Jefferson Airplane (album)

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Jefferson Airplane
JA Jefferson-Airplane (1989ReunionAlbum).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 22, 1989
Recorded1989 at The Record Plant, Los Angeles
ProducerRon 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""
    Released: August 1989
  2. "Planes"
    Released: September 1, 1989
  3. "True Love"
    Released: November 17, 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[1]
Classic Rock3/10 stars[2]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[3]

Jefferson Airplane is the eighth and final studio album by San Francisco rock band Jefferson Airplane, released on Epic Records in 1989. Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady all returned for the album and supporting tour, though Spencer Dryden did not participate.[4] The album and accompanying tour would mark the last time Jefferson Airplane would perform together until their 1996 induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, and Jack Casady had toured as the KBC Band and released an eponymous album 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 – who had aplayed with KBC Band – on keyboards, Randy Jackson on guitar, and Jorma's brother Peter Kaukonen also on guitar. Gorman and Jackson did not participate on the album. Kenny Aronoff joined the band as drummer for the tour and in the studio. The album was produced by Ron Nevison, who had previously produced the Jefferson Starship albums Freedom at Point Zero, Modern Times and Nuclear Furniture, as well as Slick's solo album Software. Kaukonen was displeased with Kantner and Slick's methods in the studio; "Their approach to recording was not the way we used to do it in the old days. It was very much the modular, sequenced LA way of recording. It works for some people but not me. It just wasn't even fun. It was well done but not very passionate."[5]

The first music video made to promote the album was for the Kantner-penned "Planes". The video helped the single rise to #24 on the Billboard charts for mainstream rock,[6] although the album itself only rose to #85 on the Billboard 200.[7] "Planes" had previously been performed live by KBC Band, and the first studio version was made for this album. Balin's 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.[6] 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." At least two songs were written but rejected for the album: Balin's "Let's Go" and Slick's "Harbor in Hong Kong".[8][9][10]

After the album was released, Hot Tuna signed to Epic and released Pair a Dice Found—their first studio album in fourteen years.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
1."Planes (Experimental Aircraft)"Paul Kantner4:26
2."Freedom"Grace Slick4:54
3."Solidarity" (translated by John Willett[11])Bertolt Brecht, Marty Balin, Mark Cummings5:08
4."Madeleine Street"Kantner, Balin4:15
5."Ice Age"Jorma Kaukonen4:16
6."Summer of Love"Balin4:15
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"Slick2:46
9."True Love"Steve Porcaro, David Paich3:43
10."Upfront Blues" (instrumental)Kaukonen2:02
11."Now Is the Time"Slick4:53
12."Too Many Years"Kaukonen4:10


Additional personnel
  • 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
  • Billy Goodman - equipment mganager/tour
  • John Danaher - keyboard technician/tour
  • 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


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


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


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Jefferson Airplane - Jefferson Airplane review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
  2. ^ Farren, Mick (March 2012). "Jefferson Airplane - Jefferson Airplane". Classic Rock (168): 109.
  3. ^ Guterman, Jimmy (19 October 1989). "Jefferson Airplane - Jefferson Airplane". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  4. ^ Tamarakin, Jeff (2003). Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-03403-0.
  5. ^ Gettelman, Parry (February 1, 1991). "Hot Tuna Sizzling Again Despite Starship's Crash". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Jefferson Airplane Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
  7. ^ a b "Jefferson Airplane Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
  8. ^ Fenton, Craig (2006). Take Me to a Circus Tent: The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual. Infinity Publishing. ISBN 978-0741436566.
  9. ^ "The Airplane Flies Again : With Rancor Behind Them, Reunited '60s Band Cuts a New Album". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-04-16.
  10. ^ Slick, Grace; Cagan, Andrea (1998). Somebody to Love?: A Rock-and-Roll Memoir. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0446523028.
  11. ^ Bertolt Brecht "Poems 1913-1956" Ed. by J. Willett, Methuen, London 1976, Translations by different authors, "Solidarity" in the version used by Jefferson Airplane evidently translated by J. Willett