Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing At Baxter's (1967)

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.

After the massive success of Surrealistic Pillow, Jefferson Airplane's sound evolved for their third album. Sonically, it took on a harder, more psychedelic edge, and they became a much heavier group. Jorma Kaukonen's razor-sharp guitar and Jack Casady's growling bass came more to the forefront, and they abandoned the idea of short, concise, radio-friendly songs, starting to experiment more. The resultant album, After Bathing At Baxter's, established them as one of the leading acid rock bands.
The dynamics within the group also began to change. Original band founder and lead singer Marty Balin saw his role diminish, as on Baxter's he only wrote one song ("Young Girl Sunday Blues", in collaboration with Paul Kantner), and this was the only one he sang lead on. Though his voice joined in with and strengthened the group vocals throughout the rest of the album, he was definately no longer the lead singer. Other members of the band were beginning to write songs and sing, most notably rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner, who wrote five of the eleven songs by himself, and was quickly rising to become the dominant creative force. Kaukonen also sang his lead debut on his own "Last Wall Of The Castle".
There were a few strange songs on Baxter's which stood out from the others: the brief moment of insanity that iss the audio collage of "A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You, Shortly", the 9-minute free-frorm guitar/bass/drums jam that is "Spare Chaynge", and Grace Slick's bizarre, abstract "rejoyce". With the exception of the folky "Martha", all the other songs were in the band's new heavy style.
As well as marking the start of a new sound, Baxter's also marked the end of the band's brief run of commercial success. None of the singles made it into the Top 40, and they never would again. The album itself did reach #17 though.

Surrealistic Pillow (1967) <|> Crown Of Creation (1967)
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3 comments:

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Thanks for the amazing review. I don't know if I still can get it retail, because it has to be in my collection.

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