CD Review: Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane
The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
By David Chiu

Re-reading Jeff Tamarkin’ excellent biography on Jefferson Airplane, Got a Revolution, made me revisit this compilation, which was released earlier this year.There are plenty of Jefferson Airplane compilations, including ones that mix in with the music of its later incarnations Jefferson Starship and Starship. For the simple and concise overview of probably the legendary’s band undoubtedly best period (1966-1970), this ironically-titled set first released in 1970, is the one spanning the revolutionary band’s many triumphs: the two big hit singles “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love,” anthems sung in the commanding delivery of Grace Slick; the soulful “It’s No Secret,” penned by the Airplane’s other amazing vocalist Marty Balin; a piece of experimentation called “Chushingura”; the hard-charging live version of “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” a showcase of how great the Airplane was onstage; and closing out with two tracks emblematic of the band’s spirit “Volunteers” and “We Can Be Together.” This package (and if you can, get the Tamarkin book as well) is a great way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Jefferson Airplane’s debut album, a band who defined not only the music of that era but also a generation.


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