Naïve? Certainly, but so was everything else in those heady days. Imaginative? Most definitely. It was a flight of fancy that only could have been fueled by those who dreamt of a better world. In fact it was so well conceived that it became the first, and to this date the only, rock album ever nominated for a literary prize: Science Fiction's Hugo Award.
Musically the album's first cut, "Mau Mau (Amerikon) carries with it the anger of the later period of Jefferson Airplane. The grinding guitars and angrily voiced lyrics that called people out into the streets to "Volunteer" for the Revolution still cry the same warning. By the third song "Let's Go Together" they have begun to step away from traditional rock, and further into the psychedelic feel of their Crown of Creation.
Swirling guitars, primitive synthesiser notes, and the soaring vocals of Grace Slick, David Crosby and Graham Nash combine to create a wash of sound that transports far beyond what rock music of that time should have been able to do. Without the pretensions of any of the so-called art bands of the seventies, they created a unique sound that captured the essence of their concept of space travel.
(Warning: This Album Can Cause Severe Flashbacks. Listen Only If Feeling Secure.)
If you ever wondered why people rave about the vocal prowess of Grace Slick, all you need do is listen to this album. Her power and range are displayed to their fullest extent on songs like "Sunrise", while her abilities as a harmonist are on continual display. Subtle when needed, but able to cut through the squeal of guitar feedback, her voice is still without equal.
Officially this was a solo Paul Kantner album. But as almost a joke he tacked on the label Jefferson Starship, more in reference to the starship needed to carry everyone away from the world to their new home than anything else. But as things turned out it was a portent of things to come.
Out of the wreck of the Airplane was born a new band: Jefferson Starship. The first album by the new group, Dragonfly in 1974, marked a new direction for the old band. With Marty Balin contributing one song, and the holdover members from the last incarnation of Airplane rejoining they were ready to fly again.