Arguably the most notable Jefferson Airplane album, featuring the counterculture favorite
"White Rabbit" and the radio friendly (though some might say overplayed) anthem "Somebody to
Love." Clocking at just over half an hour, the way the band alternatingly drag and glide you
through the juxtaposed tempos makes it feel like the record is much longer... yet you still have a
craving for more when it finishes.
(One of Czeano's top five favorite rock albums of all time.)
- She Has Funny Cars (Balin/Kaukonen) - This punchy song with an iambic rhythm to the lyrics and instrumentals draws the listener into the album easily. New vocalist Grace Slick can be heard supporting the lead, harmonizing in a way that foreshadows the rest of the record: "We're trying to revolutionize tomorrow." "It's all you ever need, so what do you want with me?" All in all, it's a catchy hook with a smooth, twangy solo as it fades out, preparing for the onslaught of Slick's voice for the next cut...
- Somebody To Love (G. Slick/D. Slick) - The Jefferson Airplane song that "everyone knows" was actually written by Grace's brother-in-law, Darby, with the intention of being performed by The Great Society. Instead, Grace took the song with her when she left the band, reworked a few lines and changed the title from "Someone..." to "Somebody...". It's the most mainstream "rock" from Pillow and tries to sound less folk than the other songs.
- My Best Friend (Spence) - This catchy, upbeat number starts with a great drum riff that blends well from the almost violent previous song and makes the transition to folk bordering on bluegrass. "I follow your dream; do you know what I mean?"
- Today (Balin/Kantner) - A love song on an album full of love songs, "Today" is about that moment when you realize how much you care for the another person.
- Comin' Back To Me (Balin) - No, this isn't a Celine Dion song. It's one of the slowest tracks on the album; Balin shares his unrequited love of friends gone and lovers past "I saw you... I saw you...". It touches on how you think it's going to go back to how you thought, but change is inevitable -- "Was it just something that I made up for fun?"
- 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds1 (Balin) - DAH DAH! dadadadaa DAH Dah da. Overprocessed guitar work with a pseudo-sitar-like sound, a toe-tapper that pairs nicely with the themes of "Comin' Back To Me" in an almost manic nature. "Do away with people! Take me to a circus tent where I can easily pay my rent and all the other freaks will share my cares." Concluding with "You know I love you baby, yes I do!" Right before the last few chords a voice screams, "THREE FIFTHS OF A MILE IN TEN SECONDS!" Quite a random outburst to the first time listener, but it makes more sense on a second pass, noticing lyrics in the last verse referencing love for the singer's hot rod -- not his girlfriend.
- D.C.B.A.-25 (Kantner) - Named for the chord progression contained within the
song and, many assume, LSD-25. Kantner presumably was under the heightened awareness of this substance while penning the song, claming "I see the people of the world/Where they are and what they could be."
- How Do You Feel (Mastin) - Another love song, this one was written by non-Airplane member Tom Mastin, a follower and occasional contributor to the folk/rock movement in San Francisco in the 60s. This is his only album credit, and achieved limited success with his own band, Mastin and Brewer, before committing suicide. "How Do You Feel" is a hauntingly happy tribute to a girl with the whole unrequited love thing thrown in for good measure.
- Embryonic Journey (Kaukonen) - This solo instrumental piece demonstrates the talent of Kaukonen. Technically, it is on par with Eddie Van Halen's Eruption -- only performed acoustically. The song also hits the range of emotions touched on by Dickey Betts' Jessica. Truely a highlight of the album, and a foundation for Kaukonen's future work with side-project-cum-full-time-band, Hot Tuna.
- White Rabbit (Slick) - The one song on this album with a thorough node to itself
- Plastic Fantastic Lover (Balin) - PFL brings the album full-circle as a catchy upbeat song that will remain in your head for quite a while after the album fades out. It also makes this a nice, safe album to leave on "repeat" while attending to other things.
1 For those who are wondering, it's 215 mph (345.6 kph).
All Music Guide (http://www.allmusic.com)
The album itself, with liner notes and stuff
A hookah-smoking caterpillar who began talking to me on the thirteenth consecutive pass of the album