The Worst of Jefferson Airplane

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The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
Greatest hits album by Jefferson Airplane
Released November 1970 (1970-11)[1]
Genre Rock
Length

46:11

52:54 (2006 bonus tracks)
Label RCA Victor
Compiler Jefferson Airplane, Bill Thompson, Pat Ieraci[2]
Jefferson Airplane chronology
Volunteers
(November 1969)
The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
(November 1970)
Bark
(September 1971)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [3]
Robert Christgau (B+)[4]

The Worst of Jefferson Airplane is the first compilation album from the rock band Jefferson Airplane, released in November 1970 as RCA Victor LSP-4459.[1] The album features all of Jefferson Airplane's hit singles up to that point. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 in 1971[5] and has since gone platinum.[6]

Content[edit]

Billboard ad for the album, February 6, 1971.

In 1970, the band underwent a period of inactivity because of internal personnel conflict and pursuit of individual projects. Drummer Spencer Dryden was ousted from the group, Marty Balin found his commitment to the band he had started becoming tenuous, Grace Slick was pregnant with her daughter for a good part of the year, Paul Kantner released his solo album Blows Against the Empire, and Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady busied themselves with their side project, Hot Tuna. With no group project in sight, RCA assembled this album centered upon the group's hit singles, with input from the band. "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil," "Crown of Creation," and "Volunteers" all made the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100. "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" were the band's only Top 40 hits, reaching #5 and #8 respectively. To ensure a full picture of the group's musical interests, and possibly to ensure solidarity in the publishing income, the band included instrumentals by Dryden and Kaukonen, a country blues/gospel cover arranged by Kaukonen, and Balin's straightforward ballad "Today."

This would be the final album featuring what is considered the "classic" line-up of the band, after Slick and Dryden joined, and before Balin and Dryden left. Original pressings had a 1918 vintage Victor Talking Machine Company inner sleeve and bore late 1920s vintage Victor record labels. The interior of the gatefold sleeve featured a large color reproduction of the painting "His Master's Voice", which was RCA Victor's famous trademark.

Reissues[edit]

On July 29, 1997, RCA reissued a remastered version of Worst on compact disc. On June 6, 2006, RCA reissued the album again, this time with two bonus tracks which had both been released as singles, "Watch Her Ride" and "Greasy Heart".

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "It's No Secret" (from Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) Marty Balin 2:37
2. "Blues From an Airplane" (from Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) Balin, Skip Spence 2:10
3. "Somebody to Love" (from Surrealistic Pillow) Darby Slick 2:54
4. "Today" (from Surrealistic Pillow) Balin, Paul Kantner 2:57
5. "White Rabbit" (from Surrealistic Pillow) Grace Slick 2:27
6. "Embryonic Journey" (from Surrealistic Pillow) Jorma Kaukonen 1:51
7. "Martha" (from After Bathing at Baxter's) Kantner 3:21
8. "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil" (from After Bathing at Baxter's) Kantner 4:30
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Crown of Creation" (from Crown of Creation) Kantner 2:53
2. "Chushingura" (from Crown of Creation) Spencer Dryden 1:17
3. "Lather" (from Crown of Creation) G. Slick 2:55
4. "Plastic Fantastic Lover" (live; from Bless Its Pointed Little Head) Balin 3:39
5. "Good Shepherd" (from Volunteers) traditional, arranged by Kaukonen 4:22
6. "We Can Be Together" (from Volunteers) Kantner 5:50
7. "Volunteers" (from Volunteers) Balin, Kantner 2:03
2006 CD bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
9. "Watch Her Ride" (from After Bathing at Baxter's) Kantner 3:16
10. "Greasy Heart" (from Crown of Creation) G. Slick 3:27

Personnel[edit]

Jefferson Airplane[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Gary Blackman – nose solo on "Lather"
  • Gene Twombly – sound effects on "Lather"
  • Nicky Hopkins – piano on "We Can Be Together" and "Volunteers"

Production and recording details[edit]

  • Jefferson Airplane Takes Off released September 1966, recorded on 3-tracks
  • Surrealistic Pillow released February 1967, recorded on 4-tracks
  • After Bathing at Baxters released November 1967, recorded on 8-tracks
  • Crown of Creation released September 1968, recorded on 8-tracks
  • Bless Its Pointed Little Head released February 1969, recorded live on 8-tracks
  • Volunteers released November 1969, recorded on 16-tracks
  • Alton Kelley, Wes Wilson – album design
  • Jefferson Airplane, Bill Thompson, Pat Ieraci (Maurice) – album compilation

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Worst of Jefferson Airplane sleeve notes
  2. ^ Joseph McCombs. "The Worst of Jefferson Airplane > Overview". Allmusic Guide. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: jefferson airplane". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Jefferson Airplane > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  5. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". RIAA.  (Type "Jefferson Airplane" under Artist.)