Header
Jefferson Airplane - The Woodstock Experience CD (album) cover

THE WOODSTOCK EXPERIENCE

Jefferson Airplane

 

Proto-Prog

3.92 | 7 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars This live Woodstock Experience of Jefferson Airplane is simply incredible, far superior to the studio albums because they are best heard unleashed from the studio, with vibrant improvisations and jamming and trippy freak out extended jam solos. It is a loud live performance, Grace Slick roaring into the mic along with the crunching guitars and pounding drums. All of the versions are different than the studio in many ways, specifically in how Grace changes rhythms and phrasing on the verses. The band are clearly having fun and it shows in the way they launch into experimental interplay of guitars and drums, such as on the frenetic '3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds', with its flawed vocals and chaotic tempo.

The concert boasts some of the most well known Airplane songs such as essential 'Somebody to Love' and 'White Rabbit'. The crowd roar their appreciation, or it may just be the laced brown acid that was not "specifically too good" according to Chip Monck. It is great to hear how the band addressed the crowd such as the intro where Grace tells it how it is, "you have seen the heavy groups now you will see morning maniac music, yeah, believe me, it's a new dawn." Then they launch into the blistering rock beat of "The Other Side of This Life" from "After Bathing At Baxters", one of the few chosen from that album. On this set the band leave behind all the saccharine balladic mush heard too often on their early albums and they rock it up ten notches. There is nothing from the Slick-less "Takes Off" and not that much from the more recent "Crown of Creation". Instead the band revel in a lot of improvisation and blues rock with a psychedelic tinge. At times Rolling Stones riffs are heard, specifically "Jumping Jack Flash" and it works well with Slick's soulful vocals. Jack Casady on bass and Spencer Dryden's drums maintain a constant burning rhythm that the crowd would have relished in after waking from slumber. Great music to eat breakfast too that may or may not have resembled Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast.

The actual Woodstock set of Jefferson Airplane began on Saturday morning, and the band remind the crowd with their "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon" that is improvised and raw but so great vocally, Grace and Marty whipping up a storm trading off each other. The set originally went for 1 hour and 40 minutes, 8:00am - 9:40am and featured the following songs; "The Other Side of This Life", "Somebody to Love", "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds", "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon", "Eskimo Blue Day", "Plastic Fantastic Lover", "Wooden Ships", "Uncle Sam Blues", "Volunteers", "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil", "Come Back Baby", "White Rabbit" and "The House at Pooneil Corners". This double disc set features all of these in track order so if one listens only to these songs they can get a feel for what the crowd heard on that infamous performance. The rest of the material from Disc One "Volunteers" is the remaster of the "Volunteers" album, not as good as the live stuff but interesting in its own way.

Highlights of the Woodstock set are the venomous anger in "Eskimo Blue Day", with expletives but some very cool instrumental sections. The band have never sounded so aggressive than on this live set. It is certainly a far cry from "Surrealistic Pillow" which only scraped the surface of what they bad are capable in the live arena. From the forthcoming "Volunteers" album, the live set does have the title track and a ridiculously long version of "Wooden Ships" clocking a whopping 21 and a half minutes, but the band are towering in their virtuoso musicianship throughout. This is followed by the blues marinated 'Uncle Sam's Blues' with Marty blazing away on guitar and vox. The lyrics are anti war which are appropriate in the Vietnam War era setting.

Also from "Volunteers" is "The House at Pooneil Corners" to close the set that jams along and grinds up the crowd with crunching guitars and heavy handed percussion. Slick wails with crazy sustained vocals on "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil", and it jams for 15 minutes, with some nice laid back bass, guitar and sporadic drum fills. It builds to a duet of power vocals, much of which seems to be made up on the spot, but I don't think there would be any complaints from the stoned crowd. 'Come Back Baby' brings things up to a heavy blues wakeup call after a short break with the crowd clapping for an encore.

As the album closes down, it has been an enjoyable trip back to 1968, and it is always a delight to hear the Woodstock material that thankfully has finally been released to see the light of day from all the artists concerned. From Hendrix to Jefferson Airplane, there is no mistaking the Woodstock music as quintessential from all the bands involved; these are powerhouse performances that helped change the face of rock music. This is part of that musical history and it is indispensable.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Share this JEFFERSON AIRPLANE review

>

Review related links

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.02 seconds