Jefferson Airplane Takes Off

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Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Jefferson airplane takes off.JPG
Studio album by Jefferson Airplane
Released August 15, 1966[1]
Recorded December 18, 1965 – March 31, 1966 at RCA Victor's Music Center of the World, Hollywood, CA, USA
Genre Folk rock[2]
Length 29:19
Label RCA Victor
Producer Matthew Katz and Tommy Oliver[3]
Jefferson Airplane chronology
Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Surrealistic Pillow
Singles from Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
  1. "It's No Secret" b/w "Runnin' Round This World"
    Released: February 1966
  2. "Come Up the Years" / "Blues from an Airplane"
    Released: May 1966
  3. "Bringing Me Down" / "Let Me In"
    Released: August 1966

Jefferson Airplane Takes Off is the debut album of American rock band Jefferson Airplane, released in August 1966 as RCA Victor LSP-3584 (stereo) & LPM-3584 (mono). The personnel differs from the later "classic" lineup and the music is more folk-rock than the harder psychedelic sound for which the band later became famous. Signe Toly Anderson was the female vocalist and Skip Spence played drums. Both left the group shortly after the album's release and were replaced by Grace Slick and Spencer Dryden, respectively.


RCA executives found some of the lyrics too sexually seggestive. They had the band change the lyrics in "Let Me In" from "I gotta get in, you know where" to "You shut your door, not that ain't fair", and "Don't tell me you want money" to "Don't tell me it's so funny". In "Run Around" they had the line "Blinded by colors come flashing from flowers that sway as you lay under me" altered to "that sway as you stay here by me". With "Runnin' 'Round This World" the executives insisted that "trips" in the line "The nights I've spent with you have been fantastic trips" referred to taking LSD, though the band insisted it was merely common slang. Even replacing the word "trips" with a guitar apreggio did not placate RCA's concerns with the line's sexual connotations and refused its inclusion on the album, and the recording remained unreleased for the next eight years.[4]

Release and reception[edit]

The album's release drew little press attention at a time when mainstream newspapers did not normally cover rock releases and the rock press was yet in its infancy. Crawdaddy! highlighted the album on the cover of its January 1967 issue, which included a three-page review by the magazine's assistant editor Tim Jurgens, who called the album "faulted" yet "the most important album of American rock" of 1966.[5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [6]

Track listing[edit]

All lead vocals by Balin except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Blues from an Airplane"   Marty Balin, Skip Spence 2:10
2. "Let Me In" (lead vocals: Kantner) Balin, Paul Kantner 2:55
3. "Bringing Me Down"   Balin, Kantner 2:22
4. "It's No Secret"   Balin 2:37
5. "Tobacco Road"   Clay Warnick[n 1] 3:26
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Come Up the Years"   Balin, Kantner 2:30
2. "Run Around" (lead vocals: Kantner) Balin, Kantner 2:35
3. "Let's Get Together" (lead vocals: Kantner, Anderson, Balin) Chester Powers 3:32
4. "Don't Slip Away"   Balin, Spence 2:31
5. "Chauffeur Blues" (lead vocals: Anderson) Lester Melrose 2:25
6. "And I Like It"   Balin, Jorma Kaukonen 3:16
2003 CD reissue bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "Runnin' Round This World" (from Early Flight) Balin, Kantner 2:25
13. "High Flying Bird" (from Early Flight) Billy Edd Wheeler 2:17
14. "It's Alright" (from Early Flight) Balin, Spence 2:17
15. "Go to Her" (from Jefferson Airplane Loves You) Kantner, Irving Estes 4:09
16. "Let Me In" (from Jefferson Airplane Loves You) Balin, Kantner 3:31
17. "Run Around" (uncensored version) Balin, Kantner 2:35
18. "Chauffeur Blues" (alternate version) Melrose 2:49
19. "And I Like It" (alternate version) Balin, Kaukonen 8:16
20. "Blues from an Airplane" (instrumental; hidden track) Balin, Spence 2:10


  1. ^ "Tobacco Road" is credited to Clay Warnick on the LP, although it was written by John D. Loudermilk



  • Tommy Oliver – producer
  • Matthew Katz – manager, producer
  • Dave Hassinger – engineer
  • Recorded in RCA Victor's Music Center of the World, Hollywood, California



Year Chart Position
1966 Billboard Pop Albums 128


  1. ^ Tamarkin 2003, p. [page needed].
  2. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 426. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  3. ^ "Jefferson Airplane: Recording Studio (Takes Off)". 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ Tamarkin 2003, p. 84.
  5. ^ Tamarkin 2003, p. 87.
  6. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Jefferson Airplane: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off [Original] at AllMusic. Retrieved September 1, 2011.

Works cited[edit]