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Marty Balin Greatest Hits

Marty Balin

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Album Review

Marty Balin, who has recorded for a number of different record companies in a number of different groups and as a solo act, here sidesteps the problems of licensing tracks by simply re-recording some of his best-known numbers, including songs done originally with Jefferson Airplane ("Plastic Fantastic Lover," "Today," "Coming Back to Me," "Volunteers") and Jefferson Starship ("Miracles," "Count on Me," "Runaway," "With Your Love"). He also revisits such solo hits as "Hearts" and "Atlanta Lady," and he introduces three songs written by producer Rich Landers ("Until You," "My Heart Picked You," and "Beautiful Girl"). At 57, Balin remains in good voice, and if the arrangements sometimes aren't as elaborate as on the original recordings, sometimes they are inventive, notably the funky version of "Plastic Fantastic Lover" with a punchy horn section. If the listener thinks of this as what a Balin concert might sound like in 1999, it may be acceptable. Just don't buy the album expecting the original versions of the songs. (The album comes with a 25-minute second disc of interview material in which Balin reminisces about his experiences with Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, and Paul McCartney. There is an untitled hidden track at the end that adds comments about Woodstock and Altamont. The comments are candid, but they would be easier to make out if instrumental musical beds from earlier songs had not been added to them.)

Biography

Born: 30 January 1942 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While remaining best known for his contributions to the pioneering San Francisco psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane, Marty Balin also enjoyed a successful solo career, scoring a Top Ten hit in 1981 with "Hearts." Born Martyn Jerel Buchwald in Cincinnati, OH, on January 30, 1942, he was raised in the Bay Area and later attended San Francisco State University; though he initially pursued a career as a painter, after appearing in a production of West Side Story Balin turned to music, issuing the solo...
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Marty Balin Greatest Hits, Marty Balin
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