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#137 – The Chronic (Dr. Dre)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

The Chronic (Dr. Dre, December 15, 1992)

The Chronic, number 137 on the RS150, is Dr. Dre’s debut solo album after leaving N.W.A. and Eazy-E’s ‘Ruthless Records’ due to financial disputes.

Released in December of 1992, The Chronic was met with (mostly) critical-acclaim and is often hailed as one of the best hip-hop recordings of all time. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dog teamed up on this album – Snoop Dogg makes appearances on most of the tracks, if not all.

Track Listing

  1. The Chronic (Intro)
  2. Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Chelebratin’)
  3. Let Me Ride
  4. The Day the Niggaz Took Over
  5. Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang
  6. Deeez Nuuuts
  7. Lil’ Ghetto Boy
  8. A Nigga Witta Gun
  9. Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat
  10. The $20 Sack Pyramid
  11. Lyrical Gangbang
  12. High Powered
  13. The Doctor’s Office
  14. Stranded on Death Row
  15. The Roach [The Chronic Outro]
  16. Bitches Ain’t Shit
First off, if you didn’t know, ‘chronic’ is a name for high-quality marijuana, which the album clearly salutes with the name, and also the album art (which is based on the Zig-Zag rolling papers packaging – thanks Wikipedia). The entire album is laced with insults to Eazy-E, Ruthless Records, and a positive outlook for Dre and his new record label – and of course, a lot of sex and guns too.
The first track, ‘The Chronic (Intro)’ introduces Dre’s Death Row Records label  and also slams Eazy-E and his label (“P.S. Fuck Mr. Warkentatoo/a.k.a. Jerry and Eazy”) makes a clear point of dissociating from them. And off and on that continues throughout the entire album.
This album has a really distinct sound to it, which is what stands out the most. There are funky, synth bass lines mixed with guitar riffs or simple synth chords on the high end that drone a melody over Dre and Snoop’s lyrics. And apparently, this combination of the funky bass line and the high-end synths are known as G-Funk, which is a break out from gangsta rap. This album definitely has a different funky element to it than N.W.A. had on Straight Outta Compton, and its cool to hear such a difference.
Then there’s a track like “The Doctor’s Office”, which is literally one minute long and its just the audio track of Dre and another woman going at it in the doctor’s office. It’s not actually a song, but its just kind of hilarious to me that this kind of stuff makes it onto albums. But I guess not, considering that gangsta rap and the subsequent G-Funk is heavily influenced by street life, which includes sex and guns.
At the end of the day, the beats that Dre created for this album are good. Really good. They are funky, crisp, and balanced with Snoop Dogg’s laid back delivery of the sometimes-violent lyrics.
Funny, I don’t really know what else to say about this album. I’m not great at analyzing albums like this, so its hard to say much more. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you give this a listen though! Its definitely got a clear and distinctly different, advanced sound from Dre’s last projects with N.W.A. Check it out!

#138 – Rejuvenation (The Meters)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Oh yeah, this groovy album by The Meters makes me feel gooood. I’m just saying!

I thought I knew The Meters from somewhere, but had no idea where. When I got their album into my iTunes I realized that one of their tunes, ‘Liver Splash’, was on Jack Johnson’s Thicker Than Water soundtrack, and so I already knew The Meters! Incroiable!

So damn, this album has got some groovy tunes on it.

Rejuvenation Album Art (July 1974)

Track Listing

  1. People Say
  2. Love Is for Me
  3. Just Kissed My Baby
  4. What’cha Say
  5. Jungle Man
  6. Hey Pocky A-Way
  7. It Ain’t No Use
  8. Loving You Is on My Mind
  9. Africa

The Meters have some serious funk happening on this album. It reminds me of the movie Anchorman, to be honest. Which is hilarious, but a true fact. It’s got some guitar-riffs and heavy, driving riffs on the keys that are typical to a lot of music in the 70s! It screams Ron Burgandy!

The Meters are based in New Orleans, Louisiana, as I’ve read, which explains why there’s also a Nola flair to the syncopated rhythms and subtle, sexy bass guitar. It’s a great combo! And it’s a great album to listen to on a Summer day or when you’re feeling a bit wild and ready for a little bit of lovin’.

The album starts off with a quiet and funky electric guitar before some drums and equally funky bass guitar and keys are added in, building into a layered, driving, funk-combination. There’s also a heavy use of horns on this album, which adds a bit of sass into the entire sound (and again, reminds me of New Orleans). I actually also read that The Meters played some backing for other New Orleans artists, such as Dr. John the Night Tripper. And that makes perfect sense because Dr. John also played with another of artists. Ah, the connections between all this music are starting to make sense, aren’t they? Very cool!

Anyway, this is a fun album and unique to anything I’ve listened to on the list so far. Again, its so wild, because I went from Phil Spector’s Christmas album, to U2′s attempt at re-establishing their musical Greatness, to this radically free-spirited, but musically tight album by The Meters. I love the diversity on this list.

Give The Meters a listen. What do they make you think of?

#139 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind (U2)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

It’s a Beautiful Day! (I’m hilarious, and if you don’t know why yet, maybe you’ll know by the end of this post) I’ve made it past the first 10 albums! It’s insane to think that I’m only at 139, because I have been writing about an album every week for a while now. But I guess that’s 10 weeks, isn’t it? (Yes, it is). Okay then.

This next album is very familiar to me. U2′s All That You Can’t Leave Behind is an album that distinctly reminds me of September 11, 2001, and I think it always will. The album was released in its entirety on October 30, 2000 and several singles were released (and re-released) during the following year. I remember especially that ‘Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of’ was re-released with overlays of emergency tapes and news reports after the attacks on the Twin Towers. That’s the first thing I think of when I hear that song.  And the entire CD just sounds familiar since they were only released ten years ago.

All That You Can't Leave Behind (October 30, 2000)

Track Listing

  1. Beautiful Day
  2. Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out of
  3. Elevation
  4. Walk On
  5. Kite
  6. In A Little While
  7. Wild Honey
  8. Peace On Earth
  9. When I Look At The World
  10. New York
  11. Grace
From my own research, its been widely quoted that U2 publicly said the release of this album was them re-applying for the job of best band in the world. This album has got powerful lyrics mixed into well-coordinated rock album. I haven’t heard much U2 from the 90′s, but apparently All That You Can’t Leave Behind was preceded by a lot of experimental albums, including some dance tracks.  This album has a mix of elements from the bands past including an electric drum track on ‘Beautiful Day’ and also heavy use of synths as well (that are seamlessly integrated with the typical resonating, echoing, atmospheric U2-sounding guitars). I love the diversity of this album as well. I mean, I have to say that U2 has a very distinct sound – Bono’s vocal style is practically recognizable if you haven’t even heard U2. I know, impossible, but you get the idea. But overall, there is a great change of pace and stylistic elements from ‘Beautiful Day’, to ‘Elevation’ to ‘In A Little While’. It’s refreshing and keeps you engaged as you continue to listen to the album. Of course, we all know Bono now as one of the most publicized celebrity-philanthropists and political activists. Some of those themes can be seen on this album (‘Walk On’ and ‘Peace on Earth’ are great examples of this).
I love the feeling of nostalgia when I listen to this album. What about you? Does this bring back memories for you?

#140 – Parallel Lines (Blondie)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 17, 2011 at 1:00 am

The most well-known Blondie cover, in my eyes, is the album art for ‘Parallel Lines’, released in 1978.

Parallel Lines, 1978

Track Listing

Side One

  1. Hanging On The Telephone
  2. One Way or Another
  3. Picture This
  4. Fade Away and Radiate
  5. Pretty Baby
  6. I Know But I Don’t Know
Side Two
  1. 11:59
  2. Will Anything Happen?
  3. Sunday Girl
  4. Heart of Glass
  5. I’m Gonna Love You Too
  6. Just Go Away

Blondie has always been this mysterious band to me. I know of them, know nothing about them (except that they sing “Call Me”), and that’s about it. No wait, that’s not true. I’m having a revelation as I type. I know they also sing The Tide Is High. And I dig that tune too. So lies, all around! I know more Blondie than I thought! (and as I listened to the album, I recognized more and more, so that’s pretty great news)

For some reason I have it in my head that Blondie is like the 60s equivalent of Avril Lavigne and her band. Is that wrong? I don’t know. Maybe not. But anyway, ‘Parallel Lines’ definitely has an early punk-rock sound to it. It’s got a bit of rebellion mixed into the lyrics and the sound, too. The album also has songs on it that I didn’t know the name of and then was surprised to listen to and understand which song they are!! For example, I had no idea that ‘Heart of Glass’ was this song! What the…!!

Anyway, in terms of this being a top album, I really think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Blondie is early punk New Wave (I just did some more research and found out that New Wave music is similar to punk, and was considered to be the same for a long time, but is actually distinguished as more complex lyrically and musically, and often incorporating more electronic elements to it, which you can hear in this Blondie album – hence the strike out through ‘punk’). This album also has quite a few hits on it – ‘One Way or Another’, ‘Sunday Girl’, ‘Heart of Glass‘.

I’ve gotta say, as much as I like some of these songs, most of the album isn’t anything that I feel like I want to put on over and over. Some of these tracks are a great listen, but since I think of Avril, maybe I’ve got this hesitation to like it? I don’t know.

The album is cool to listen to, and has been informative for me to listen to, but I wouldn’t say I’m floored. Still (as usual), I see how this is on the list of the top 150!

Next up: U2.

#141 – Live At The Regal (B.B. King)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

‘Live At The Regal’ is widely considered to be one of the best blues recordings of all-time, and you can understand why when you listen to B.B. King’s live performance at the Regal Theatre in Chicago. It was recorded on November 21, 1964 and released in 1965.

Album Art

Track Listing

  1. Everyday I Have The Blues
  2. Sweet Little Angel
  3. It’s My Own Fault
  4. How Blue Can You Get
  5. Please Love Me
  6. You Upset Me Baby
  7. Worry, Worry
  8. Woke Up This Mornin’
  9. You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
  10. Help The Poor
The album flows seamlessly from track to track as the audience roars and B.B. ad-libs and his band vamps a few bars in transition. The album oozes with soul and passion, and the recording beautifully captures the feeling of the concert. Or at least, I think it does. I don’t really know. But it’s playful, interactive, and exciting to listen to. According to a few sources online, B.B. doesn’t think this is his best recording, despite all the accolades received, including the #141 spot on the Top 500 Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone. 
Comparing this album to others I’ve heard so far from the mid-60s, what’s interesting are the subtleties in B.B.’s guitar playing – the vibrato, the slides on the guitar. B.B. gives his guitar a full voice, as though its a singer in his band. And now, comparing it to current guitarists, I notice similarities between the sound of John Mayer and B.B. King. I’m not a guitar expert, but that’s who I immediately think of. They both play their guitars as though they are a countering vocalist, playing off each other’s silences. 
What do you think about this recording? Is it the best Blues recording of all time? If not, what album do you think is?
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#142 – A Christmas Gift For You (Phil Spector)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Cover Art

Next up: Phil Spector’s 1963 Christmas Gift…AND JUST FOR ME! Well, no, not really. Its for ALL of us. That’s right, Mr. Spector released this album in Christmas spirit, and as a gift for you. Unfortunately, it was released the same day that J.F.K. was assassinated in the U.S., and as a result, didn’t sell well when it was released on November 22nd.

There are two strange things about this album. First, I listened to it just as its become warm and Summery, and as a true Canadian, I’m used to mostly cold winters,  and if all goes well, White Christmases. So listening to Christmas music while the sun shines bright and its 20 degrees outside doesn’t really feel right to me. But that’s okay. What really made this a weird album to listen to was thinking about the fact that Phil Spector was accused of the 2003 murder of Lana Clarkson, and in 2009 was found guilty and given a 19 year sentence. I found this out before I listened to this cheery album, so I will say it was strange listening to it and thinking about Spector’s current situation. Especially since the last track of the album, is Phil talking over “Silent Night” and thanking everyone for their support. It just made it feel weird.

Track Listing

  1. White Christmas (Darlene Love)
  2. Frosty The Snowman (The Ronettes)
  3. The Bells of St. Mary’s (Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans)
  4. Santa Claus is Coming To Town (The Crystals)
  5. Sleigh Ride (The Ronettes)
  6. Marshmallow World (Darlene Love)
  7. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (The Ronettes)
  8. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (The Crystals)
  9. Winter Wonderland (Darlene Love)
  10. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers (The Crystals)
  11. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (Darlene Love)
  12. Here Comes Santa Claus (Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans)
  13. Silent Night (Phil Spector and Artists)
If you Google Phil Spector you will probably find one of two things: Lana Clarkson or the Wall of Sound. Let’s move on from Spector’s personal debacle and talk about the music, shall we?
The Wall of Sound was Spector’s signature technique which he developed at the time. It was a very layered sound that was created by large groups of instruments play in orchestrations (the example that’s given a lot is acoustic and electric guitars playing in unison) which gave a very full sound, and also played great on the radios and music players of the time. You will hear that familiar ring on this album, if you give it a listen.
Spector is an incredibly established song-writer and producer. He co-wrote Ben E. King’s “Spanish Harlem” and as a session musician, played on the Drifters’ track “On Broadway”. In 1961, Spector founded his own record company, Phille Records, with a partner.
Spector was married to Veronica “Ronnie ” Bennett, a member of the infamous “Ronettes” girl-group, which he also managed from 1963 to 1974. This Christmas album features the musical talents of the artists on his label, Phille Records, including The Ronettes, Darlene Love, The Crystals, and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans. A number of classic Christmas recordings were created on this album, including Sleigh Ride and Frosty the Snowman, sung by The Ronettes. And for any of you Springsteen fans (don’t worry – I won’t Bruce-bash), his recording of “Santa Clause Is Coming To Town” took some inspiration from The Crystals recording on this album. Pretty great!
Its a nice Christmas album because its got that warm, classic sound, which might be partly due to the “wall of sound” Spector is so-well known for. If so, then now I know why I love records like this so much!
If you don’t think you’re ready to listen to this album now, don’t worry. I understand. But put a reminder in your calendar on December 1st so that when Christmas rolls around, you can have a listen to this classic album with a glass of eggnog or a hot chocolate. I think you’ll enjoy it.

#143 – Gris-Gris (Dr. John)

In 150-125, Top 150 on April 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

Released January 22, 1968

Dr. John (“the Night Tripper”, as he was also referred to) released Gris-Gris in 1968 and it was his debut album.

It plays of the late 60s psychadelic-rock movement and also adds in some really obvious New Orleans jazz and blues rhythms, and focuses on many associations with voodoo culture. The album title, Gris-Gris is said to be any object or words spoken aloud in the practise of voodoo, and the first track  on the album, “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” talks about how his gris-gris can “cure all your ills”, although whether he’s actually referring to voodoo or some other mind-altering substances…well, that line is a bit muddled (did I mention he used to be refer to himself as ‘the Night Tripper’? oh right…).

Track Listing

  1. Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
  2. Danse Kalinda Ba Boom
  3. Mama Roux
  4. Danse Fambeaux
  5. Croker Courtbullion
  6. Jump Sturdy
  7. I Walk on Guilded Splinters
After I listened to this album the first time, I said to my friend that parts of the album sound like a weird science experiment, and I couldn’t figure out why. But then I did more research and found out that there are voodoo influences in the music, and I realized that the sometimes spooky, strange, or science-like sounds might stem from that influence? No disrespect to any voodoo practices or anything, especially since I don’t know much about it, but I definitely heard a distinctly different sound on this album.
The second track, Danse Kalinda Ba Boom reminds me of a few things:  its got some tribal or ceremonious drumming and chant-like lyrics to, that are repetitive and sound like an incantation.
This is definitely an exploratory album. Dr. John (or Mac Rebennack, his real name) was struggling with some drug and law problems, so he moved from New Orleans, where he was a an established musician, to Los Angeles. He actually created the name Dr. John and wanted a fellow-musician to take the pseudonym, but ended up becoming Dr. John himself.
Overall, this album is pretty spooky. There are a few tracks that are a little more main-stream, and possibly could’ve been marketed as singles. For example, “Mama Roux”, a song that reminds me of Eric Burdon and War, or “Jump Sturdy”,  which is a catchy, funky, choral song that apparently was derived by a song Rebennack’s grandpa sang in minstrel shows.
This album ends with “I Walk on Guilded Splinters”, a song that is just less than eight minutes and kind of drones on with an ominous eerie sound, and then ends with mysterious growling and slurping noises. It really is a bizarre, but interesting album to listen to, and so I’ve read, has gotten much more praise now then it did when it was released. Its the most unique album I’ve listened to on the list so far. And I’ve got to say, I just love how distinct the sound is, and how clearly the New Orleans influences can be heard.
Next up (another major shift), a Phil Spector Christmas album. Christmas in April? Okay!

#144 – Straight Outta Compton (N.W.A.)

In 150-125, Top 150 on April 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

This was shocking. I went from the smoothly orchestrated, sexy-but-department-store-esque Steely Dan to some pre-mainstream hip-hop featuring Ice Cube and Dr. Dre in their early days.

I’ve gotta say, I love the diversity that this album added to the RS150 so far (even if I’m only 7 albums in, which is wild in itself).

Released in 1988, Straight Outta Compton features Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, The D. O. C. and the Arabian Prince.

Straight Outta Compton by American rap group N...

Image via Wikipedia

N.W.A. is like the launching point for “gangsta-rap”…or at least close to it. And its really characterized on this album by insane amounts of explicit lyrics, with a lot of guns and drugs, and rebellious lyrics.

Track Listing

  1. Straight Outta Compton
  2. Gangsta Gangsta
  3. F— Tha Police
  4. If It Ain’t Ruff
  5. Parental Discretion Iz Advised
  6. Something Like That
  7. 8 Ball (Remix)
  8. Express Yourself
  9. Compton’s In The House (Remix)
  10. I Ain’t Tha 1
  11. Dopeman (Remix)
  12. Quiet On Tha Set
  13. Something 2 Dance 2
The album starts with an intro of the rappers  who are, Straight Outta Compton, California. It also has tracks like ‘F— Tha Police’, which focuses on racial profiling and police brutality. The lyrics were so explicit and controversial at the time that a lot of N.W.A. was blocked from radio play and even banned from concerts. If I’m not mistaken, their record company may have battled with the authorities because of such violent lyrics. I’m not sure about that 100% though.
So really, I was totally shocked when I listened to this album after Steely Dan. That wasn’t a joke. It was like doing a 180. But my first impressions (which were supported by a bit of research on the inter-web) were that this album was genre-defining and really established hip-hop and rap in a new way. The lyrics are powerful on this album, even if they are explicit. And the beats on this album remind me of albums that are being released now. The tracks on this album are really up-to-date, but they were recorded in 88 – thats more than 20 years ago! The emphasis and the style of rap accompanying the drum tracks definitely remind me of any late 80′s early 90′s rap that I’ve heard, but I really think that the beats could easily be re-used in a current release (perhaps with a bit of re-mastering) and they would sound great.
So there are two major parts to this album that I was really impressed with: my first realization, which was how their beats/drum tracks are apparently timeless, and second, the power of the lyrics (again, even if they are super explicit and/or violent).
I totally see how this album fits into the RS150. Check out ‘Express Yourself’ for a James Brown-esque tune in the middle of the album that’s got a great groove to it (and is mostly free of profanity, actually). It’s also a theme that speaks on the idea of censorship, which was a huge issue with N.W.A.
Also, if you want a blast from the past, check out some of their videos on YouTube.
I think Dr. John is next, who I hadn’t heard about until this list. We’ll see how that goes!

#145 – Aja (Steely Dan)

In 150-125, Top 150 on April 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Although I’ve been reading today that Steely Dan tends to be played in department stores or on elevators, this album, Aja (pronounced like “Asia”) has got some sexy, sexy jazz-influenced pop-rock sounds. They’re great!

Steely Dan is really made up of two guys, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, who had many different artists work with them in-studio on their albums. Their first platinum album, Aja, was released in 1977.

I listened to a remastered version of the album, although it would be really cool to listen to the original LP.

Here’s the track listing:

 

Aja (album)

Image via Wikipedia

Album Art for Aja, 1977.

Side One

  1. Black Cow
  2. Aja
  3. Deacon Blues

Side Two

  1. Peg
  2. Home At Last
  3. I Got The News
  4. Josie

Apparently Steely Dan are known for being perfectionists in the recording studio, and that definitely comes through when you listen to this album. Start to finish, it’s got crisp orchestrations that go beyond just the recording quality (which really, the quality could be due to remastering). The tracks on this album ring with a very cohesive and intentional, groovy sound. The first track, “Black Cow”, sets the tone of the album with slow mix of synths, guitar, and some smooth-sounding horns. Its a great combo. That said, the first track isn’t one of my favourites, but it definitely captured my interest.

I’ve listened to this album a few times, and what I’ve noticed is that there are lots of intriguing lyrical references (Black Cow is actually something like a mix of coke and root beer, sometimes with ice cream…or alcohol. am I right?), but all those lyrical references are intermingled with songs that sound pleasant and have enough of a pop-twinge to fool you into thinking that they are sweet love songs. Most of them have to do with getting high, drunk escapades, or various ladies. At least I think so?

So what to say about this album…I can definitely hear the department store/elevator song on these albums, but I really dig the groovy jazz-rhythms and the precision on each recording. I looked up a photo of Steely Dan from this year, and they do not look like rockin’ gentlemen – they look like established, theoretical, and very-carefully orchestrated musicians. But what do I know?! Oh, and that was a total judgment. I know.

Again, great album, and I would recommend a listen. My advice would be to stick it out and listen to the entire album. Don’t turn it off after “Black Cow” like I wanted to.

Enjoy, friends!

#146 – Surrealistic Pillow (Jefferson Airplane)

In 150-125, Top 150 on April 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm

 

Album Art for Surrealistic Pillow, Jefferson Airplane‘s 1967 release.

Surrealistic Pillow is the album that brought Jefferson Airplane into international eyes and really helped the band take-off, from my understanding. Marty Balin, the band’s founder, had a desire to combine elements of The Beatles’ brit-rock influence with a more folk sound. The result of this desire was Jefferson Airplane, and their second album was Surrealistic Pillow, a 60s-70s flower-power, psychadelic, folk-rock album that has a few standout points and a few really recognizable tracks.

Side One

  1. She Has Funny Cars
  2. Somebody to Love
  3. My Best Friend
  4. Today
  5. Comin’ Back To Me

Side Two

  1. 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
  2. D.C.B.A. – 25
  3. How Do You Feel
  4. Embyronic Journey
  5. White Rabbit
  6. Plastic Fantastic Lover

For reference, I’ve been listening to albums a few times as background music, and a few times just listening to the lyrics and instruments. I’ve also been researching some basic information through Google and Wikipedia, to get some kind of understanding of the situation surrounding the release of different albums. I’ve also been checking out lyrics online.

As I mentioned, there are a few really recognizable tracks on this album that most people (including myself) would recognize, even if you didn’t realize you were listening to Jefferson Airplane (exhibit A, me). “Somebody to Love” and “How Do You Feel” both are familiar tracks. Oh, and “My Best Friend”.

Throughout this whole album, I definitely can hear that West-coast U.S.A., San Francisco free-spirited rock sound in this album. Especially in “My Best Friend”. This is one of my favourite tracks on the album, actually. I love the transition from verse to chorus, and the great vocals to back it up. This is just a really great, laid back tune that shows off how tight they play together.

Now at this point, I’m not sure what else to write. Listening to this album, once again, I guess I can hear why this is an iconic album. Like I’ve already mentioned, its got that sort of flower-power, San Fran sound that combines a more rootsy, folk sound with some great rock elements. I’m not sitting here listening to this album thinking “WOW, I LOVE THESE TRACKS”, but I definitely appreciate the significance of them in the evolution of music over the last 60 years. (Oh, I should mention that “Embryonic Journey” just came on as I’m writing this, and that’s definitely a track that stands out to me on this album. Funny, but true. It’s a really beautiful guitar track with a great sense of clarity from start to finish. It kind of feels like a 2-minute breath of pure, fresh air. I love it.)

In my research, I found that “White Rabbit” was one of two singles off this album that did really well. The other was “Somebody to Love”. I didn’t love White Rabbit actually, but I loved the album-ender, “Plastic Fantastic Lover” and how the lyrics forever place this album at the beginning of the personal computer era.

Interestingly enough, Jefferson Airplane only played together for about 6 years, and played their last gig in ’72. There were other bands that formed after, including Jefferson Starship and just Starship. Still, the original band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. That’s a pretty big accomplishment for a band that only last 6 years. Very cool.

Have a listen to this album. I think you’ll enjoy it. Or at least most of it.

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