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Overview for Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane


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One of the most iconic bands of the 1960s counterculture, Jefferson Airplane first came together in 1965, when San Francisco musicians Marty Balin and Paul Kantner began playing with vocalist Signe Toly Anderson. The band were soon signed to RCA Victor, and released their debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, the following year. Anderson would leave the group not long afterwards in order to care for her newborn son, and she was quickly replaced by the vivacious singer and former model Grace Slick, who had been singing with another Bay area band called the Great Society. With Slick's powerful contralto and an increasingly psychedelic mood permeating their sound, the group released their second album, Surrealistic Pillow, in 1967 to rave reviews. The record featured now famous songs like "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love," skyrocketing the group to major fame. Later that same year, the group released their third album, After Bathing at Baxter's, exploring a more experimental and heavier rock sound. They embarked on their first tour of Europe, playing alongside the Doors, and eventually played at the famous Woodstock music festival in 1969. Their next album, Volunteers, would come later that year, shortly before drummer Skip Spence was dismissed from the band, replaced by Joey Covington, who joined around the same time as violinist Papa John Creach. They released the compilation The Worst of Jefferson Airplane in 1970 shortly before Marty Balin left the group, having given up drugs and alcohol. They released the album Bark in 1971, after Slick survived a near fatal car crash while drag racing with Jorma Kaukonen. This album was followed by 1972's Long John Silver. The next year, the band disbanded, and many of the members set to work on other projects. The classic lineup did reunite however, minus Skip Spence, for a tour and self-titled album in 1989. Jefferson Airplane were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

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