Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Japanese 20bit remaster.
Japanese 20bit remaster.
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Robert R. (flicknife) from CHICAGO, IL
Reviewed on 7/2/2012...
After "Surrealisic Pillow", this is the other "must-have" by the band. Where SP was the soundtrack of the Summer Of Love, Volunteers is the backdrop for the troubled and politicized year of 1969. Every track a gem!
Anthem for the Revolution, Still alive after all these years
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 04/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`Holy Counterculture, Batman', what is the world coming to?' The Rolling Stones started it all when they lent one of their songs to sell Windows '95. Now Mick is shilling for digital cameras. Songs by Pete Townsend and The Who have been selling allergy medicine and have fronted every CSI show from coast to coast. Not that this is all bad. Half the reason I watch CSI is the jolt of adrenaline I get from their opening themes performed by The Who.
But now, who of all people but the Jefferson Airplane is lending one its songs to ads for a STOCK TRADING company, of all things. And, not only is it just any old Jefferson Airplane song, it's `Volunteers of America', the closest thing there is to being an anthem for the counter culture in 1969, when it first appeared on the `Volunteers' album. To the sponsor, E*Trade's credit, they use the song in a very imaginative way, playing exactly on the fact that the song is literally a suggestion for revolution. Of course, like the Beatle's `Revolution', there is just a little artistic license here, as the song is more exactly a reflection of `60s attitudes than it is a literal call to the barricades.
As a long time Jefferson Airplane fan, and a person who literally did exactly what the `Airplane' suggests in the song `The Farm' for a short time, E*Trade's appropriation of this most sacred of texts from that most sacred of decades comes as a major surprise. I just hope Gracie and Paul and Martie and Jorma and Headband Jack and the rest of the `Airplane crew are getting paid very, very well for their selling off this piece of my heritage to Wall Street.
To get to the point of reading what is supposed to be a review, let me say that while `Volunteers' may represent the high water mark of American artistic aversion to the Vietnam war and what it was doing to this country, it is probably not their best album. Their most important work that established them as THE San Francisco psychedelic band was `Surrealistic Pillow'. Their fullest work, with the greatest number of original songs is `Crown of Creation'. The album which I really believe is the most fun is the live recording `Bless It's Pointed Little Head'. But, `Volunteers' is the very last real `Airplane album before Gracie and Paul did their `Blows Against the Empire' project billing the band as the `Jefferson Starship', all based on a SciFi classic by Robert A. Heinlein. Explaining the irony of Heinlein quoted by the `Airplane is just too deep to go into here.
After `Blows...' I believe the band became much less interesting for a very long time. This may have been due to the alienation of Marty Balin and the spin-off of Jorma and Jack to the blues group Hot Tuna. So, this is the last of the truly great `Airplane albums, the apotheoses of the counterculture reaction to the very unpopular war. Aside from `Volunteers' itself, there are two other classic anti-war / anti-establishment songs in `We Can Be Together' by Paul Kantner and the great `Wooden Ships' by Kantner, David Crosby, and Stephen Stills which also appears as the first cut on the second side of the Crosby, Stills, and Nash debut album. Grace contributes the song `Eskimo Blue Day' which stylistically previews the themes of `Blows Against the Empire'. Jorma contributes three works, two of which are arrangements of traditional tunes and one original, `Good Shepherd'. Drummer Spencer Dryden contributes the country and western novelty `A Song for All Seasons'.
With all this anarchy, its curious that the very little `bad language' is so badly mumbled that you can hardly know what they are saying, and, in the copy of the lyrics in the LP, these words are changed to something much less objectionable. I thing Frank Zappa actually called them out on the timidity of hedging their bets with these dodges.
All in all, this is still an extremely powerful album that still resonates over the last thirty-five years. If you really want to know about music in the `60s counterculture, trade in your Grateful Dead for this classic.
The Airplane at their peak
zzz05 | New Haven Connecticut | 08/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most anthemic of rock and roll bands, this album features two of the Airplane's best anthems ('We Should Be Together' and 'Volunteers of America') as well as several cuts of unmatched musical beauty and spiritual harmony. And a Russian Army song. Still has a place of honor on my turntable, after all these years."