Tonight's blog will be a double-look at two recent records I picked up. First on deck is Paul Kantner & Jefferson Starship "Blows Against the Empire."
I had heard about this one over the years and finally got a chance to listen to it this past Saturday after picking it up on Friday. It was released in 1970 during a time when Jefferson Airplane was starting to splinter as a band. Two of their members had formed a side project called Hot Tuna, and rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner decided to record a solo album with his old lady Grace Slick.
The album was based on a sci-fi idea he had conceived about the counterculture leaving the Earth in the not-too-distant future in a starship to start civilization anew, away from a rapidly deteriorating planet. Paul received help recording not only from his girlfriend Grace but also an ad-hoc conglomeration of musicians dubbed the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (consisting of members of the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Crosby Stills & Nash).
|Paul and Grace with collaborator Jerry Garcia and legendary Bay Area impresario Bill Graham.|
The album is far out in terms of concept and music, but is very interesting and better than I expected. At times it was folky, and at times it was cosmic. It was also nominated for a Hugo Award, an honor typically reserved for sci-fi novels. As for the name Jefferson Starship? It would be dusted off four years later after the Airplane finally crashed, with a line-up consisting of members of that old band plus some new folks. Consider this the early beginning of what would become phase 2 of the Airplane's ultimate metamorphosis into the "Starship." You know, the ones who built this city.
|Dig it, man.||C|
Next up on the platter we have the self-titled debut of psychedelic heavy rock/metal pioneers, Vanilla Fudge.
As cool as this band sounded on this record, they definitely were NOT cool looking.
|The faces of early metal...yikes!|
A new feature covering comics I'm currently reading called "Off the (Spinner) Rack"