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Jefferson Airplane: The Woodstock Experience

Ready for some 'morning maniac music' ? So stated Grace Slick as her band, The Jefferson Airplane, took to the stage at Woodstock in 1969, many hours later then they were originally supposed to play, as they followed the high-octane set of The Who that raged on into the wee morning hours to just after sunrise. As such, it turned out to be a great breakfast treat for the few hundred thousand in attendance, as the often hard to classify mix of rock, psychedelic, folk, blues, and country that was The Jefferson Airplane was a great way to start a new day during the famous rock festival. SONY Legacy have paired the complete set from the Airplane with a remastered version of their hit album Volunteers, which came out shortly after the band's appearance at Woodstock.

The Volunteers album has remained a popular classic rock album for many years, no doubt thanks to the diversity of the material on it. From the epic psychedelia of "Hey Frederick",or the hard rockers like "We Can Be Together". "Good Shepherd", and the Vietnam War opposed title track, to the more atmospheric and somewhat proggy "Eskimo Blue Day", it's no surprise why so many progressive rock fans always talk of the Jefferson Airplane in such high regard. Guitarist Jorma Kaukanon really started to come into his own here, showing the fire and technique that made him one of the most respecting guitar giants of the 60's and 70's, and the vocal duo of Grace Slick and Marty Balin made for a near perfect team.

As Grace Slick introduces the band to the just waking up throng of festival goers, the band launches into the upbeat, hard rocking sounds of "The Other Side of This Life", featuring some great piano work from guest Nicky Hopkins and slashing guitar from Jorma, which then moves right into their biggest hit "Somebody to Love", Slick singing with all her fire and emotion. The acid-rock of "3/5 of a Mile In 10" really works here, and the band settle things down for a psychedelic version of "Eskimo Blue Day". After a somewhat funky but hard rock laced "Plastic Fantastic Lover", the band rip into an extended 21-minute "Wooden Ships", a Stephen Stills song that later became a really big hit for CSN&Y, and this one comes complete with plenty of fine guitar work from Paul Kantner & Kaukonen. Jorma then tears into some mean blues on "Uncle Sam Blues", with Balin taking the lead vocal, before the band tears into a hot rendition of "Volunteers", which was previously heard on the original Woodstock soundtrack. The psychedelic/folk/prog gem "The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil" follows, dripping with wild guitar noises from Kantner and Kaukonen, plus some beefy lead bass courtesy of Jack Cassiday and Spencer Dryden's nimble drum fills. "Come Back Baby" sees the band once again rocking hard, and though "White Rabbit" is another of the band's bigger hits, it seems to have lost something live as opposed to the studio version, though Slick does sound great. The band's set ends with the spooky "The House At Pooneil Corners", a wonderful blend of hard rock guitar, creepy atmosphere, and elements of psychedelia and prog-rock. Fans of a modern day band like The Red Masque would be well advised to look into the material of The Jefferson Airplane, and this is as good a place to start as any.


Track Listing
CD 1
1. We Can Be Together (Remastered 2004) 5:47
2. Good Shepherd (Remastered 2004) 4:21
3. The Farm (Remastered 2004) 3:11
4. Hey Frederick (Remastered 2004) 8:30
5. Turn My Life Down (Remastered 2004) 2:55
6. Wooden Ships (Remastered 2004) 6:23
7. Eskimo Blue Day (Remastered 2004) 6:32
8. A Song For All Seasons (Remastered 2004) 3:27
9. Meadowlands (Remastered 2004) 1:04
10. Volunteers (Remastered 2004) 2:03
11. Introduction (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 0:23
12. The Other Side Of This Life (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 8:17
13. Somebody To Love (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 4:31
14. 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 5:30
15. Won't You Try/ Saturday Afternoon (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 5:06 9
16. Eskimo Blue Day (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 6:55


CD 2
1. Plastic Fantastic Lover (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 4:35
2. Wooden Ships (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 21:25
3. Uncle Sam Blues (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 6:12
4. Volunteers (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 3:16
5. The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 15:29
6. Come Back Baby (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 6:05
7. White Rabbit (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 2:27
8. The House At Pooneil Corners (Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969) 9:17

Added: July 19th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Woodstock.com
Hits: 2047
Language: english

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