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Jefferson Airplane/Starship

http://www.jeffersonairplane.com/
http://www.starship.pp.se/
http://jeffersonstarshipsf.com/

 
 
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Four classic pop rock tunes sung by three famed vocal greats define the distinct phases of the Jefferson Airplane-Jefferson Starship-Starship evolution from the mid 60s through the 90s: "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit" (Grace Slick), "Miracles" (founding member Marty Balin) and "We Built This City" (Mickey Thomas). "Miracles" helped define the mellower side of the experience post-Airplane,and has become a radio standard, inducted into BMI's Millionaire's club with over 2.7 million radio spins.

Along with the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane is regarded as the most successful San Francisco band of the late 60s. Creating a folk-rock hybrid that became known as West Coast rock, the group was formed in 1965 by Marty Balin, Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen.  They soon became popular locally, playing gigs and benefits organized by concert promoter Bill Graham. Eventually they became regulars at Graham\'s Fillmore West Auditorium, a short distance from the Haight Ashbury district. Former model Grace Slick's powerhouse vocals became a mainstay after she joined the band just after the release of the Airplane's debut Jefferson Airplane Takes Off.  She was already well known from The Great Society, and donated their songs "White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love" to the Airplane.

Their reputation was enhanced by a strong performance at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. This national success continued with the erratic After Bathing At Baxters and the brilliant Crown Of Creation. They maintained a busy schedule and released a well-recorded live album, Bless Its Pointed Little Head, in 1969. The same year, they appeared at another milestone in musical history: Woodstock. Later they participated at the infamous Altamont Festival, where a group of Hell's Angels, functioning as unauthorized security at the festival, killed a young spectator and attacked Balin.

Fiddler Papa John Creach joined the band full-time in 1970, although he still continued to play with Hot Tuna. Kantner released a concept album, Blows Against The Empire, bearing the name Paul Kantner and The Jefferson Starship. The "Starship" consisted of various Airplane members, plus Jerry Garcia, David Crosby, Graham Nash, et al.

Kantner's fascination with science fiction no doubt led the Airplane to metamorphasize into The Starship. The newly titled group's official debut was 1974's Dragonfly, which became an immediate success. Joining Kantner were Slick, Creach, former Quicksilver Messenger Service bass player David Freiberg, guitarist Craig Chaquico, ex-Turtles member John Barbata (bass) and Pete Sears (bass, keyboards).

Balin joined the new lineup at the beginning of 1975, the year Red Octopus became their most successful album, selling several million copies and spending a month at the top of the U.S. charts. Despite Slick's protests that the music was growing too commercial, the band continued to hone a more mainstream identity on 1976's Spitfire. Slick and Balin left in 1978 and were replaced by Mickey Thomas. Freedom From Point Zero and the U.S. Top 20 hit "Jane" at the end of 1979, bore no resemblance to the musical style towards which remaining original member Kantner had attempted to steer them.

In 1985, yet another new lineup recorded Knee Deep In The Hoopla, which became their most successful album since Red Octopus. Two singles from the album, "We Built This City" and "Sara", reached #1 in the U.S. Their image was now of slick perpetrators of AOR, performing for the MTV generation. After Starship broke up in the early 90s, Kantner revived the Jefferson Starship name and by the mid-90s had Balin and Casady in tow. A new live album was issued in 1995, featuring a guest appearance from Slick. Windows Of Heaven featured new vocalist Diana Mangano.





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