Gadhouse Vinyl Club: Surrealistic Pillow – Jefferson Airplane (1967)

The first time that I heard a song of Jefferson Airplane when I watched a film A Serious Manis (2009) or a black comedy drama film by Joel and Ethan Coen which played “Somebody to Love” as the overture, my first thought was how energetic song it is! And much more Surrealistic Pillow’s songs were added to the film, the sleek along with the scenes and storyline of 60’s. Anyway, I will not write for intimate detail of the film cause this article is not movie review and I do not want to spoil the readers who did not watch it yet! But trust me the film is worth to watch!

Jefferson Airplane is the band who pioneer a culture of psychedelic rock, a style of rock music that precipitate from the drug culture and attempted to reiterate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs by using the modern recording technique, and amalgamate with Indian music.

The band was formed in San Francisco, a place full of hippie culture during 1960’s. Marty Balin encountered Paul Kartner at a local pub in 1962. Two years later, Balin had an opportunity to work with David Freiberg. Balin invited Freiberg to join his band.  Then in 1965, Balin and Kartner started to recruit extra band members. Finally, they founded Signe Toly Anderson at the Drinking Gourd at the Matrix or the house band of Jefferson Airplane. Balin invited Anderson to join his band. However, Anderson just sang only for a year and perform on their first album before she departed from the band in October 1966.
Shortly, Jefferson Airplane got a new singer to record this album “Surrealistic Pillow” as the legend of 1960’s. Grace Slick had become to be a new singer of Jefferson Airplane, the well-known “Surrealistic Pillow” (1967) the content was permeated with drug, a bit anti-social, hippies and satire the Vietnam War that blasted the country those times. 

The original “Surrealistic Pillow” album combined with 11 tracks:

Side one

  1. “She Has Funny Cars” (Jorma Kaukonen, Marty Balin) – 3:14
  2. “Somebody to Love” (Darby Slick) – 3:00
  3. “My Best Friend” (Skip Spence) – 3:04
  4. “Today” (Balin, Paul Kantner) – 3:03
  5. “Comin’ Back to Me” (Balin) – 5:23

Side two

  1. “3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds” (Balin) – 3:45
  2. “D.C.B.A.–25” (Kantner) – 2:39
  3. “How Do You Feel” (Tom Mastin) – 3:34
  4. “Embryonic Journey” (Kaukonen) – 1:55
  5. “White Rabbit” (Grace Slick) – 2:32
  6. “Plastic Fantastic Lover” (Balin) – 2:39

Slick’s vocal are powerful and supple contralto voice made the new legend of American Rock Band and this album was a tremendous success with domestic and international listeners .Moreover, Single “Somebody to Love” reached in 5th on 1967 Billboard Pop Singles, “White Rabbit” which full of drug content compared to the fantasy world after getting high with Alice in Wonderland tail also reached to 8th on 1967 Billboard Pop Singles and this album “Surrealistic Pillow” reached to the peaked at 3rd of the Billboard 200 Chart of August 1967.

The album performs the punctuation of moods between the tough and flimsy which is mellow for the listeners. The RCA victor or the producer recorded two kinds of album with both mono and stereo. The stereo version includes heavier echo effects not present on the mono version, so if you are seeking for an album that could surfeit you with the finest melody and extraordinary lyrics sounded by vintage old school methods, the Surrealistic Pillow (1967) by the Jefferson Airplane is recommended. 

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