Jefferson Airplane — Long John Silver

From 1972, this is the final Jefferson Airplane album (if you consider them the same band without Marty Balin, and if you discount the 1989 reunion album which I’ve never heard).

The cover of the “box” that could be assembled from the Long John Silver album cover

Similar to Bark, it’s mostly plodding, anthemic and grooveless. It doesn’t sound like anyone’s having any fun or playing loose. Jointly produced by a band that wasn’t getting along, once again everything is turned up to 10, and not to the benefit of the music. It sounds like what it is: a bunch of people playing apart. And when Grace’s lead vocals are from inside a can, they’re from another room, and always at top bellow.

The cover is still cheeky for 1972, a cigar box that can actually be assembled into a box, obviously meant to store marijuana. I was over pot humor before I ever even used pot, so I appreciate the production energy this required, but otherwise it’s a lot of nothing.

I’m not sure when I got this, probably around 1980. It has received precious few plays. With the exception of “Eat Starch Mom,” nothing here ever made it onto my mix tapes, but I liked that song’s angry sarcastic energy at the time, and it’s still one of the better rockers. But this was the end of the Airplane.

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