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The Great Society

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Before joining Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick sang lead and played various instruments for the Great Society, who were nearly as popular as Jefferson Airplane in the early days of the San Francisco psychedelic scene. Instrumentally, the Great Society were not as disciplined as Airplane. But they were at least their equals in imagination, infusing their probing songwriting with Indian influences, minor key melodic shifts, and groundbreaking, reverb-soaked psychedelic guitar by Slick's brother-in-law, Darby Slick. Darby was also responsible for penning "Somebody to Love," which Grace brought with her to Airplane, who took it into the Top Five in 1967. The Great Society broke up in late 1966 after recording only one locally released single; after Jefferson Airplane became stars, Columbia issued a couple of live albums of the Great Society performing at San Francisco's Matrix Club in 1966. ~ Richie Unterberger

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