The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby plasticfantastic on Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:47 pm

JoeD80 wrote:I don't think it's fair to compare considering Jefferson Airplane wasn't trying to reproduce the Great Society's sound. As for the Great Society, I like their song "Father Bruce" a lot.


Amazing song.

By the way, you do have a point-- I should say I prefer The Airplane's version (although there are times I question that statement). I do love how different the versions are. I just goes to show what a great song Somebody to Love is-- It can be interpreted in so many different ways.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby redrabid on Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:35 pm

To JoeD80:
That's the essence of a comparison, isn't it? One compares between two different things. But my point is that I don't know one single live performance of "White Rabbit" by JA that is truly outstanding. The best ones are just O.K., despite some good vocals by Grace. The song was always played in a rushed, loveless way: "O yeah, White Rabbit, let's get it over with.". And that's a shame, "White Rabbit" lent itself so well for improvisation, as The Great Society showed. Why did they resent this song so much?
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby plasticfantastic on Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:20 pm

Probably they resented it to some degree because it was their first (and really only) huge hit. They probably felt they'd moved on.

Then again, that never stopped The Who from singing My Generation... odd, isn't it?
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby JoeD80 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:29 pm

redrabid wrote:To JoeD80:
That's the essence of a comparison, isn't it? One compares between two different things. But my point is that I don't know one single live performance of "White Rabbit" by JA that is truly outstanding. The best ones are just O.K., despite some good vocals by Grace. The song was always played in a rushed, loveless way: "O yeah, White Rabbit, let's get it over with.". And that's a shame, "White Rabbit" lent itself so well for improvisation, as The Great Society showed. Why did they resent this song so much?

It's a short song anyway as the Airplane arranged it; dropping the introduction completely and just starting in with Jack's bass; playing it more as a piece for Jack & Grace than a song for improvisation. Yes, they could have added a lot of extra touches like they tended to do to "Somebody to Love" and their other songs, but for some reason they didn't. I don't think it means that they resented the song, just that they chose to work on their other songs more. They might have gotten bored of it too I suppose; they didn't play it during the "Long John Silver" tour.

plasticfantastic wrote:Probably they resented it to some degree because it was their first (and really only) huge hit. They probably felt they'd moved on.

Then again, that never stopped The Who from singing My Generation... odd, isn't it?

Somebody to Love was a bigger hit (#5 vs. #8) and they have had some really cool arrangements of that one and never dropped it from their repertoire.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby babson on Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:57 pm

plasticfantastic wrote:Yeah, I'd say.

And personally, I love the Great Society's version of SOmebody to Love too. I wouldn't say it's as good as The Airplane's, but I do really like it a lot.



tidbit - the Great Society's song was titled "Someone" to love, and changed to "Somebody when it migrated to JA via Gracy.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby babson on Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:03 pm

Have the "collectors Item" 2 record album. Listened to it for many years. Swear I can hear the beginnings of the JA sound in it. Always have some line in my head "their eyes so clear and acid filled" or something like that.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby fairlane500 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:17 pm

It's actually "...eyes so black and acid clear", but that seems nitpicky on my part. I love The Great Society. Better than pre-Grace Airplane, but I like early 'plane, too. Great Society has that reverb (I think its reverb-that kind of guitar with "echo") sound that has Frisco '66 splattered all over it. I, like a lot of you guys out there, prefer the 2 record (yeah-mine are on vinyl) set over the Sundazed studio stuff. I guess the studio sessions are the ones where Sly Stone got pissed off at the band for effin up somehow. There's another version of "Free Advice" on a rather expensive "nuggets" set called "Love is the Song We Sing" San Francisco nuggets 1965-1970. Grace sounds so innocent, for lack of a better word, on Great Society's version of Somebody (someone) to Love, I love that. But if I had to choose, I'd take the Airplanes studio version of STL from good ol' Surrealistic Pillow. Just puttin' in my 2 cents!
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby usedtobebabson on Sat May 01, 2010 8:56 am

Yeah! getting stoked on STL reading this. That song, IMHO, is the most powerful, monumental, timeless, anti-war/establishment song ever 8)
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby plasticfantastic on Sat May 01, 2010 8:02 pm

Such a great song... even within my teenage demographic, when I mention Somebody to Love to practically anyone, they'll know it. It's a classic-- completely timeless.

My personal favorite version is the Woodstock one. More energetic, spontaneous, and far louder than the studio one. Great solos from practically everyone, and a characteristically great vocal from Grace.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Sat May 01, 2010 10:56 pm

Oh, the live version of Somebody to Love just ROCKED! I personally think it was a lot better than the studio version, which don't get me wrong was great, but with the changes like that kick ass intro-riff, Marty's backing and the just general looseness and jamming, it was monumental. The Great Society's original was great too, I always thought it was a lot more psychedelic than JA's version, and just generally great because it's the original, a great statement improved upon.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby Susan Butcher on Wed May 05, 2010 1:18 am

Who played the organ and wind instruments on the Great Society live set?
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby plasticfantastic on Wed May 05, 2010 1:25 am

Susan Butcher wrote:Who played the organ and wind instruments on the Great Society live set?


I'm not sure about the organ, but I do at least know that on some songs, like the recorder duet in Nature Boy, that's Darby Slick and Grace on the recorders.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Wed May 05, 2010 2:43 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if it was Grace playing organ, she played keys for J.A, at least until around mid 1968. She also played recorder for J.A too, basically all the odd instruments no one else played. I also saw an early photo of the Great Society in concert where she was playing an acoustic guitar, the only time I've ever seen her play guitar on stage! I wish there was some footage of the Great Society, that'd be great. I'm sure they were filmed at the Fillmore, there must be something lying around somewhere.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby fairlane500 on Wed May 05, 2010 5:01 pm

What ever happened to the members of the Great Society after Grace split for the 'plane? Didn't one of them go to India or some other exotic locale? I love the Airplane, definetely one of if not my favorite band, but I wish the Great Society had found another singer or something. I thought they were rough, but pretty good (and I like that rough "garage rock" sound). Not dissin' JA. Wish they'd both made it.
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Re: The Great Society-- What do you guys think?

Postby plasticfantastic on Wed May 05, 2010 7:26 pm

Of course you're not dissing JA! That's perfectly reasonable, and I agree. I think that they didn't continue because of the messy politics you get in a band with a woman, her husband, her brother-in-law, and a bass player thrown in for get measure... I could imagine it would get quite complicated when any of the related members (Jerry, Grace, or Darby Slick) leave.

That garage sound is great... lots of bands like that were close to making it, but didn't quiiiite get there, although some of them, like the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, who are apparently quite popular in England, have found relative fame in more recent years.
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