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The Woodstock Experience: Jefferson Airplane

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Album Review

Its smirky title notwithstanding, The Worst of Jefferson Airplane provides a fine recap of the band's first six albums. Released in 1970 shortly before Marty Balin's initial departure from the band, the album marked not only the end of the decade but, unwittingly, the end of the group's most stable phase in terms of membership. The track selections are evenly divided among the first-generation albums; only the live Bless Its Pointed Little Head is represented by a single entry. Pains were also taken to include songs featuring lead vocalists Balin, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. A few omissions are striking, most notably the chart single "Greasy Heart" and the signature Kantner track, "Wooden Ships." Nevertheless, the songs chosen for this album accurately summarize the distinct feel of each Jefferson Airplane album of the '60s, and thus the disc represents an ideal way to introduce oneself to the band's early, most psychedelic material.

Customer Reviews

Jefferson Airplane Continue to Inspire

At last after 40 years! (discounting bootlegs)..the Airplane's Woodstock set in its actual sequence. Grace's intro is legendary (again whoever writes the Itunes sleeve notes doesn't know their music/catalogue history) This intro was included on the original Woodstock Vinyl releases. Thoughts about this performance?? well the band had been camped on the Woodstock stage all of Saturday night as they were scheduled to go on at 9pm..but logistics went out the window at Yasgur's farm and they didnt go on until early Sunday morning. Grace Slick in a recent interview isnt too fond of Woodstock citing time delay's and the inability to go to the restroom as her gripe. However what you do get from this performance is the sense of a band that has had time on their hands to sample all sorts of mind candy and churn out a suitably influenced set. Wont you Try / Saturday Afternoon is the stand out as is Grace's greeting to the crowd at the start. Jack Casady's trademark driving bass and Paul Kanter's Rickenbackuer provide a solid backing to the Airplane's free form. Uncle Sam Blues was a surprising addition in the directors cut film version and really is the low point of an otherwise fine set. It has aged and leaving Grace Slick to lean on Nicky Hopkin's piano isnt a good look or sound. Eskimo Blue Day rocks as does the encore White Rabbit..Jefferson Airplane truly were the psychedelic band of the era. It's worth comparing this "feel good" performance to the disaster of Altamont months later, where Marty Balin gets knocked out by a Hells Angel member and Grace Slick pleads for peace with inattentive thugs. Some pundits describe the Woodstock Music Festival as the cornerstone marker to the end of the 60's. It's not unreasonable claim. Within the following year, the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Altamont concert had ended the flower children's party. Jefferson Airplane continue to inspire a new generation (see HunterGreen's 2009 techno homage to Grace Slick as an example) It's also worth looking out for recent Grace Slick interviews on various web forums. She's become a "punk" grandmother in her latter days. Opinionated, at times grumpy, ascerbic witted and a talented artist, Grace Slick remains a relevant iconic artist. This release wont disappoint old and new fans.


Formed: 1965 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Jefferson Airplane was the first of the San Francisco psychedelic rock groups of the 1960s to achieve national recognition. Although the Grateful Dead ultimately proved more long-lived and popular, Jefferson Airplane defined the San Francisco sound in the 1960s, with the acid rock guitar playing of Jorma Kaukonen and the soaring twin vocals of Grace Slick and Marty Balin, scoring hit singles and looking out from the covers of national magazines. They epitomized the drug-taking hippie ethos as well...
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