Jefferson Airplane - Crown Of Creation (1968)

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.

Crown Of Creation was Jefferson Airplane's third album with their most famous lineup - Grace Slick (vocals/piano), Marty Balin (vocals), Paul Kantner (rhythm guitar/vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar/vocals), Jack Casady (bass) and Spencer Dryden (drums). It was also their second album after adopting their distinctive psychedelic rock sound. By this time their brief run of success on the singles chart was over, but they were still regarded as among the most important bands of the San Francisco rock scene, with a huge fanbase across America and beyond. In a way, after a whirlwind few years of lineup changes, chart successes, media hype and stylistic evolution, this was the point by which they had settled down.
Stylistically, it was their most wide-ranging album to date, with moments of both heavy rock and mellower folk-styled material. The songs themselves were all complex and sophisticated in their arrangements, and for that reason less commercial (with no real radio-ready hits), which is probably why the album is generally among their lesser-known ones. The songwriting was all roughly split evenly between Slick, Kantner, Balin and Kaukonen, with all four of them getting to sing lead vocals, both individually and together. The one song from an outside source was "Triad", by David Crosby. He had originally recorded this song with The Byrds, but his bandmates refused to release it due to its risqué subject matter, so he passed it on to his friends in the more artistically daring Airplane. It turned out to be perfectly made for them, and was sung by Grace Slick.
None of the singles released got far into the Top 100, but the album itself reached a successful #6. However, today Crown Of Creation is often seen to be in the shadow of certain albums that came before and after it. But it could be argued that it's the one record that shows the full scope of the band's sound and creativity the best, and is definitely one of their strongest albums.

After Bathing At Baxter's (1967) <|> Bless Its Pointed Little Head (1969)
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