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This week I have been trying to get into a bit of Jefferson Starship. I had only previously known about the very early 'Jefferson Airplane' work from the late 60's and then the later 'We Built This City' extremities of the 80's. I hadn't really listened to much in-between. Starting out as Jefferson Airplane in 1966, the band had some psychedelic success with songs like 'Somebody to Love' and 'Volunteers'. By 1971 the band disbanded and morphed into Jefferson Starship with a much heavier rock sound. By the 80's they had moved into a more commercial sounding group, quite similar to Fleetwood Mac in sound.
Grace Slick also puts in some vocals on this album. Slick is a bit of a strange character having been ousted from the Starship in the late 70's. Amongst her claims to fame have been inviting Abbie Hoffman to the White House, being the first person to say 'Motherf----' on US television and more recently wearing a burkah at a Jefferson Airplane 9/11 concert. Here she puts in some distinctive vocals on 'Stranger' on this record.
'Find Your Way Back' is the hit song from the album. I've read that it resembles 'Hot Blooded' by Foreigner and 'Jean Genie' by David Bowie, whilst sounding similar it certainly holds its own and harks back to the classic sound of the Airplane, whilst still having that polished 80's rock sound. In fact the whole album feels like an 80's heavy rock slant on 60's psychedelia which I suppose can only be the case with this band!
I quite liked the album, but it did leave me feeling a little short changed. While 'Find Your Way Back' and 'Mary' are good songs, the rest of the album is pretty mundane. It sounds a lot like 80's Fleetwood Mac, but without the hooks. I suggest a best of, unless you are a big fan of the Airplane. Mediocre.
1. Find Your Way Back
3. Wild Eyes
4. Save Your Love
5. Modern Times
9. Stairway to Cleveland (We Do What We Want)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Find Your Way Back
3 Wild Eyes
4 Save Your Love
5 Modern Times
9 Stairway to Cleveland (We Do What We Want)