Volunteers (song)

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Single by Jefferson Airplane
from the album Volunteers
B-side We Can Be Together
Released September, 1969
Format Vinyl record (7") 45 RPM
Recorded 1969
Genre Psychedelic rock, acid rock, hard rock, blues rock
Length A-Side: 2:03
B-Side: 5:50
Label RCA
Writer(s) Marty Balin / Paul Kantner
Producer(s) Al Schmitt
Jefferson Airplane singles chronology
"The Other Side of This Life" "Volunteers" "Mexico"

"Volunteers" is a Jefferson Airplane single that was released to promote the album Volunteers two months before the album's release. It was written by Marty Balin and Paul Kantner together. Marty was woken up by a truck one morning, which happened to be a truck with Volunteers of America painted on the side.[1] Marty started writing lyrics down and then asked Paul to help him with the music.

B-Side "We Can Be Together"[edit]

"We Can Be Together" is the B-side of the "Volunteers" 45 and the first track on Volunteers. The song's music and lyrics were written by Paul Kantner. Kantner was inspired by the Black Panther Party's use of the phrase "Up against the wall, motherfucker" and included it in the chorus.[1] The Airplane performed "We Can Be Together" uncensored on The Dick Cavett Show on August 19, 1969.

While the word "motherfucker" was indeed sung and not censored on the 45, it was mixed lower in the mix as compared to the LP mix, which had no volume manipulation and presented the song "un-buried".


Additional Personnel[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tamarakin, Jeff (2003). Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-03403-0. 

External links[edit]

Full lyrics of "We can be together":