Surrealistic Pillow – Jefferson Airplane (1967)

Album no. 96/1001

Don’t you want somebody to love? Don’t you need somebody to love? Wouldn’t you LOVE somebody to love? Jefferson Airplane certainly thought so.

Jefferson Airplane were one of those acts to pioneer the American psychedelic sound. They were also one of the few bands at the time to play all three of the defining 1960s festivals – Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Altamont.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: I’ve been really excited to hear this album because it’s got ‘Somebody To Love’. Which I, and anyone else who knows the 2004 remix, love. (I’m kidding. This is everything that was wrong with the early 2000s era.)

NK: What the fuck is that remix. Jesus Christ. I have heard this album before. I was unaware of that remix and wish I could have remained so.

Standout track

CL: See above.

NK: I think ‘White Rabbit’ is better than ‘Somebody to love’, but it’s a close call.

CL: In all seriousness, there really isn’t much else to get excited about on this album. I’m really disappointed! ‘Comin’ Back To Me’ is alright. But it still doesn’t sound anywhere near as exciting as ‘Somebody to Love’. Some of the songs on here sounded A LOT like the Mamas and the Papas (hullo ‘My Best Friend’). And that is something I don’t need in my life.

NK: ‘White Rabbit’ didn’t make an impression at all? A weird, slow-building hypnotic number about the crew from Alice in Wonderland? I do pretty much agree with you, this album has a couple of real standouts and some pretty general stuff. What’s the third-best song? ‘⅗ Of A Mile In 10 Seconds’? At least it has a bit of pace to it. A lot of the other songs sound like Byrds outtakes. Also, ‘My Best Friend’ was written by Skip Spence who was in Moby Grape.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: Just put ‘Somebody To Love’ on. Anytime. 

NK: ‘White Rabbit’ is often cited as a drugs song, but compared to that I think the rest of the album might be a bit of a let down. I listened to this while I was riding my bike to the pub, that was ok.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: Aside from the inclusion of the singer – Grace Slick brought the best songs and the best voice to this album – I really don’t know! 

NK: This is the San Francisco psychedelic sound I’d been expecting. There’s something about those guitars. They’ve also got the drug references and the combo male/female vocals. There’s a bit going on here I guess, but I suspect it may have been a time and a place thing to some extent.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: NO. Don’t get my hopes up and then dash them so quickly.

NK: Probably not, sorry folks.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Surrealistic Pillow on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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