(And, just for my brother—I’ve included a video of St Charles which he claims is Jefferson Starship’s best song; and he may be right!).
there’s a new station in town…
There’s a new radio station around our parts—well, it’s not that new, I just haven’t mentioned it yet. The great thing about this station is that, not only do the dj’s play 70s and 80s music, they play entire albums from start to finish.
It’s been great hearing albums I once knew so well but had forgotten all about. The amazing thing is, once a song begins, my internal filing system seems to know exactly what cranial folder to reach into to extract the lyrics enabling me to sing along to long forgotten tracks.
I don’t know how many songs there are filed away in that cabinet but there must be thousands.
airplane, starship, jefferson
Most of us will know something of the iconic San Francisco band, Jefferson Airplane. Since forming in 1965, they’ve gone through various incarnations as their line-up has changed. By the early 70s they’d become Jefferson Starship. Later that changed to a simple, Starship, before evolving into Jefferson Starship The Next Generation in 1991.
The Jefferson family has, over the years, had some accomplished musicians within its line-up including:
- Jerry Garcia
- David Crosby
- Graham Nash
- Papa John Creach, and
- the fabulous, Marty Balin
Paul Kantner has been the constant factor in the band but, when I think of the Jefferson family, it’s Grace Slick’s voice springs to mind.
People often put Grace and Janis Joplin in the same basket – together they were, arguably, the first female rock stars. A number of artists have listed Grace as one of their primary influences, e.g. Stevie Nicks, Patti Smith and Florence Welch.
- In early 1987, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now hit #1 on the US singles chart making Grace the oldest female vocalist to sing on a number-one Billboard Hot 100 hit. She was 47 at the time. That record has since been broken by Cher when, in 1999, at the age 52, she had a hit with Believe.
- Jefferson Airplane was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
- Miracles was written by Marty Balin and included on Jefferson Starship’s 1975 album Red Octopus.
- For three weeks in 1975, Miracles sat at #3 on the US singles chart.
- Miracles is the highest-charting single the band ever recorded under the name Jefferson Starship–they had three #1 hits under their later incarnation – Starship.
- The album version of Miracles is 6 minutes 52 seconds. It was shortened to 3 minutes 25 seconds for its single relase and to remove the sexual reference in the line,
I had a taste of the real world when I went down on you, girl.
- In their book The New Book of Rock Lists, Dave Marsh and James Bernard listed Miracles in their list of, Best Songs to Pass the Censor. In the same book they described the line, “I got a taste of the real world when I went down on you girl,” as the “Most Off-Colour Line in the LP Version of a Number One Hit.” A mistake because Miracles did not reach #1.
- Reviews of Miracles were mixed. The 2004 New Rolling Stone Album Guide stated ”with Marty Balin’s Miracles the band began shifting toward schmaltz. Balin now sounded like a lounge singer…” Meanwhile, Philip Dodd, in The Book of Rock: From the 1950s to Today, described Miracles as “magnificent.”
- Miracles lyrics.
miracles –jefferson starship – 1975 – video
And just for my brother:
st charles – jefferson starship – 1976 – video
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