January 17, 2018

Jefferson Airplane: Takes Off

RCA Victor AFL1-3584

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Released: August 15, 1966
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock
[Tracklist]
A1 Blues From An Airplane (2:10)
A2 Let Me In (2:55)
A3 Bringing Me Down (2:22)
A4 It's No Secret (2:37)
A5 Tobacco Road (3:26)
B1 Come Up The Years (2:30)
B2 Run Around (2:35)
B3 Let's Get Together (3:32)
B4 Don't Slip Away (2:31)
B5 Chauffeur Blues (2:25)
B6 And I Like It (3:16)
[Credits]
Marty Balin (rhythm guitar/vocals) Signe Toly Anderson (percussion/vocals) Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar) Paul Kantner (rhythm guitar/vocals) Jack Casady (bass guitar) Skip Spence (drums)
Producer: Matthew Katz & Tommy Oliver, Liner Notes: Ralph J. Gleason, Recording Engineer: Dave Hassinger
[Notes]
The debut Jefferson Airplane album was dominated by singer Marty Balin, who wrote or co-wrote all the original material and sang most of the lead vocals in his heartbreaking tenor with Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson providing harmonies and backup. (Anderson's lead vocal on "Chauffeur Blues" indicated she was at least the equal of her successor, Grace Slick, as a belter.) The music consisted mostly of folk-rock love songs, the most memorable of which were "It's No Secret" and "Come up the Years." (There was also a striking version of Dino Valente's "Get Together" recorded years before the Youngbloods' hit version.) Jorma Kaukonen already displayed a talent for mixing country, folk, and blues riffs in a rock context, and Jack Casady already had a distinctive bass sound. But the Airplane of Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Anderson-Casady-Spence is to be distinguished from the Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Casady-Slick-Dryden version of the band that would emerge on record five months later chiefly by Balin's dominance. Later, Grace Slick would become the group's vocal and visual focal point. On Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, the Airplane was still Balin's group. (AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann)

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