Jefferson Airplane (album)

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Jefferson Airplane
Studio album by Jefferson Airplane
Released August 22, 1989
Recorded 1989 at The Record Plant, Los Angeles
Genre Folk rock
Label Epic
Producer Ron Nevison
Greg Edward
Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane chronology
2400 Fulton Street
Jefferson Airplane
Live at the Monterey Festival
Singles from Jefferson Airplane
  1. "Summer of Love"/"Panda"
    Released: August 1989
  2. "Planes"
    Released: September 1, 1989
  3. "True Love"
    Released: November 17, 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[2]

Jefferson Airplane is the eighth and final studio album by San Francisco rock band Jefferson Airplane, released on Epic Records in 1989. Both the album and the accompanying reunion tour featured the 1967-1970 lineup of the group, with the exception of former drummer Spencer Dryden.


Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jack Casady, who had played together on Surrealistic Pillow, After Bathing at Baxters, Crown of Creation and Volunteers, all returned for the album and a supporting tour, but Spencer Dryden was not asked to participate because Kantner still held a grudge since Dryden had a hand in firing Bill Graham as manager in 1968.[3] Kenny Aronoff joined the band as drummer for the tour and in the studio.

Previous to the reunion, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, and Jack Casady had toured in the KBC Band and recorded the album KBC Band in 1986. Grace Slick had recently left Starship after performing lead vocals on their album, No Protection in 1987, and planned to retire from music. Jorma Kaukonen had been performing solo work and performing live with Jack Casady as Hot Tuna. Kanter left KBC Band in 1987 but joined Hot Tuna on stage for the 1987 - 1988 tour. Kaukonen invited Slick to play a concert at The Fillmore with Hot Tuna in 1988 where she performed harmony vocals on "Third Week in the Chelsea" and performed lead vocals along with Kantner for "Wooden Ships". In 1989, Slick was convinced to join the band again and the five members finally got together to discuss a reunion tour and album. Joining Jefferson Airplane for the tour along with Aronoff on drums were Tim Gorman on keyboards (who had also played with KBC Band), Randy Jackson on guitar, and Jorma's brother Peter Kaukonen also on guitar. Gorman and Jackson did not participate on the album. This album and tour would mark the last time Jefferson Airplane would exist until 1996, when they performed at their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Slick was not present for the induction).

The album was produced by Ron Nevison, who had previously produced the Jefferson Starship albums Freedom at Point Zero, Modern Times, and Nuclear Furniture. Kantner contributed the song "Planes" which had previously been performed live by KBC Band, and the first studio version was made for this album.

The first music video made to promote the album was for "Planes" and was in heavy rotation on MTV well into 1990. The music video helped the single rise to #24 on the Billboard charts for mainstream rock,[4] although the album itself only rose to #85 on the Billboard 200.[5] The Balin-penned song "Summer of Love" had also been performed live with KBC Band, and was first recorded in the studio for this album. The song did not have a music video but rose to #15 on the adult contemporary charts.[4] Steve Porcaro and David Paich of Toto wrote the final single, "True Love", and also appeared on the song along with bandmate Mike Porcaro. The music video for "True Love" saw less airtime than the video for "Planes". The Kaukonen compositions "Ice Age" and "Too Many Years" had previously been recorded in acoustic versions for the Kaukonen solo album Too Hot to Handle, and received a multi-instrumental treatment here. Kaukonen wrote one more song for the album, the instrumental "Upfront Blues."

After the album was released, Hot Tuna was also signed to Epic and released the studio album Pair a Dice Found.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Planes (Experimental Aircraft)"   Paul Kantner 4:26
2. "Freedom"   Grace Slick 4:54
3. "Solidarity" (translated by H. R. Hays) Bertolt Brecht, Marty Balin, Mark Cummings 5:08
4. "Madeleine Street"   Kantner, Balin 4:15
5. "Ice Age"   Jorma Kaukonen 4:16
6. "Summer of Love"   Balin 4:15
7. "The Wheel (For Nora and Nicaragua)" (translated by Margaret Randall) Kantner, additional lyrics by Otto René Castillo[n 1] 6:08
8. "Common Market Madrigal"   Slick 2:46
9. "True Love"   Steve Porcaro, David Paich 3:43
10. "Upfront Blues" (instrumental) Kaukonen 2:02
11. "Now Is the Time"   Slick 4:53
12. "Too Many Years"   Kaukonen 4:10
13. "Panda"   Slick 3:37


  1. ^ borrowed with permission from the poem "For the Good of All"

Singles/music videos[edit]

  • "Summer of Love" (1989) (single only, no video)
  • "Planes" (1989)
  • "True Love" (1989)


Additional personnel[edit]


  • Ron Nevison – producer, engineer, mixer
  • Greg Edward – producer, engineer, mixer
  • Jefferson Airplane – producer
  • Recorded at The Record Plant, Los Angeles
  • Jim Mitchell & Rumbo Recorders, Los Angeles – assistant engineer
  • Gina Immel – assistant engineer
  • Mixed at Can-Am Recorders, Los Angeles
  • Toby Wright – assistant mixer
  • Trudy Green – management
  • Lynda Lou Bouch – production coordinator
  • Paul Jamieson – drum technician
  • Don Barlow – guitar technician
  • Pre-Production: The Power Plant
  • Carl Studna – photography



Year Chart Position
1989 The Billboard 200 85


Year Single Chart Position
1989 "Summer of Love" Adult Contemporary 15
1989 "Planes" Mainstream Rock Tracks 24


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Jefferson Airplane Jefferson Airplane review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  2. ^ Guterman, Jimmy (October 19, 1989). Jefferson Airplane album review, Rolling Stone
  3. ^ Tamarakin, Jeff (2003). Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-03403-0. 
  4. ^ a b c "Jefferson Airplane Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  5. ^ a b "Jefferson Airplane Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-21.