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Jefferson Airplane After Bathing At Baxter's album cover
3.82 | 144 ratings | 14 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Streetmasse :
1. The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (4:29)
2. A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly (1:39)
3. Young Girl Sunday Blues (3:33)
- The War is Over :
4. Martha (3:26)
5. Wild Tyme (3:08)
- Hymn To An Older Generation :
6. The Last Wall Of The Castle (2:40)
7. Rejoyce (4:01)
- How Suite It Is :
8. Watch Her Ride (3:11)
9. Spare Chaynge (9:12)
- Shizoforest Love Suite :
10. Two Heads (3:10)
11. Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon (5:09)

Total time 43:38

Bonus tracks on 2003 CD release:
12. The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (Live-Long Version) (11:04)
13. Martha (Mono Single Version) (3:26)
14. Two Heads (Alternate Version) (3:15)
15. Things Are Better In The East (Demo Version) (2:31)
16. Young Girl Sunday Blues (Instrumental; hidden track) (4:09)

Line-up / Musicians

- Marty Balin / vocals, guiar
- Grace Slick / vocals, keyboards
- Jorma Kaukonen / guitars, vocals
- Paul Kantner / guitar, vocals
- Jack Casady / bass
- Spencer Dryden / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Ron Cobb

LP RCA Victor ‎- LOP-1511 (1967, US) Mono
LP RCA Victor ‎- LSO-1511 (1967, US) Stereo

CD RCA ‎- 4545-2-R (1989, US) Remastered (?)
CD RCA ‎- 07863 66798-2 (1995, US) Remastered by Bill Lacey
CD RCA/BMG Heritage ‎- BM2 53225 (2003, US) Remastered by Bob Irwin with 5 bonus tracks (one hidden) previously unreleased

Thanks to akin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JEFFERSON AIRPLANE After Bathing At Baxter's ratings distribution

(144 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE After Bathing At Baxter's reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After such an outstanding and astounding record as Surrealistic Pillow, and having sold by the hundred of thousand of units of it, Jefferson Airplane was in position to impose their view to their record label (RCA was Elvis's label), and as the owners admitted to not understanding anything to rock music (as opposed to Elvis's RnR), so they let the group have the freedom it asked. This was again a first, as not even The Beatles were allowed to produce their own label. As it would turn out, the Airplane was not yet ready to fly on its own wings, as this great album is sometimes heavily flawed and a good deal of it is due to the lack of presence of an outside artistic producer (if you except the presence of Al Schmitt as technical supervision). Nevertheless and in spite of its flaws and coming with a superb comics gatefold sleeve, JA managed another stunning album.

This album is divided into five series of songs that are inter-related within their section. This might just be reminiscent of the multi-movement suite of the early 70's, but to say that JA is the forerunner in this case would be exaggerated if there were not Procol Harum's In Twas Held In I. Actually, Iwas never sure if there was a concept to this album as it seems to describe a week's worth of Airplane tribulations.

From the superb opening Ballad of You & Me and Pooneil (this was Robert Kennedy's dog, as this political bunch of artistes were friendly with the potential future president) and which was anything but a ballad, the first section Streetmasse (almost 10 mins) evolves into the stunning RIO-like Small Package. This stunning 100 seconds is again showing that asa rock group, the Airplane was over a half-year ahead of the Fab Four's Revolution 9. Outstanding!! Without much a rest, Dryden leads the group in the Young Girl Sunday. The second movement (the wishful thinking War Is Over and its 6-min+) is probably the best-known as it contains their (flawed) hit Martha, where Grace is again playing the piper and Wild Thyme (H), most likely chanting their favoured herbs. Not the most prog, but definitely a rocking rebel moment on which the Airplane build their legend.

Older Generation (their third suite) starts out rocking out loudly, but settles into the incredible Rejoyce where JA reaches maturity, with Slick literally spell-binding us with her voice (dealing with James Joyce's Ulysses novel) while oboes and a bunch of other wind instruments accompany the lady art her piano. Not much is known about those backing musos (Grace blew a good flute, but this partition was probably out of her reach), but their arrangements are simply wonderful. If this is not prog (remember we are in August 67), I do not know what is.

How Suite It Is (no accident, uh? ;-) is their longest (12min15), mostly due to the lengthy jam-like Spayre Change which can be easily dispelled as messy if it was not for the formidable fusion Indian Raga laced with Spanish influences (remember the Rabbit and do not forget that Frisco was once Spanish) where Casady, Kaukonen and Dryden steel the show. Starting out as heavily descriptive music with an awesome bass work, the track slowly settles into a raga-groove with both Casady and Kaukonen pulling flamenco lines. Again years ahead of what Clack-Hutchinson would do some four years later.

The last suite Schizoforest (9-min+) starts out with an Indian harpsichord and the group just flows freely (Grace pulls in some interesting piano plucking but does not dare go further! Too bad, it sounded mega-interesting, but the suite flows onwards until it calms down, but the Airplane is always ready to use air-holes to make your ride as bumpy and interesting as possible. Great job, guys, you may now land with all targets reached.

On this reissue of the remastered album, the bonus tracks are of little interest as they are alternate or single version of existing tracks of the album. Although there are some rather obvious flaws, JA wanted to do a more adventurous record and their certainly achieved this fully. Although at times patchy ABAB might just be their more progressive album. Warmly recommended, as one of the earliest example of psych was the twin brother of prog. And the Beatles just on their heels.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars If "Surrealistic Pillow", although highly influential and revolutionary record in its own right, still did not leap away from the confines of (more or less) standard rock'n'roll song format, making innovations from within, its follow-up "After Bathing at Baxter's" radically crossed over to unknown, psychedelic and very experimental territory.

Instead of Marty Balin, who was the main author in the previous effort, here we can see Paul Kantner's slowly taking over the main composing role. His obsession with Sci-Fi would later give birth to his first solo work, an acclaimed album "Blows Against Empire", but even on "Baxter's" he started exploring strange themes. Dryden's "Small Package" is a short extravaganza of pure avant-garde madness with famous words "No Man Is an Island..." jocularly amended with "... Is a Peninsula", while Kaukonen's "The Last Wall of the Castle" is an early precursor to guitar-noise sounds such as that of SONIC YOUTH. "Watch Her Ride" and "Spare Change" are full of dissonant, atonal moments, extended jams and furious guitar fuzziness and exploding bass sounds of Kaukonen/Casady duo, which at times can be very puzzling to uninitiated listeners. On the other hand, "Martha" and "Rejoyce" are lyrically introspective, folk/psychedelic trips, the latter containing piano touches of jazz/classical tradition and lyrics invoking James Joyce's "stream of consciousness" signature. Slick's "Two Heads" tries to continue where "White Rabbit" ended, while the closing mini-suite "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon" contains some of the most powerful harmony vocals, along with raga-like guitars of Kantner/Kaukonen.

Even the graphic side of the album bears some radical innovation for those years. Silly, childlike drawings remind of later similar works of Daevid Allen's GONG covers depicting their notorious "Radio Gnome" concept. "Baxter's" cover design depicts an early 20th century aeroplane flying over the mountain of littered cans and garbage, with inscriptions saying "SMOKE", "CONSUME", "DRINK IT". Is this an early proto-ecological statement or an equally conscious protest against the "consumer civilization", as early as mid-1960s?! Or is it simply a product of too many brain-twisting substances? Who knows, but it's all stunning and amazing!

This is the most demanding of all JA albums and thus probably the closest in spirit to prog listeners, especially to those who prefer psychedelia/experimental/avant-garde sub- genres. A true masterpiece of proto/early prog rock.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars Their third effort in a bit more than a year. One has to say that the Airplane is rather prolific those days.

"The Ballad ..." is a great psychedelic opener. Slick, full of grace. This will be a highlight during their live performances.

"A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You, Shortly" is a weird song (?) : pure noise. I guess that this is what is called "avant-garde". Floyd will produce several tracks in this style on the "Ummagumma" studio sides...Fortunately, it only lasts for hundred seconds.

"Young Girl Sunday Blues" is reminiscent of "Somebody to Love" and is a very good track as well. "Martha" is a folky-pysche tune with nice vocal harmonies. Very much in the mood of the era. It combines both acoustic and electric moments quite successfully. Back to the electric side of their psychedelic stuff with "Wild Time" : great guitar work and frenetic drumming. The best track with "The Ballad..." so far.

"Rejoice" is another very good track here. Some Oriental influences and great vocals from Grace. I can't help, I am just fascinated and hypnotized by her voice. There is also some great flute playing. Another highlight.

"Watch Her Ride" is another nice track of this rather interesting album. The more we head towards the end of the album, the more interesting it gets : the quite psychedelic "Two Heads" is another great Airplane song : strong guitar and fabulous Grace vocals. An Airplane classic.

My fave, of course, is the fabulous dual track : "Won't You Try / Saturday Afternoon" which will be imortalized by their fantastic live set at Woodstock. Vocals are absolutely superb. It has the same hypnotic effect as "White Rabbit". Another one of their greatest tracks. No doubt.

Baxter is by far their most elaborate album to date. We are deeply in the psychedelic sound which will influence so many bands. Four stars for this historical and important album.

Review by Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I count this one and Touch self titled as the best example of American Proto Prog which would influence the future generation of prog artists. JA went above and beyond exploring on this one after the super compact and tight arrangements of Surrealistic Pillow.

They pulled out all the stops on several tracks like Spare Chaynge, Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon and The Ballad of You, Me and Pooneil but the albums real progressive moment is in Garce Slicks song Rejoyce. Playing it in a minor key to start as well as letting Jack Casady's bass supply the lead is truly fantastic then the song moves into 6/8 bridge then becoming a jazz trio with Dyden's drums entering. Some really tight chord changes and playing before the last verse. Grace was way ahead of her time and if that isn't prog then nothing is. She is the single element among the writers in JA that made it Proto- Prog. The Ballad Of You Me and Pooneil runs through several different parts to create a mini suite with some great vocal harmonies and a great bass solo by Casady. Spare Chaynge is a jam between Dryden, Kaukonen and Casady that invokes some Psychedelia but also some great jazz I love the way it builds to a rousing climax. Not really prog per say but a lot of experimental stuff and an insight into how Jack and Jorma interacted as well something that is still going on today. Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon is another in the line of Kantner songs that moves through different sections from the airy opening section to an almost sort of jazz bridge saturday afternoon) back into a more pumped up opening section then down to a slow waltz Saturday Afternoon section back to a rousing Climax of Won't You Try.

Some really great original songwriting here. There is a lot more on this record but those 4 songs really give its flavor and prog style. Some people might think some of this is dated and a person under 40 might listen to this and not relate at all but there is so much this band did to lift the boundaries of music to help forge the way for progressive rock to exist that it would be a shame to see this fade away. 5 stars I am afraid.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "After Bathing at Baxter's" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US psychadelic rock act Jefferson Airplane. The album was released through RCA Victor in November 1967. While the bandīs debut album "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (August 1966") was heavily rooted in american folk, the second effort from the band "Surrealistic Pillow (February 1967)" was a more psychadelic leaning rock album. Itīs still an accessible release and even features Jefferson Airplaneīs highest charting singles in "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love". The summer of 1967 is often refered to as the "summer of love" and "Surrealistic Pillow" is one of the albums that many people refer to as the soundtrack to that summer. By the end of November 1967 when "After Bathing at Baxter's" was released the hangover must have set in though, because this album is dark, angry, and at times melancholic. Itīs not a bleak melancholy but more an underlying feeling of restrained anger, despair, and frustration.

The album is divided into five chapters with two or three tracks under each chapter. Calling "After Bathing at Baxter's" a concept album would be stretching the definition a bit, but there is a bond between the songs and several seque into each other. Most tracks are relatively simple and memorable pop/rock compositions but with added psychadelic elements. There are a few more experimental tracks on the album like the sound collage "A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly" which reminds me of the sound collages by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and the 9:12 minutes long dark psychadelic jam "Spare Chaynge". Highlights here are the dark folky "Martha" (fans of eerie sounding harmony vocals should be able to enjoy this one greatly) and the eerie Grace Slick-led "Rejoyce".

The musicianship is strong on all posts. Jefferson Airplane are an incredibly talented and tight playing unit. One of the greatest assets of the bandīs sound are the way the two (sometimes three) guitarists compliment each other in the music. The vocals are strong too and the vocal harmonies clever and original. The rhythm section provide a strong foundation for the music. Just an overall well performing band.

The production by Al Schmitt (who alledgedly didnīt do much during the recording of the album) is a well sounding and powerful 60s production. you can hear every instrument and vocal part in the mix. "After Bathing at Baxter's" is upon conclusion a high quality psychadelic pop/rock album by Jefferson Airplane, and itīs great to hear that the band opted for development of their sound instead of releasing "Surrealistic Pillow" number 2. The album is loaded with innovative and creative songwriting ideas and an audible joy of playing. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I was originally surprised to see this much enthusiasm for After Bathing At Baxter's on the site since to me it's just another one of those nice but non-essential albums that Jefferson Airplane recorded towards the end of the '60s.

This album was released in the same year as Surrealistic Pillow and although there are quite a few similarities between the two recordings in terms of production and sound the direction has this time around shifted slightly towards psychedelic and experimental rock territory. I see this change as an improvement that ultimately also becomes this album's major liability. But before we get there let's talk about the good parts.

After Bathing At Baxter's begins on a strong note with The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil and the material after that maintains a much higher quality in comparison to their previous release. Unlike Surrealistic Pillow this album actually gets better towards the middle section that begins with a dark acoustic number called Martha and doesn't stop until the album's masterpiece performance of Rejoyce. The title of this track doesn't really do it justice since this is the darkest sounding performance that you'll probably hear from Jefferson Airplane!

Along the way there are quite a few experimental rock moments that other reviewers before me have correctly compared to the work of Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention. Some of this material like the short piece titled A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly is quite refreshing in comparison to the overall sound of the band. Still I think that the 9+ minute Spare Chaynge psychedelic jam goes overboard in terms of extravagance.

Ultimately After Bathing At Baxter's is a definite step in the right direction that still doesn't really reach its goal for me. I definitely recommend this album to everyone who enjoyed Surrealistic Pillow since this album might be considered a bit too extravagant as an introduction to Jefferson Airplane. Although there are nods at Frank Zappa's experimental style all over this album I'm not really sure that Zappa's fans will actually consider this a worth a while experience. Hence a good, but non-essential album.

***** star songs: The Last Wall Of The Castle (2:41) Rejoyce (4:01)

**** star songs: The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (4:35) A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly (1:34) Young Girl Sunday Blues (3:33) Martha (3:26) Wild Tyme (3:09) Watch Her Ride (3:11) Two Heads (3:13) Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon (5:02)

*** star songs: Spare Chaynge (9:12)

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars The biggest problem with the old acid-tripping albums of the mid- to late- sixties is that almost none of them make much sense today, unless of course you're still tripping, in which case you either have the chemical constitution of Tommy Chong or are a second (or third) generation white, middle-class weekend hippie. In which case you might very well still find the third Jefferson Airplane appealing.

Jefferson Airplane recorded 'After Bathing at Baxter's' in the summer and autumn of 1967, by which time they were no longer in the minority of former folk-rockers to adopt the psychedelic lifestyle with wholesale abandon. Certainly the band was still an extremely popular creative force, and this album would go on to sell more than a million copies despite (or perhaps because of) its radical departure from both folk-rock music and a mainstream lifestyle. And perhaps most importantly RCA secured the services of Grammy award winning producer Al Schmitt for the Los Angeles recording sessions. Schmitt could polish a rancid skunk turd and make it look appealing, and finding a way to corral four months' worth of studio depravity into a presentable package proved to be no problem for the veteran studio pro.

Not to say everything is smooth sailing here. Like many psych bands of that era Jefferson Airplane were hell-bent on mind-expanding, 'innovative' music-making that challenged any and all notions of what a 'proper' music album should be about. Rather than craft a well- sequenced, concept or at least cohesive collection of songs for their third record, the band opted to question even that convention and instead grouped pairs of tunes under mostly unrelated stanzas with odd titles like "Schizoforest Love Suite", "How Suite It Is" and "Streetmasse" ('Street' differed only in that it contained three songs). These sound more like forum thread titles on a prog-music website. And the songs contained in each section bears all the marks of most of the other highly experimental, self-indulgent, trippy and heavily improvised acid and psychedelic music of that day. Airplane were nothing if not trendy.

Not that there aren't some gems because there certainly are. "rejoice" in particular takes full advantage of Grace Slick's evocative songwriting and vocal skills, not to mention her piano playing which is an often overlooked talent she brought with her to the band. The song also includes vaguely Eastern sounds like flute and what at times sounds like a table but it probably just keyboards. Not quite as powerful as "Somebody to Love" but a great use of her talents nonetheless.

"The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil" appears to be another attempt to twist a children's tale into a mad acid romp in the vein of 'Surrealistic Pillow's "White Rabbit". This time the fictional character is Pooh bear, and the delivery is more disjointed but as I've listened to scores of neo-psych bands over the past decade like Dead Meadow and Smell of Incense I have to think the children's-fiction-as-acid-trip-music motif left its mark. This one along with "Spare Chaynge" and the ultra-trippy "Two Heads" formed a trio of singles released in support of the album. None garnered much airplay (at least not on AM radio), but the album sold well regardless which is more a reflection of the times than of the quality of the music.

The wild guitar work and harmonized vocals make "The Last Wall of the Castle" a prototypical acid rock number, and the comparatively restrained "Martha" was surely a live- show crowd favorite with its 'coming down' trip vibe. Most of the rest of the album consists of drawn-out, spacey psych numbers that were most likely heavily improvised in the studio and then whipped into a recognizable format thanks to cutting room wizardry during the New York post-production engineering sessions.

This isn't one of my favorite Jefferson Airplane albums, mostly because it just doesn't hold up as well as the first two after more than thirty years. It's a period piece for sure, and fit the mood of its target audience quite well in 1967 though and easily deserves a three star rating, but nothing more as it does not rise to the level of essential even in the Airplane discography. Mildly recommended, mostly to psych freaks, and not so much to fans who were attracted to the more palatable experimentation on the band's first two albums.


Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The Airplane's masterpiece

The Summer of Love? As mentioned in my Pillow review Kantner (and others) have stated that the true magical moment in San Fran was '66, not the "summer of love" 1967. The Airplane were coming off the success of "Surrealistic Pillow" and its hit singles. They had taken on Bill Graham as manager and were working very hard trying to record the follow-up while gigging, all throughout that magical summer when tour buses began rolling through the Haight and young people were flocking there from across the country. It was one of those situations where something quite special had taken place but the magic was unsustainable and would be ruined ultimately by human nature. The initial innocence and the taste of freedom and expression were wonderful combined with the intoxicant of youth, but within another year the scene would degenerate into excess, hard drugs, scam artists, and eventually poisonous politics. Despite the chaos of 1967 or perhaps because of it, Baxters would be the masterpiece of Jefferson Airplane. It stands with "Piper" and "Sgt. Pepper" and the other great albums of 1967.

Recording began May 22nd 1967 making "Baxters" the product of the craziness of that summer. It was recorded mostly in the middle of the night by a band trying to turn their previous album on its head. With the success of Pillow the band had nearly complete carte blanche to do whatever the hell they wanted without concerns about the commercial potential, and they were smart enough to realize such attitudes among the suits would not last, so they made the best of it. The album was pretty much written in the studio without central planning, mostly by Kantner, the band bursting with creative intent and fueled by copious amounts of hallucinogens.....along with heavy drinking by Grace and Spencer. But it mattered not...this was the party, this was the time where they could do little wrong, and this was the album that would capture Jefferson Airplane at the peak of their career.

While it's true that the album was experimental and ambitious, what makes it a masterpiece is something much simpler: "Baxters" was change mostly unsullied by cynicism and dysfunction. While true that darker topics were entering the writing, by sheer luck, magic, or something else, this is the album that listeners can inhale to experience life, joy, sunny June morning dew on the grass, children laughing, first kiss innocence. For the band descent had already started via egos, factions and cocaine, but for the listener the album captured a moment that could always be held tight. These feelings were not only a San Fran thing. Young people everywhere would soon feel a longing for escape. All these years later the escape wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and what was seen as old fashioned has in some ways been redeemed. Still, one has to hand it to the musicians for leaving such documents of the period.

This masterful rallying cry of chaos begins with an erupting bit of feedback before the "Pooneil" track becomes a textbook example of what Grace could do with her voice. The multi-vocalist approach was so instrumental in Airplane's vibe, Grace's sultry and powerful wail, Marty's smooth and comforting piece of the puzzle. At the same time the Casady/Kaukonen wing were making their greatest leaps forward in their playing. The track bleeds into "A small package" which is a direct result of the band trying their hand at being Zappa/Mothers. It is a bit silly and indulgent as its critics charge and yet it works perfectly in the concept of this album. You have to remember, this is not an album to play here and there while running errands. This is a piece that is to be savored in its entirety when you have time to shut out the world and dissolve into it.

Marty was feeling marginalized by this point, being openly ridiculed by Jack and Jorma for his "square" tastes. Sadly his only writing contribution here is the lovely "Young Girl Sunday Blues" which is probably the albums most "normal" track. "Martha" is this lovely, lilting, kaleidoscope ode to a young mischievous girl who hung out in the band's social circle. It turns into "Wild Tyme H" which famously finds the band exclaiming proudly "I'm doing things that haven't got a name yet." In "The Last Wall of the Castle" Jorma is ferocious, the fuzz guitar leads entering a new and heavier territory. He would become very enamored with the Cream approach which would lead he and Casady to Hot Tuna.

"I wrote what was interesting to me assuming people had read this stuff. But there's a larger record-buying audience out there that doesn't know [&*!#]." -Grace, about "rejoyce"

And then we get to "rejoyce" which is the album's finest moment for me and proved that Grace was indeed more than a charismatic singer. Loosely based on Joyce's "Ulysses" Slick twists the lyrics and takes them different places, while coming up with some of the Airplane's most interesting recorded music. With the guitars mostly quiet she conjures epic dreaminess and fantasy with her voice and piano, utilizing disjointed sections, some eastern influences, and "discordant, brooding, ominous chord sequences" aptly described by Airplane biographer Jeff Tamarkin (Got A Revolution - The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane.) "rejoyce" always leaves me to wonder what could have been had the Airplane veered this direction with their next album, had they went for a sparser and more experimental studio mind bomb as opposed to heading more in the rock direction favored by the grooving Tuna boys.

On Halloween 1967 the singers were not around, so the future Tuna and Dryden set about laying down what became the 9 minutes of pure improvisation known as "Spare Chaynge." A bit long winded but largely successful if you like guitar noodling, it again fits this particular album just fine. After Grace's witty "Two Heads" the album closes with Paul's tribute to "acid, incense and balloons" at the park. "Saturday Afternoon" evokes the spirit of the hippy celebration as well as any song ever did. Baxters is one in a series of triumphant albums by this great American band, your favorite will depend on your tastes. All of albums through Volunteers belong in every respectable rock collection.

"To us, Baxters was a performance and artistic success because, like spoiled little brats, we got to do whatever we wanted to do. But I say "spoiled little brats" with a certain amount of fondness." -Jack Casady

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I still remember to this very day the first time I've heard a Jefferson Airplane song. I've discovered an old Cassette tape that had many great songs like 'White Bycicle' from Tomorrow, 'SLAWBR' from Cream, Deep Purple and many more. In fact I only discovered the songs names many years later.

The song in question was 'White Rabbit' from Surrealistic Pillow (1967), it was so fresh and exciting even 30 years later. When I finally was able to listen to the whole album I was so disappointed...

It's not really different with their next album After Bathing At Baxter's (1967) released later in that same year. The band try to go further in their Psychedelic/Acid Rock sound (with hints and colors of Prog Rock), but their Blues Rock background pretty much destroy it for me.

Even though the band is trying to go on and even created some suites in the album, the general sound is more like a Blues Rock/Folk Rock album than a development. Even on their next album Crown Of Creation (1968) they were still the same band. They lost their momentum, they should get forward, instead they used their fame to serve as stagnation.

Not the album is bad, it's not, but it lacks depth.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Though the preceding Surrealistic Pillow was their breakout album, Jefferson Airplane's sound is sufficiently reconfigured on After Bathing At Baxter's that if you're looking for a followup to hits like White Rabbit you're probably going to be disappointed. With material ranging from naive psychedelic pop numbers to sound collages reminiscent of what Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were producing at the time, this album attempts to establish the Airplane as more than just a mere pop band.

No longer is there the weird division between standout tracks like White Rabbit and the more straight ahead blues rock numbers that acted as filler on Surrealistic Pillow; instead, all the songs are part of broader conceptual suites, a technique which perhaps suggests more than a few listens to Zappa and the Mothers' Absolutely Free. However, listened to against that album the true avant-garde force of the 1960s is revealed and the Airplane feel drab and self-absorbed by comparison. Indeed, the less nostalgia you have for the hippy era, the less staying power this album is likely to offer.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars "After Bathing At Baxter's" seems to be the one a lot of Prog fans enjoy but I have to admit I rate it below "Surrealistic Pillow" and my favourite of theirs "Crown Of Creation". It is commendable that they didn't sit on the success of "Surrealistic Pillow" and just try to do another in that style. They seemed to be aware of what their contemporaries were doing(Zappa for example) and so they tried to make this more experimental and they also included several suites that make up this recording. The suites don't seem legit to my ears for a couple of reasons, and by todays standards this is far from experimental but remember this was 1967. I find the vocals and guitar do get on my nerves at times which certainly doesn't help in my enjoyment of it.

"The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil" opens with that extended guitar that is one of my highlights but then it kicks into a standard pop song. Not a fan of the vocals but that brief BYRDS-like guitar is cool before a minute. I also like the percussion/ guitar section around 2 1/2 minutes. The next track might have been something to rave about in 1967 but not now. My two favourite tracks are back to back. First up is "Martha" which comes across as a melancholic Folk song with Grace on vocals. I like the guitar 1 1/2 minutes in.

Next is "Wild Tyme" with Grace's strong vocals and the prominent guitar standing out. He rips it up a minute in. Excellent song. My other top three tune is "Rejoyce" with the abundance of piano and Grace's singing. There's an Eastern vibe around 2 1/2 minutes and I like the flute late. "Watch Her Ride" is catchy and straight-forward with male vocals. I like the bass on this one. "Spare Chaynge" is okay but nothing more. An experimental soundscape of guitar, bass and drums. If you want something like this but better check out some classic Krautrock. The closer is pretty good especially when the slow it down on the second part.

There's just too many negatives for my tastes to give this anything more than 3 stars.

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4 stars JA's 3rd album and totally different from the previous 2. The songs are organised into suites but feel like they're sometimes stitched together to form a suite rather than because they are overly connected. For that reason, I'll review by song rather than by suite to be fair to each song. This co ... (read more)

Report this review (#2873105) | Posted by Progexile | Thursday, January 5, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Bathing at Baxter's is JA's most psychedelic and experimental album and an important one in the proto-prog genre. Musically, it has a lot of things going on which aren't noticable on the first few listens. From the guitar feedback screech on the opener you can already hear that they were doing ... (read more)

Report this review (#638530) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After Bathing at Baxter's ? 1967 (2.5/5) Low three, nearly two stars 9 ? Best Song: Young Girl Sunday Blues And so San-Francisco's number one faceless psychedelic rock act becomes the number two faceless rock act (right behind Grateful Dead). Hey, I don't count my chickens before they've ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#445866) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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