The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby Susan Butcher on Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:19 pm

And why do I love sloppy improvisations so much? Can you guess, kids?
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:23 pm

Oh i dont expect the most articulate playing.Theres plenty of bands i love that i always believed could have used less ego-like and "we-have-to-be-perfect" playing(Emerson...Lake...Palmer...), but the playing could have been 'better'.Craig Chaquico is an amazing guitarist.He is one of the only reasons i listen to Jefferson Starship from time to time, and i sorta expected more from him.Its also because just about everyone involved had individually released some, lets see, eleven, albums in the past two years(im counting everyone on the album though...and just from what i remmember).Theres tons of bands that lose it after just their first album, so the best playing isnt expected.Anyway, this is my next JA What If Album.I found really cool Chinese artwork, and edited it into the frame from the cover of Baron, and it looks really cool.Would love to upload it...

Chinese Blues(1973)
Recorded: 3rd-17th December 1972, 2nd March - 15th April 1973
Released: 9th July 1973
Label: Grunt Records

Side One-
1.I See The Light(Kaukonen) - 4:15
2.Flowers Of The Night(Traylor) - 4:13
3.Drivin' Me Crazy(Balin/Kantner) - 7:06
4.Easy Now(Kaukonen) - 5:10
5.Your Mind Has Left Your Body(Kantner) - 5:45

Side Two-
1.Fishman(Slick) - 2:40
2.Twixt Two Worlds(Balin) - 5:30
3.White Boy(Transcaucasian Airmachine Blues)(Kantner) - 4:13
4.Soliloquy for 2(Kaukonen) - 3:42
5.Sketches of China(Kantner/Slick) - 5:13

Across the Board was the non-album single.It ended up being the only single.The albums highest charting was #13.This was also the album that David Freiberg becomes an official member, making the Airplane a seven-piece.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:51 pm

I owe you an explanation for the selection of songs on my first "JA What If" album "Fighting the Suits". For those of you who are interested: I edited my post Oct 07 (page 3 of this topic) to include it.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:57 pm

Saucers is one of those latter day JA songs that is quite often flying around in the back of my head, despite its silly lyrics. Nice melody. I prefer by far the live version of Saucers on "30 Seconds". The studiorecording was badly produced due to the falling apart of the band. Jack Casady may be God playing bassguitar, but five days to record the bass part?! More nonsense lyrics on "Empire", but I have to admit that I kind of like that album. Taken out of context the songs loose a bit of their charm though. "Let's Go Together" and "Have You Seen the Stars Tonight" are perhaps better songs, but I chose "Mau Mau" (Oh man, that gorgeous vocal intro) and Starship" because I wanted some uptempo songs for this "What If" album. On "Empire" these songs are too "loose" for my taste (I never will be a fan of Joey Covington's rambling, all-over-the-place drumming) but I am convinced that the "What If" recordings of these songs by JA (including Spencer Dryden of course) would have been much tighter, if the live performance of "Starship" at Woodstock, for a short while emerging out of "Ballad" , is anything to go by.
"Bark" is not a very good album. It lacks cohesion, but there are good songs on that album. Two songs stand out for me: "Lawman" and "Chelsea". Paul Kantner saved his best songs for "Sunfighter". The title track and "Wolves" surpass anything by him on "Bark".
"Been So Long" is a surprising lovesong by Jorma Kaukonen, who, only a few years earlier, chastisized Marty Balin for writing this kind of songs (by the way, did he ever apologize to Marty?). If only Marty would have been able to sing this song.
The misogynic "Dresses"? I just wanted a song by Marty Balin".


I know what you mean about Saucers on 30 Seconds, it is simply amazing, but i really like the studio version.Matter a fact, i have yet to find another live version as good as the studio version outside the 30 Seconds version, atleast from the few 70s Airplane boots i have collected.And i love silly lyrics, sillier the better.I mean, great lyrics are a need, but the occasional non-sense lyrics are fun.And i know how you feel about Bark and Sunfighter.Paul was really getting into his solo stuff.I mean, to completely pass by the next Airplane album for a solo album(Empire), theres a sign of un-interest there.But then again, when coming up with compilations, the only songs i dont include from Bark are Crazy Miranda, European Song and Thunk.So i still stand by it being a good album in my opinion.I also think Jorma sang Been So Long very well, Marty is obviously a better singer, but the original version of that song is perfect.

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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:12 pm

It was much more difficult than I thought to select the songs for my next "JA What If" album "Stolen". The problem is that nobody did write any good songs ca 1975, except Jorma Kaukonen of course. He was by then the most prolific and by far the best songwriter of all Airplaners. So many good songs to choose from. I only have to decide which songs would have fitted best on an Airplane album. But it is very puzzling that Paul Kantner, who always came up with at least a few good songs after the withdrawal of Marty Balin, contributed so little to "Red Octopus". He co-wrote two very mediocre songs. "I Want to See Another World" was one of those aimless space-chants he was going to write for the next decennia. It looks as if he already lost confidence in his Starship, now not on course for the Unknown but for the middle of the road. And Grace Slick too seems to have lost her inspiration. Maybe what she saw in the bottle was much more inspiring than this bland band she was singing in. She started to write lyrics to the music by others. Perhaps a new way of nailing the members of the band (Thanks to whoever, but she would re-invent herself again in a couple of years). And Marty Balin, he came up with Miracles,a song you love or hate. And he co-wrote a few songs, but I am afraid that his Tony Bennett fascination got the better of him.
So in this What If world Jorma will save Jefferson Airplane the same way as Paul did on Baxter's: by becoming the main songwriter for JA.
And now I am going to work on the final selection for this album. You will hear from me soon.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:18 pm

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE
"STOLEN"
1975
Highest chart position #11

Genesis
Drivin' Me Crazy
Sleep Song
Fast Buck Freddie
Serpent Of Dreams

Miracles
Flying Clouds
Ai Garimasu
I Want To See Another World
Funky #7

I couldn't imagine a JA record without a song by Paul Kantner, so that's why "Another World" is on this What If album even though it is a very lousy song. The songs by Grace Slick are, as most of her 70s compositions, below her own standard. But I didn't have much choice. To me "Miracles" is not as awful as most of you think it is. With a more inventive, less MOR arrangement by JA (No "baby oh baby" by Grace for instance) it might have been a nice ballad. But "Drivin Me Crazy" is of course a much better lovesong. It fits nicely here between Jorma Kaukonen's ballads. "Quah" is for me the best solo album released by any member of Jefferson Airplane, here represented by "Genesis" and "Flying Clouds". To go along with these more acoustic songs, I choose "Sleep Song" and "Serpent" from "America's Choice". But I wanted one really loud song to finish this What If album. I can't make up my mind whether it should be "Hit Single #1" or "Funky #7". For now I selected "Funky #7", because it reminds me somehow of "Eat Starch Mom".
Last edited by redrabid on Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby jimmie ray on Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:44 pm

Is part of this "what if" scenario that the songs had to be written by a previous JA member? I could imagine them, as a group, being coerced into doing some of the same covers (that happened later by solo), if they had stayed intact longer?
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:17 am

Hi Jimmy Ray,
Nice to see that you do follow this topic. As for the rules of this game, see my post (dated Oct 07) on page 3 of this topic.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby jimmie ray on Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:48 am

O.K. - I see you provided an exception (and cheating is allowed?). I like how Jorma digs up songs from many decades ago - many times it's something that very few remember or have ever heard, before.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:35 pm

Actually, i like I Want To See Another World.Atleast i think i do, it might be because its the only song on Red Octopus that isnt very bland and commercial.Everyone in JS excels musicly, even on the worst songs, the musicianship is amazing.Its the songs that suck though.I think if the rest of the Starship catalog was like Ride the Tiger, Another World and All Fly Away...and maybe St. Charles, i would praise them.But Paul had to let it go.Sometimes i wonder if Grace leaving him had something to do with it...she has that spell over people.

Anyway, here i go with my story.A week ago my computer literally went back 15 years.No ability to connect to the internet, couldnt control the volume or settings, and couldnt copy or move files.And the toolbar kept dissapearing.So i re-booted my computer today and lost absolutely everything.Every album, song, book, story, poem, game...everything.To the smallest settings.Basicly a new computer.That also means What If albums, which i lost a first set i made in an accident before, so this is the second time i lost what if albums.I had three pretty good what if albums from 1974, 1975 and 1976 the world will never see...so what i have posted here is the only info on the what if albums ive made.Charish them...the last of my what if albums.I also have been unable to listen to JA for a week and i feel starved.I had the Pooneils in my head for two days and couldnt listen to them because my computer is fried and my parents rarely listen to music, and when the rare occasion comes up we can listen to records i cant even suggest JA without them alienating me.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:34 pm

As I wrote elsewhere I am working on my new "JA What If" album. Making a list of titles for such an album is one of the first things I do. I was thinking of a religious variation on "Volunteers of Amerika". "Preachers of the Faith" or "Defenders of the Faith", or something like that. But I didn't like those titles too much, though I didn't know why. EmbryonicRabbit68 saved me from a big mistake (thank you !). He wrote that "Defenders of the Faith" was a Judas Priest album. Judas Priest? Aaargh! So that is wrong with my intended titles, they smell too much of Heavy Metal. As for now the working title for my new JA album is: "Out of Grace".
Speaking of Judas Priest: I always wondered why all those macho Heavy Metal groups dressed up in rather obvious gay chique, chaps and spiked leather and such. Today I read an article that pointed out that Judas Priest's lead singer was the first to adopt that kind of clothing. And what a following it did have. For him it was a natural choice, he was a (still closeted) queen. Makes you wonder about all those other Heavy Metal groups.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:02 pm

Yeah Rob Halford(Priest singer) used to wear all kinds of differant outfits during the 1970s, but in 1979 he just decided to go out in the spiked leather for lack of a better outfit.And it went great!I love Judas Priest, and I think how Halford came out and still made music and is still in the band today is great.He gets alot of crap about being gay and all that, but he doesnt give a sh*t.They still tour, saw them this August, and it rocked.

Back on subject of What if; Do you think JA would have gone Punk in the late 70s and early 80s?Jorma and Jack did, and what I heard of Welcome to the Wrecking Ball is close to Punk i guess...although I only heard Mistreater, or whatever.And I was surprised Paul didnt get wrapped up in that whole thing somehow.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby Susan Butcher on Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:00 pm

Punk generally doesn't suit rich people approaching middle age.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:58 pm

JA going Punk? I don't think so. Susan is right, punk is not made by musicians in their 40s. And I don't consider SVT or Jorma's various groups around 1980 very punky. Also improvisation was the heart and soul of JA's music (Punk had a lot of qualities but improvisation wasn't one of those) and with Spencer Dryden still in the band I think it would have remained so. It is likely that in the seventies their music would have got louder (without turning into a insipid Heavy Metal extract as was the case with the desparate JS) and more orchestrated. At the same time improvisation might have become a stronger aspect of their recorded music. A more pronounced jazz influence maybe, as in "Rejoyce" (I often wonder how "Silverspoon" would have sounded if it had been produced like that). Not unlike some of Frank Zappa's efforts. Imagine Zappa as JA's producer! Maybe he could have influenced them to play a bit more precise (I know Zappa was considered as the producer of "Baxter's". It would have spelled disaster then). But no doubt JA's music would have evolved into a more acoustic, more rootsy kind of music.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby plasticfantastic on Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:32 pm

Zappa produced Baxter's?

I'm sure that JA would've gotten a lot louder in the 70s, and possibly more blues-based (maybe). I don't think that they'd ever give up improvisation. It would probably remain part of the music.

Do you guys think that any of the Starship disasters would've been made in this strange little universe we're creating?
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But I won't be blue always
The sun's gonna shine in my door,
Shine in my back door someday
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