Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Jefferson Airplane - Takes Off CD (album) cover


Jefferson Airplane



3.18 | 89 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars First, I am a self-confessed big fan of the Airplane from the moment I bought "Bless Its Pointed Little Head" their classic live album.

I didn't even know this album existed until a friend alerted me to it by which time it was deleted in the UK. When it was re-releasedin the early 70s I immediately bought it on vinyl.

Let's start with the cover which shows what looks like a bunch of college students standing in front of an old propeller plane. Typical cover for the 1st LP but showing no signs of the hippy darlings they'd become a year or so later.

Marty Balin formed the band as a vehicle for his songs and voice so his presence is much stronger here than on later albums when everybody in the band wanted to sing their own songs on each album. I love his studio voice which is great on this release but always felt that he tried too hard to outdo Grace Slick on live recordings.

His voice introduces track 1 "Blues From an Airplane" a strong opener in which Signe Anderson's voice provides good support. She was the original girl singer for the band but only featured on this release before leaving to have a baby. The song was cowritten by drummer Skip Spence who was really a guitarist who became a drummer short term.

The next 2 tracks "Let Me In" and "Bringing Me Down" were cowritten by Balin and Kantner who shared lead vocals before a pure Balin composition "It's No Secret" sung by Marty. The original album then ended Side 1 with "Tobacco Road" ( a rather limp version) and "Come Up the Years" a pleasant ditty about love for a younger (presumably underage) girl.

I haven't lavished praise on the 5 songs after the opener because they feel pleasant without being outstanding. However, side 2 picks up strongly after its opener "Run Around".

"Let's Get Together", a song written by Chet Powers (aka Dino Valente) is another real highlight as Signe gets her best chance yet to show her singing prowess. "Don't Slip Away" feels a bit twee but is really enjoyable.

"Chauffeur Blues" allows Signe to truly show the power in her voice on a fast blues well driven by the band before Balin sings "And I Like It" a lovely ballad. In all side 2 is stronger than side 1and makes this album more than a curiosity for collectors only.

The album shows early signs of musical prowess with Cassady's bass already shining through on most tracks, the powerful female voice, the choir-like chorusses on some tracks. Kaukonen would come through more strongly in the future. The band would go on to make much better albums with Grace Slick, who also brought some great songs to the band, replacing Signe.

Balin would slide down the pecking order for lead vocals and eventually leave the band he formed but this is his album really. Torn between 3 and 4 stars but, since i feel there are a few songs here not up to their usual high bar, it must be 3.

RIP Balin, Kantner and Anderson

Progexile | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this JEFFERSON AIRPLANE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.