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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the many decades, the ever-changing consortium of musicians known as Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship, etc. has been making much music that pleases me. Leaving aside the Jefferson Starship of Blows Against the Empire, the JS that most resonates with me falls into two periods, Early (pre-Freedom at Point Zero,) and Later, with Grace Slick being kicked out for alcoholism, then reinstated, and sharing vocals with Mickey Thomas. I like it all, selectively. But one of the great tragedies of my life is the lack of quality concert video of either JA or JS over the years. So here I must offer a hybrid of live performance and artsy hokum, but it is of one of my all-time favorites, St. Charles. Like "Kashmir" or "Cortez the Killer", or "The Year of the Cat", St. Charles offers a window into another world entirely, one of pure imagination tinged by dreams of history. I especially like the sinuous, ophidian guitar work of Craig Chaquico--you know I saw and heard it in a dream......

 

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I'm really only a fan of the early Dragonfly/Red Octopus/Spitifire trilogy after which they moved further into AOR territory which I had little or no time for.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They've done some good stuff over the years (and Grace has real pipes), but I'll never forgive them for We Built This City.
Actually, truth be told, I never cared for anything that Starship did; my enthusiasm ends with Nuclear Furniture. Regarding Grace's voice, she is quoted as saying how poorly she thinks she compares with Linda Ronstadt, to which I reply Poppycock and Nonsense. While not detracting from Ronstadt (not mentioning her thin upper register), I believe Grace had the greater instrument.

For elgars ghost, I am just as happy in AOR territory with the JS as I am in more rugged terrain; they offered material as good as anything that Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, or Journey were doing--it's all a matter of taste, to be sure.
 

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You stated in the opening that you are leaving aside Blows Against The Empire. Frankly, I think that this, along with, Baron Von Tollboth made pretty darn good music. The only problem with listening to it now is that one realizes that Paul Kantner was REALLY high when he wrote it. I find the music and musicianship to be wonderful. But the lyrics show that he had some of the best drugs of his era. I would love it if some lyricist could write some great words and then go back in time to get Gracie and Paul to sing the new lyrics.

OH well, I guess I need to wait 17 years until they build the first time machine.
 

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Oh, I forgot, can I add another song from Gracie. She basically mailed in the songs to her Manhole album. Overall, it's not very good. But Come Again, Toucan is truly spectacular - Gracie at her best. Take a listen, if you like:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You stated in the opening that you are leaving aside Blows Against The Empire. Frankly, I think that this, along with, Baron Von Tollboth made pretty darn good music. The only problem with listening to it now is that one realizes that Paul Kantner was REALLY high when he wrote it. I find the music and musicianship to be wonderful. But the lyrics show that he had some of the best drugs of his era. I would love it if some lyricist could write some great words and then go back in time to get Gracie and Paul to sing the new lyrics.

OH well, I guess I need to wait 17 years until they build the first time machine.
I left aside Blows only because it was not, strictly speaking, an effort by the quintessential Jefferson Starship. That said, I love Blows Against the Empire, and somewhere noted that Kate Bush's Aerial in places bears a strong similarity. You, I, and Kate should all join the others up on A-Deck and look at the stars.
 

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Over the many decades, the ever-changing consortium of musicians known as Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship, etc. has been making much music that pleases me. Leaving aside the Jefferson Starship of Blows Against the Empire, the JS that most resonates with me falls into two periods, Early (pre-Freedom at Point Zero,) and Later, with Grace Slick being kicked out for alcoholism, then reinstated, and sharing vocals with Mickey Thomas. I like it all, selectively. But one of the great tragedies of my life is the lack of quality concert video of either JA or JS over the years. So here I must offer a hybrid of live performance and artsy hokum, but it is of one of my all-time favorites, St. Charles. Like "Kashmir" or "Cortez the Killer", or "The Year of the Cat", St. Charles offers a window into another world entirely, one of pure imagination tinged by dreams of history. I especially like the sinuous, ophidian guitar work of Craig Chaquico--you know I saw and heard it in a dream......

Imo the music's allright, especially the last half part. The lyrics are crap as has been said. More interesting than my opinion maybe is that listening to it I got really strong associative memories of Sandy Denny with Fairport Convention, although I know of course they were a very different band. Maybe it's the feel of that time that brought that back to me but also something in their voices. In comparison I like Sandy's voice and the Fairport's music, sound and play better.


PS What really surprised me is that someone who commented on this YT-video mentions the same association!
 

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I like Marty Balin's material over Slick's, once Slick pretty much took over the band from Marty starting on their 3rd album, that was it for me.
Balin wrote some of the Airplane's best songs, especially "Comin' Back to Me" and "Today". Well, he also wrote some clunkers as well! But when he left, that was the end of the Airplane for me too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Same here. Grace Slick had a really good voice. Paul Kantner could play pretty well but compared to Hendrix???
I missed this post first time around. Not sure anyone ever compared Paul with Jimi on guitar. But a bit more Jefferson Starship live is turning up on YouTube and so here is one of my many JS faves, Ride the Tiger, sung by a much later assemblage of JS personnel--we have Mickey Thomas and Grace both at the mikes. They made an interesting vocal team on such JS pop efforts as Sorry Me, Sorry You and Stranger.....

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Leaving aside any comparisons with Hendrix, I found the various Jeffersons well served by their lead guitarists--Jorma Kaukonen for the Airplane, with his peculiar and unmistakable plangency as in Wooden Ships; and Craig Chaquico's sinuous but more "mainstream" guitar perfectly suited to the Jefferson Starship's more poppish material, as in St. Charles. A fan of both.
 

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I really like We Built This City.


My favourite part is when the Lincoln statue comes to life.
I also like when they are running away from the giant rolling dice.
I don't remember Washington DC being built on rock 'n' roll. But after the JFK assassination it would've been an improvement.
 
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