13 pm

Other then that album I love Surrealistic Pillow and well ofcourse The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane, mostly just for Lather though.. I love that song.


Lather is on Crown of Creation, and if you love that song, you would problably love the whole album.

I like Bark better that Volunteers myself. I didn't like Long John Silver at first but that album has really grown on me. After Bathing at Baxter's is my favorite though.


Yeah at first i thought the 70s albums were either very weird, odd or too plain, and i agree with Ink43 a bit, i prefer the songs from Bark and LJS on 30 Seconds Over Winterland to the studio versions, and it took listening to that album to like them, but i really started listening to those two albums lately and im starting to not find anything wrong with them, all i really dont like is the feeling theres a bit of nonsense on Bark, like European Song and, although the vocals are great, but Thunk would have been better with more music too it.And Long John Silver is a great album, cant really find a song on it i would leave off, but oh God the production...Graces vocals are so badly mixed or recorded.Pauls vocals are great on the stuff he sings, i would actually call LJS his best album as for his vocals, atleast for me, but Graces vocals sound like unmixed early demos or something, except on Aerie and Milk Train.If she re-recorded her vocals for the rest of the album today, that might even be better.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby plasticfantastic on Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:18 pm

I know what you mean about the production on LJS. It would have been a fabulous album had it been better produced.

I really love Bark. Yes, I know that European sog is nonsense, but I really think that it's a great, underrated album.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:23 am

Yeah Bark does seem quite unrelated.Actually, i listen to it more and more, and i like it even more.Ive been working on a new Airplane compilation cd, and my selection had most of Bark on it.Along with LJS.Ive been thinking of making it a 2 cd.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby plasticfantastic on Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:40 pm

I know what you mean-- the album really does grow on you. A lot of people think that it's unbalanced without Marty, but I don't really think so. I think the album is balanced, just different than any other Airplane albums before it.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby redrabid on Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:18 pm

In an earlier post I wrote that Surrealistic Pillow might have been JA's best album,if only... Okeedoe in his post dated july 26th 2009 refers to that post. But it has been erased. But it isn't lost. Plasticfantastic quotes my original post in her reply dated August 22nd 2009. Thank you Plasticfantastic!
Volunteers belongs to the three JA albums that I play very often. But it is not my favorite album.
Even though most of the songs are among the best JA ever recorded: We Can Be Together, Good Shepherd, Wooden Ships, Eskimo Blue Day, Volunteers. This time the problem is not the selection of the songs. It is the production. As the sleeve of Volunteers indicates "All the songs in this album have been recorded complete and unexpurgated as they are performed on stage by Jefferson Airplane". I think it wasn't a wise decision. It resulted in a murky, undefined sound. The titlesong proves my point. I really like that song with its aggressive guitars and vocals, but it sounds so muffled and muddled to the point of untogetherness. If this song had been produced in a much tighter, more defined way, it could have made a very succesful single (though I doubt that American radiostations would have been able to stomach those incendiary lyrics). More attention should have been paid to good arrangements. The Farm for instance sounds very "crowded". Jack and Jorma and Nicky Hopkins and Jerry Garcia (not a very good steelguitar player) all playing together at the same time is at least one musician too many. Lack of a clear arrangement mars Eskimo Blue Day too. Such a "cool" song asks for openness, a breath of fresh air, but it has a dense, almost suffocating feel to it. So Volunteers is not my number 1 JA album.
Another one down, still three albums to go. The other three will not be considered.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:43 pm

I never found anything wrong with the production.Its like Bark where its just different.Like the Country aspects.Some country i can tolerate, but when i listen to the airplane, i dont want country.Also because theres songs on there that are so very not country, like Wooden Ships, Eskimo Blue Day, Volunteers, ect, and it doesnt mix well.When I kinda think about it, the production was a bit murky.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby plasticfantastic on Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:09 pm

EmbryonicRabbit, I really agree with you on this one. I like the Volunteers album a lot, even the more country songs on it. My favorite is We Can Be Together, though. Redrabid, I do see your point about the recording, but I just don't really mind it, so I guess it just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

And by the way, I'm a girl. :)
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby redrabid on Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:51 pm

Friends always tell me (the ones that know something of 60s music) that they think that "Crown of Creation" is the best JA album. Not that I value their opinion very much: the only other JA album they know is "Surrealistic Pillow" (For the musicians among them I played "After Bathing at Baxter's" a couple of times:" Waw, I didn't know they could do that !"). But yes, "Crown" is a fabulous album. I have played it so often in my own room (psychedelic decorations and a primitive lightning system by yours truly) in 1968 and 1969, alone or in the company of friends. Ahh, those were the days!
"Crown" still has something of the lysergic glow of "Pillow", thanks to an excellent production. It has a clear crispy sound, the instruments are well defined, so you hear the awesome, almost psychic link they had developed between themselves while playing together, not only Jack and Jorma, but also Jack and Spencer. Upon Jack's bass playing everything else is built. Every bassplayer and drummer should own a copy of "Crown". The vocals too are recorded with the same clarity. Such joy to hear Marty Grace and Paul in excellent form.
Lots of good tunes: "Lather", sung by Grace in a low, almost angelic voice. "In Time", with those glorious harmonies. "Triad" of course. David Crosby's approach (well, The Byrds' actually) is an emotional outcry, Grace's interpretation is more reflective, philosophical. I prefer her's. And there is "Crown Of Creation", "Star Track" with its scorching guitar, "Greasy Heart", "The House at Pooneil Corners". But I do have a few critical remarks:There is one song that I always disliked: "Ice Cream Phoenix".Lousy composition and the band obviously didn't know what to do with it. Every second it seems to collapse. Even the supportive vocal by Grace can't save the song from disaster. Bad song.
Marty Balin's contributions are not bad but a bit "lightweight", though I like "If You Feel" alot. Maybe they should have used "Things are better in the East"; I think that song (in a more or less acoustic version) would fit well on the first side of "Crown".
"Greasy Heart" has always been one of my favorites on "Crown", but I always thought and still think so that the song needed a much heavier treatment. Jorma wanted to play louder, so why didn't he do so? The song asks for it. I can hear in my mind heavy guitar chords underlining Grace's vocal. And Grace shouldn't have overdubbed her own vocal.
And then there's "The House At pooneil Corners". Dark, eerie. It used to be my favorite song on "Crown", but I changed my mind. The song lacks something. It goes on and on, constantly repeating the same riffs, without any direction and then it stops. It doesn't build up. It needs an overpowering grand finale.
And so because of these highly personal views "Crown Of Creation" is not my all time favorite JA album, but they came close, very close.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby PrayForPlagues on Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:34 pm

Baxters fo sho, I bought it when I was like 10 because of the cover art and was taken ahold by this crazy music that I had never heard anything like. Crown of Creation second, and I think Volunteers and Surrealistic Pillow tie for third because they both have stuff that I find boring and stuff I find amazing. Long John Silver first, because I don't think it's too bad, just not a lot of diversity. And I can't stand Bark, sorry.

I just think Baxters is really catchy, adventurous and lots of fun. The beauty of "Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil" warps into the televisiony-commercial cartoony "A Small Package of Value will come to You Shortly", which tunes like a radio into the danceable "Young Girls Sunday Blues". "Martha" has a high, smoky quality to it, "Wild Tyme (H)" is probably IMO the weakest track though good, "Last Wall in the Castle" is a great one by Kaukonen, "rejoyce" is relaxing and like a shot of kava, "Watch her Ride" is refreshing, "Spare Chaynge" is so atmospheric and awesome, "Two Heads" is one of my all time favorites, and "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon" is a nice, warm ending.
Crown of Creation is GREAT because it has such a great mix of what all the band members have thats unique to themselves, and it all melts together very well. "Lather" is eerie, "In Time" always creates an atmosphere to me, "If You feel" is fun and danceable, "Star Track" is one of my favorites, and "House at Pooneil Corners" is intoxicating with the beautiful but eerie vocals and guitars, and the creepy organs.

Surrealistic Pillow is a great example of the early San Francisco sound, but to me it's really not anything too interesting (dont get me wrong though, it's awesome).

Volunteers... eh. I agree with what someone else said because the murky quality. I think "We Can Be Together" is pretty cool, "Good Shepherd" is pretty awesome, "Hey Frederick" is another of my favorites, "eskimo blue day" is just... AMAZING. However, nothing else on the album really stands out. Although it did introduce me to the beautiful Russian song "Polyushko Pole". The album version of "Volunteers" just doesnt do it for me. I love the song, but live recordings like on Woodstock Experience or Sweeping Up the Spotlight are much more energetic.

Long John Silver isn't something I have listened to much- although I actually dig a lot of the lyrics, but the music is a bit... meh to me. It's kinda obvious they were all saving their best material for solo work. Bark is just not something I enjoy at all. It kinda gives me the feeling it was something they released just because they owed the label an album. "When the Earth Moves Again" is cool, "Wild Turkey" is great but clearly should have been on a Hot Tuna album, and the only other track that stands out to me is "Rock and Roll Island".
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:30 pm

My tastes change alot, so I am going to re-review their albums from my ears.

I think After Bathing at Baxters might be my new favourite, because I think its great all the way through, every song to me is perfect.Couldnt really name something I would take off except A Small Package, which is highly annoying.Other than that, it and Pillow are the only Airplane albums I can get through without a song being in the way, and Small Package isnt a song.I remember feeling the same way about Takes Off, but mainly because Takes Off just had kind of a plain-ness to me, and I never found it too interesting, thus there was nothing stand-out.Surrealistic Pillow is amazing all the way through, the least good song being DCBA-25, but even that is good.My favorite was always Comin' Back to Me.Crown of Creation is I think my second favorite, but I could do without Triad, Chushingura and the recording of Greasy Heart.Chushingura is useless, and although Triad is a good song, its just my least favorite on the album, maybe if it was on Volunteers I would like it more.Between the two, they could have fit Things are Better in the East.Greasy Heart is great, but I also agree it could have been heavier.I also didnt like the way Grace did the vocals.When I hear it live, she aces it, and it all is almost jazzy.Aside from that, the whole album I think is great and I personally couldnt leave a song off of it.Now, Volunteers could have been great.Wooden Ships blows CSNs version out of the water, its just so powerful, easily one of my top favorite JA songs.Then theres Eskimo Blue Day, my 2nd favorite on the album, and I think is almost equally amazing, one of Graces best.Volunteers the song is great, I absolutely love We Can Be Together, Good Shepherd is great, and Hey Fredrick is great too, just a bit to spread out and uneven.The Farm is alright, but I dont like the country thing.I hate A Song for All Season, my least favorite Airplane song I think of all time.I like Meadowlands more than I like that one.

Now, for the 1970s.Mexico/Have You Seen The Saucers is their best 45 IMO.Blows Against The Empire is a great album, flows well, just would have been better as a JA album.Then, Bark I think is great dispite all the crap everyone gives it.Think about it, everything on it is good except European Song and Thunk, those are just silly.But everything else isnt as bad as everyone wants to think.The album has as many bad songs as most Airplane album, a cut or two.And they are right next to eachother, you just have to get up and move the needle once instead of twice in a sitting.Highly underrated.Long John Silver, however, is better I think, and one of my favourite of their whole catalog, the only exceptions being Easter and the title track, and some bad mixing.Aerie is one of Graces best compositions, Twilight Double Leader is kick ass, dispite the lyrics kinda being odd.Trial By Fire is great, and thats great if its Hot Tuna like, I dont know what would be wrong with that!Eat Starch Mom is the best though, has one of the sickest riffs I have ever heard, and who knew I would find that on a Jefferson Airplane album.For me, it speaks for the REAL hippie movement -- having your own fun and telling parents and authority to f**k off!One of Grace and Jormas best.Now, my opinion of the albums is re-assessed.As a whole, I think they are a much better live band, and wish there were more official live releases.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby Susan Butcher on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:11 pm

"Crown" has a nice balance of lightness and dark, which is why it's the one I usually grab when feel like listening to them. "Volunteers" is very much of its time, and anger and doom predominate. And I'm afraid of getting sick of "Pillow", so it stays in its sleeve until the right occasion.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby PrayForPlagues on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:16 pm

Yeah, I wish there were more official JA live albums. honestly, I can't say I really enjoy BIPLH. It's good- but the song selection is a bit too constricted i think. I would have enjoyed a better selection of songs. :p
The Woodstock Experience is my favorite live album- a great selection of songs from all their albums and despite being exhausted, the band did great. Some of the play with the audience is cool- at the end of Volunteers someone keeps yelling "right on!!!!". :D
The "Sweeping Up the Spotlight" album is pretty good too.
There's quite a few live Airplane tracks on iTunes... that's where I bought Sweeping up the Spotlight, and they also have their Monterey set- it's great having their "High Flyin Bird" and an early version of "Young Girls Sunday Blues" with somewhat different lyrics.

I would kill for their Altamont set, as weird as that sounds- but despite the odd circumstances their "Other Side of this Life" from Gimme Shelter is really good and funky and makes me curious as to what the rest of the show was like.
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Re: Favorite Airplane Album?

Postby starfire II on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:55 pm

After Bathing At Baxters - more than forty years on, there's still nothing that sounds even remotely like it.
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