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The Essential Jefferson Airplane

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Album Review

RCA/Legacy's 32-track Jefferson Airplane retrospective focuses on the influential psychedelic rock collective's late-'60s/early-'70s heydays. From 1966 (Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) through 1972 (Thirty Seconds Over Winterland), the group released nine albums that effectively shadowed the era, blending social themes with drugs, paranoia, and youthful rebellion/revolution. Essential may be a bit much for the casual fan, as its two discs delve deep into the group's eclectic catalog, stacking lost gems like "Eskimo Blue Day" and "Third Week in the Chelsea" alongside radio staples like "Somebody to Love," "White Rabbit," and "Volunteers," but those who are willing to take the plunge will be rewarded with the band's most thorough, informative, and thoughtfully paced anthology to date.

Biography

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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