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Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers CD (album) cover

VOLUNTEERS

Jefferson Airplane

 

Proto-Prog

3.59 | 112 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Volunteers" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, California based psychadelic rock act Jefferson Airplane. The album was released through RCA Victor in November 1969. Itīs the successor to "Crown of Creation" from August 1968. "Volunteers" is notable for being one of the first albums recorded on a 16-track recorder (something almost thought of as futuristic in those days). The album was another success for the band and within two months of its release it went gold (which in those days were 500.000 sold copies). "Volunteers" would be the last Jefferson Airplane album to feature original members Marty Balin (guitar, vocals) and drummer Spencer Dryden.

The music is rock with some psychadelic elements. The music isnīt that psychadelic anymore though and to my ears "Volunteers" is more of a straight rock album featuring some strongly political anti-war/anti-government lyrics. The music is as always inspired by blues and american folk. Styles which form the basis of the bandīs sound, but Jefferson Airplane have evolved beyond that sound over the last couple of albums. Highlights of the album include "Hey Fredrick", "Wooden Ships" and "Eskimo Blue Day", which are all examples of Jefferson Airplane when they are best. There are a couple of country inspired tracks on the album in "The Farm" and especially "A Song For All Seasons", and although they are example of the band branching out, they arenīt the most interesting material on the album.

The vocals are powerful and the delivery full of bite and conviction, and the musicianship from all are on a high level. Jorma Kaukonenīs quite fierce guitar playing deserves a special mention. He is definitely one of the stars of the show on this release. Jefferson Airplane opted to hire session piano player Nicky Hopkins to record piano parts, which appear on many tracks on the album. Personally I donīt think the piano parts enhance the music and I much prefer the moments without piano.

Upon conclusion "Volunteers" is a relatively strong release by Jefferson Airplane, although I could have done without the country influences and the piano parts. The album marked the end of the classic era lineup of the band and it would be 2 years before the next album was released and at that point the band were more or less disintegrating and not a well functioning unit anymore. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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