Sunday, May 6, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all times Part. 13

   JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: SURREALISTIC PILLOW
   Surrealisitc Pillow was released on February 1967, it was the second album by Jefferson Airplane, and is considered to be maybe the most important album in the American psychedelic scene ever since.
 It is also the first album that includes Grace Slick on vocals (before she was the singer in 'Great Society'), and Spencer Dryden on drums (who was nephew of Charlie Chaplin). This album was the first psychedelic record that became a blockbuster, and made San Fransisco's music scene famous in the whole world.
Because of the close friendship relations between Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, there are rumors that Gerry Garcia (G.Dead's leader, guitarist and singer) was involved in the making of this album, but there is nothing official.
   Surrealistic Pillow reached at No.3 at the Billboard's USA charts, and two singles were released that became smashing hits. These are no others than 'Somebody to Love' and 'White Rabbit'. (But none is an actual Jefferson Airplane song).
And here's the story behind those songs:
At 1965 Grace Slick (ex-model) formed a rock group with her husband at that time Jerry Slick (drums) and his brother Darby Slick (guitar). A family group as you can see...
This band was named 'The Great Society'.
They lasted about a year or so, became a bit known at the San Fransisco area, mostly because they were the opening act for Jefferson Airplane concerts. Great Society released (officially) only one single. It was called 'Someone to Love'. Rings any bells? Upon the departure of Signe Toly Anderson from Jefferson Airplane (vocals), Grace Slick quit 'The Great Society' and became the singer of Jefferson Airplane, bringing the song 'Someone to Love' in the band (which changed to Somebody to Love), and one of her own compositions that was yet unreleased, and it was called 'White Rabbit'... (For the history, after the departure of Grace Slick, 'The Great Society were disbanded, and she was also divorced from her husband).
   Nevertheless these 2 songs became the absolute trade marks of Jefferson Airplane, and overshadowed all the other songs in this album. And that's a pity because there are many very beautiful songs here, like the opening track 'She has Funny cars', the wonderful 'Today', or the sad ballad 'Coming back to me' to name a few.
   Finishing this post I want to say that in my opinion Jefferson Airplane were the crown in the Psychedelic scene, and this album was its most precious jewel.

 Other records I recommend: Early Flight, After Bathing at Baxter's, Volunteers

 Here you can watch 'White Rabbit' from a TV show back then :