The debut Jefferson Airplane album was dominated by singer Marty Balin, who wrote or co-wrote all the original material and sang most of the lead vocals in his heartbreaking tenor with Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson providing harmonies and backup. (Anderson's lead vocal on "Chauffeur Blues" indicated she was at least the equal of her successor, Grace Slick, as a belter.) The music consisted mostly of folk-rock love songs, the most memorable of which were "It's No Secret" and "Come up the Years." (There was also a striking version of Dino Valente's "Get Together" recorded years before the Youngbloods' hit version.) Jorma Kaukonen already displayed a talent for mixing country, folk, and blues riffs in a rock context, and Jack Casady already had a distinctive bass sound. But the Airplane of Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Anderson-Casady-Spence is to be distinguished from the Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Casady-Slick-Dryden version of the band that would emerge on record five months later chiefly by Balin's dominance. Later, Grace Slick would become the group's vocal and visual focal point. On Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, the Airplane was still Balin's group.
Performance CreditsJefferson Airplane Primary Artist
Technical CreditsMarty Balin Composer
Jorma Kaukonen Composer
Paul Kantner Composer
Matthew Katz Producer
John D. Loudermilk Composer
Tommy Oliver Producer
Ralph J. Gleason Liner Notes
Lester Melrose Composer
Alex Spence Composer
Dave Hassinger Engineer
Chet Powers Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Takes Off based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
This is a very good album made every better by the bonus tracks. This is one of the earliest albums released from what would come to be known as the "San Francisco Sound" of the Sixties. As such, this would be an important album even if they had not gone on to superstardom. But compared to what they were about to create, this first album seems a bit restrained. Of course this is the pre-Slick album and it was, no doubt, the addition of Grace Slick after this album that help to add the bite that came to define the Jefferson Airplane's greatest years, but as the embryonic beginnings of that greatness, this album is certainly worth owning and enjoying.
As a California teenager in 1966, I heard ''Come Up The Years'' on local radio, and spent months trying to find out who or what it was. Since I discovered the album, the Airplane quickly became my all-time favorite band. Especially noteworthy are ''Get Together'' and the excellent cover of ''Tobacco Road''.
In many ways, this is the finest JA album. Clearly showing their folk roots but also beginning to experiment with rock. Jack and Jorma carry the band instrumentaly. The under-rated Skip Spence co-wrote many of the tunes. What might have been if Signe hadn't got pregnant.