|Studio album by Jefferson Airplane|
|Recorded||November 14 – December 10, 1966 in RCA Victor's Music Center, Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, folk rock|
34:4859:03 (2003 reissue)
|Label||RCA Victor LSP 3766|
|Jefferson Airplane chronology|
Surrealistic Pillow is the second album by American psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, released in April 1967 on RCA Victor, catalogue LPM/LSP 3766 in either mono or stereo. It is the first album by the band with vocalist Grace Slick and drummer Spencer Dryden. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard album chart, and has been certified a gold album by the RIAA.
Original drummer Alexander 'Skip' Spence had left the band in mid-1966, replaced by Los Angeles jazz drummer Dryden, a nephew of Charlie Chaplin. New lead vocalist Slick, formerly with another San Francisco rock band the Great Society, joined the Airplane in the fall of 1966. Slick and Dryden in place on this album and its attendant singles completed the best-known line-up of the group, which would remain stable until Dryden's departure in early 1970. It is also considered to be one of the quintessential albums of the 1960s counterculture movement.
Album overview 
Jefferson Airplane's fusion of folk rock and psychedelia was original at the time, in line with musical developments pioneered by The Byrds, The Mamas & the Papas, Bob Dylan, The Yardbirds, and The Beatles, amongst other mid-1960s rock bands. Surrealistic Pillow was the first blockbuster psychedelic album by a band from San Francisco, announcing to the world the active bohemian scene that had developed there starting with The Beats during the 1950s, extending and changing through the 1960s into the Haight-Ashbury counterculture. Subsequent exposure generated by the Airplane and others wrought great changes to that counterculture, and by 1968 the ensuing national media attention had precipitated a very different San Francisco scene than had existed in 1966. San Francisco photographer Herb Greene photographed the band for the album's cover art.
Some controversy exists as to the role of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia in the making of the album. His reputed presence on several tracks is denied by producer Rick Jarrard, but he is credited on the RCA label copy, as well as receiving credits on the Flight Log compilation and the Jefferson Airplane Loves You box set.
Singles and reissues 
Two singles released from the album later in the year, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," peaked respectively at #5 and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and are the band's only Top 40 hits on that chart. The album was mixed in both mono and stereo, and both mixes are available on two 2001 reissues, an RCA Gold CD edition and as part of the Ignition box set. Another stereo reissue appeared on August 19, 2003, with seven bonus tracks, including the mono A-sides of "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit." The 2003 reissue was produced by Bob Irwin. The original United Kingdom version of the LP was a mish-mash of the United States version and their first LP, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off.
Track listing 
Side one 
- "She Has Funny Cars" (Jorma Kaukonen, Marty Balin) – 3:14
- "Somebody to Love" (Darby Slick) – 3:00
- "My Best Friend" (Skip Spence) – 3:04
- "Today" (Balin, Paul Kantner) – 3:03
- "Comin' Back to Me" (Balin) – 5:23
Side two 
- "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" (Balin) – 3:45
- "D.C.B.A.–25" (Kantner) – 2:39
- "How Do You Feel" (Tom Mastin) – 3:34
- "Embryonic Journey" (Kaukonen) – 1:55
- "White Rabbit" (Grace Slick) – 2:32
- "Plastic Fantastic Lover" (Balin) – 2:39
2003 reissue bonus tracks 
- "In the Morning" (Kaukonen) - 6:21
- "J.P.P. McStep B. Blues" (Spence) - 2:37
- "Go to Her" (Kantner, Irving Estes) - 4:02 version two
- "Come Back Baby" (traditional, arranged Kaukonen) - 2:56
- "Somebody to Love" (Darby Slick) - 2:58 mono single version
- "White Rabbit" (Grace Slick) mono single version "D.C.B.A.-25" (instrumental) hidden track - 5:21
Personnel and instruments from original LP notes
- Marty Balin — vocals, guitar
- Grace Slick — vocals, piano, organ, recorder
- Paul Kantner — rhythm guitar, vocals
- Jorma Kaukonen — lead guitar, vocals
- Jack Casady — bass, fuzz bass, rhythm guitar
- Spencer Dryden — drums, percussion
Additional personnel 
- Jerry Garcia — musical and spiritual adviser, guitar on "Today", "Comin' Back to Me", "Plastic Fantastic Lover", "In the Morning", and "J. P. P. McStep B. Blues"
- Rick Jarrard — producer
- David Hassinger — engineer
- Recorded in RCA Victor's Music Center of the World, Hollywood California
- Marty Balin — album design
- Herb Greene — album photography
|1967||"My Best Friend"||Billboard Pop Singles||103|
|1967||"Somebody to Love"||Billboard Pop Singles||5|
|1967||"White Rabbit"||Billboard Pop Singles||8|
|RIAA – USA||Gold||July 24, 1967|
- Ashley Brown, ed. (1990). "Airplanes and Starships". The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated History of Popular Music 8 (Reference ed.). Marshall Cavendish. pp. 909–913. ISBN 9781854350152.
- "Welcome to the Studio". jeffersonairplane.com. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Eder, Bruce. "Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow > Review" at Allmusic. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- RIAA Gold and Platinum database retrieved 24 February 2012.
- Surrealistic Pillow (Vinyl back). New York City: RCA. 1967. LSP-3766.
- Tamarakin, Jeff (2003). Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-03403-0.
- Flight Log (Vinyl booklet). San Francisco: Grunt Records. 1977. CYL2-1255.
- Jefferson Airplane Loves You (booklet). New York City: RCA. 1992. 61110.
- "The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone: 2. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006.
- Early Flight (Vinyl gatefold). New York City: RCA. 1974. CYL1-0437.
- Surrealistic Pillow (Adobe Flash) at Radio3Net (streamed copy where licensed)
- Album entry at Jefferson Airplane's website