Jefferson Airplane - Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966)

Jefferson Airplane were one of the best-known bands of San Francisco’s legendary 60s psychedelic rock scene. They were pioneers of the genre and the first band from the area to achieve mainstream commercial success.

Jefferson Airplane was formed in 1965 in San Francisco by singer Marty Balin, who recruited musicians to explore the new folk-rock sounds that were then revolutionising the pop world. There were a few lineup changes as they found their feet, but by 1966 they were signed to RCA Victor and had settled on the lineup of Balin (lead vocals), Signe Anderson (vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar & vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar), Jack Casady (bass) and Skip Spence (drums). Their debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off was released that summer. 
Stylistically, the album took the jangly folk-rock of other West Coast bands like The Byrds into darker, harder-edged territories. Most of the songs were written by  Balin, either by himself or as collaborations with Kantner, Spence and in one case Kaukonen. It also contained three covers, one being “Let’s Get Together”, written by fellow San Francisco folkie Dino Valenti (also the song where they sound their most Byrds-like, complete with jangling 12-string guitar). This was the band’s only album with Skip Spence, before he left to form Moby Grape, where he played guitar (he was never really a drummer, being persuaded by Balin to pick up the sticks and join the band). The dominant voice throughout was that of Balin, with Kantner and Anderson adding harmonies and singing lead on one or two songs each (they all shared lead vocal duties on “Let’s Get Together”). Also notable even at this early stage in the band’s career was Casady’s innovative and powerful bass playing, which drove most of the songs.

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