Blows Against the Empire [Expanded Edition]

Blows Against the Empire [Expanded Edition]

by Paul Kantner

CD(German Import)

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As concept albums go from the classic rock era, Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner and his new construction Jefferson Starship -- an amalgam more than a band at the time -- put together a true curiosity piece, loosely centered around the theme of young people leaving a dead planet. With the birth of Grace Slick's and Kantner's child on the way to add the flavor of "newness" into the mix, Blows is certainly an oddity. Kantner and Slick formed the core of the band with help from Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart (from the Grateful Dead), David Crosby and Graham Nash from CS&N, and alternating bassists Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane) and Harvey Brooks. Kantner and Slick wrote the majority of the songs here, but folkie Rosalie Sorrels contributed "The Baby Tree." Crosby and the rest also wrote some of the tunes, making the entire thing seem like a raw, impromptu communal effort -- which, in a sense, it was. Entirely at odd angles with itself, some of the Airplane's more modal melodies haunt songs like "Mau Mau (Amerikon)," and "Hijack," while Slick, Crosby, and Kantner's "A Child Is Coming" is simply a beautiful, slightly surreal ballad, while odd, textured sounds come from the ether -- mainly courtesy of Garcia's otherworldly pedal steel. A record like this could only have come from San Francisco. It was actually nominated for a Hugo award, a prize normally reserved for literary science-fiction novels. The Legacy Edition contains four bonus tracks including an alternate of "Let's Go Together," with different lyrics, Slick's acoustic demo of "Sunrise," an acoustic demo of "Hijack" by Kantner, an elongated live version of "Starship," from the Fillmore in 1970, and a throwaway piece entitled "SFX" by Garcia and Hart. The sound has been remastered and the CD packaging contains a replica of the original booklet that accompanied the original set. While Blows eventually went gold, it's hard to surmise at this juncture whether this reissue will find an audience, because of its dated sounds, songs, and concepts Still, it is a singular if shambolic work of ambition and vision.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/13/2005
Label: Imports
UPC: 0828766797428
catalogNumber: 5003144
Rank: 64918

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Kantner   Primary Artist,Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Vocals,Machines
Mickey Hart   Percussion,Drums,Track Performer
Crosby & Nash   Guitar,Vocals
Jerry Garcia   Banjo,Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Track Performer
Jorma Kaukonen   Guitar
Graham Nash   Percussion,Conga,Background Vocals
Grace Slick   Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Joey Covington   Percussion,Conga,Drums
Peter Kaukonen   Guitar
Jack Casady   Bass
David Crosby   Guitar,Background Vocals
David Freiberg   Background Vocals
Bill Kreutzmann   Drums
Phil Sawyer   Track Performer
Harusy Brooks   Bass

Technical Credits

Rosalie Sorrels   Composer
Mickey Hart   Composer
Marty Balin   Composer
Jerry Garcia   Composer
Grace Slick   Composer
Joey Covington   Composer
Paul Kantner   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
David Crosby   Composer
Jud Cost   Liner Notes
Bob Irwin   Reissue Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Gary Blackman   Composer
Paul "PK" Kelly   Libretto Design
Bill Thompson   Creative Consultant

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Blows Against the Empire 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As fresh and invigorating today as it was when first released. The tunes still merit rave reviews. Taken together, the musicians, music and Grace Slick’s vocals to boot…What could be better
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
Member of Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, along with Crosby/Nash and others participated in creating this wonderful Science Fiction album about leaving earth to start a new life. A truly great album and one that should not be missed by the fans of any of the groups involved. This is a Paul Kantner project that names this collaboration group "Jefferson Starship" but it should not be confused with the post-Airplane group of that name.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago