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After Bathing At Baxters (Remastered Bonus Track Version)

Jefferson Airplane

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Album Review

Of all the reissues to date of the Jefferson Airplane's classic catalog, the 2003-vintage expanded version of After Bathing at Baxter's is the most rewarding. The most ambitious album ever recorded by the band, and one of the finest psychedelic albums ever released, the reissue enhances its value, not only with a better transfer than the 1996-vintage upgrade, but some highly significant bonus tracks. First and foremost, and one of the great bonus cuts to have turned up to date in the entire CD era, is the live, long version of "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil," 11-plus minutes of some of the best psychedelic music ever committed to tape by anyone, and significantly different from the four-and-half-minute studio version finally used; this track by itself is worth the price of the CD. The other labeled bonuses are the single edit of "Martha" (which isn't that special); a leaner, less ambitious, smoother alternate version of "Two Heads" (which reveals a potential lost single); and Marty Balin's never-used "Things Are Better in the East" (originally resurrected for the 2400 Fulton Street box). But the producers have also included a hidden bonus track, an alternate instrumental track for "Young Girl Sunday Blues," that is well worth hearing. The historical notes by Bill Thompson and group biographer Jeff Tamarkin give a full account of the evolution of each song as well as the entire album, and the excellence of the sound makes the 2003 reissue an essential acquisition for any fan of the group, or of psychedelic music in general.

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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