Saturday, October 1, 2011
Jefferson Airplane - Crown Of Creation (RCA - LSP 4058)
Psychedelic Rock is one of those musical styles that is hard not to like. The versatility it enholds as well as the natural sounds has attracted many followers. And of course drugs. This was the end 60s and the beginning 70s where anything could happen anywhere. It was also the glowing days of Haight & Ashbury which was a truly monumental arena back in those days. Those were the good old days since when I went there last year, that flicker of light was not there anymore.
Jefferson Airplane is just not the mother of various Psychedelic Rock offshoots (Inc. Jefferson Starship), it is also one of the pioneers of the genre. Actually pioneer is a really questionable term. Jefferson Airplane is like the Kraftwerk of Electro Pop. They were not the first band to get into it, but rather they were the first band to generate widespread success. This is how they have eventually inspired the worldwide phenomenon of Psychedelic Rock which ultimately shook Turkey as well. Interestingly, approximately 12.000 miles away, the Psychedelic Rock artists of Turkey like Erkin Koray, Mogollar, Uc Hurel and others were to be also distinguished artists in this genre. Especially in the case of Erkin Koray, he is noted as one of the top artists of this music with ingredients he has combined from Anatolian Rock as well.
Regarding the album, it is the second step of Jefferson Airplane showing their move to a step further from Psychedelic Rock and mixing it with Blues Rock which was also extremely widespread those days. From the likes of Blues Rock artists like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Peter Green and Eric Clapton, they added the essence of improvisation into their music and the guitar solos were reminding more of Blues rather than Psychedelic. On the other hand, there was one thing remaining, the vocals of Grace Slick and her astounding lyrics. The poetry in the lyrics as well her contralto vocals were to become one of the flagships of Psychedelic Rock and influenced many bands to follow the same road. It can also be said that due to their heavy touring with The Doors between 1967-1969 should have affected their music. There was also romance within this relationship as Jim got hooked into the beauty of Grace. "Ice Cream Phoenix" seems to be one of those tracks where this affection could have taken hold.
The album was the second most only being surpassed by the legendary "Surrealistic Pillow". It has moments where it reminds us of the sounds in "Surrealistic Pillow" like tracks "Lather" and "Greasy Heart". However, in reality it is the follow up of a change coming in which started with "After Bathing at Baxter's". This album is on a more cooler sound than the Rockier "After Bathing at Baxter's". The extra availability of Kaukonen's electric guitar was a bit of a too much change for the group therefore they seem to have taken a bit step back. Yet, in tracks like "Crown Of Creation", "If You Feel" and more effectively the album closing long track "The House At Pooneil Corners". In these tracks Kaukonen is left to stride along his guitar in the same sense that the British and American Electric Blues guitarists doing. It's fair to say that there is not a long, shredding guitar solo in any of these tracks while there are traces here and there which can add up to it.
These are albums which have opened the way to millions of possibilities for the upcoming generation. Of course this is a double edged sword. Thinking that this music opened up a possibility for Kaiser Chiefs is a damning thought. Yet somehow it is true. Anyway I'm sure Jefferson Airplane didn't have that in mind. Let alone the loose ends in the basket, it is pure pleasure to listen these albums which unfortunately were never really quite repeated afterwards, even Jefferson Starship couldn't do it, the offshoot after Jefferson Airplane disbanded.