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Jefferson Airplane Bark album cover
2.77 | 56 ratings | 8 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. When The Earth Moves Again (3:54)
2. Feel So Good (4:36)
3. Crazy Miranda (3:23)
4. Pretty As You Feel (4:29)
5. Wild Turkey (4:45)
6. Law Man (2:42)
7. Rock And Roll Island (3:44)
8. Third Week In The Chelsea (4:34)
9. Never Argue With A German If You're Tired Or European Song (4:31)
10. Thunk (2:58)
11. War Movie (4:41)

Total time 44:17

Bonus tracks on 2015 remaster:
12. Pretty As You Feel (Mono Single version) (3:10)
13. Feel So Good (Unedited) (9:24)

Line-up / Musicians

- Grace Slick / vocals, piano
- Jorma Kaukonen / lead guitar, vocals
- Paul Kantner / rhythm guitar, vocals
- Papa John Creach / violin (1,4,5)
- Jack Casady / bass, bass balalaika
- Joey Covington / drums, percussion, vocals

- Bill Laudner / vocals (11)
- Will Scarlett / harmonica ( 8) (uncredited)
- Carlos Santana / guitar (4) (uncredited)
- Michael Shrieve / drums (4) (uncredited)

Releases information

Artwork: Gary Blackman with Acy Lehman

LP Grunt ‎- FTR-1001 (1971, US)

CD RCA ‎- 66574-2, (1996, US) Restored/remastered by Bill Lacey
CD Culture Factory ‎- CFU01024 (2013, US) Remastered in 24-bit / 96kHz
CD Iconoclassic Records ‎- Icon 1039 (2015, US) Remastered by Vic Anesini with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to akin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JEFFERSON AIRPLANE Bark ratings distribution

(56 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars With both Balin and Dryden out of the picture, and a record label of their own, the Airplane spent the start of the new decade regrouping and touring. While Marty Balin was not directly replaced (even his role had diminished, at least the group respected him enough not to find a substitute for him), they brought in this teenage kid that they had accepted in their Fulton Mansion, and he had learned to drum often replacing Dryden in Hot Tuna or in-house jams. So JA went from an older drummer, to a much younger one. But the line-up would actually see another change. In a complete surprise move, the group enlisted the 50 years old Papa John Creach: a Black blues violinist that was already connected to the group via the lengthy Hot Tuna jams.

By the time Bark had been released, almost two years had passed since Volunteers (well there was a typically JA-styled compilation actually called "The Worst of JA" released since), and the group had been busy getting the Grunt record label going and a few albums had been released and Hot Tuna was gaining more momentum. So it was not liked they did anything. But with the newcomers in the fold, the feeling had changed quite a bit and the album would actually be a bit of a disappointment for fans, but this writer does not think that Bark is any better or worse than Volunteers (which is definitely not been up to par to their previous album), just different. At first glance, it is easy to see that the group once again opted for more concise and tighter song, with none exceeding the 4¾-mark. Actually the first side of the album was of a rather high calibre with a trilogy of excellent songs from Feel So Good to Pretty As You Feel running through Crazy Miranda. All three of these tracks are definitely worthy of their earlier masterpieces: the Kaukonen-penned FSG Tuna (I know, but I could not help it ;-) is Hot (eeehmm!!! Toooo easy ;-), while Grace's Miranda track show again her songwriting and piano skills. PAYF is one of the tracks where Papa John gets in his violin lines beautifully Jorma's guitar.

Unfortunately, the second side will not really follow suit and it has a real blunder in that stupidly-titled Never Argue With A German track, which would cause them harm. One of the things that the average Airplane flyers can complain about is that Casady's bass is again slightly under-mixed, because musically speaking the man is still at the top of his game, but less audible. Part of was made the Airplane special (the Balin-Slick duel/duets) and Dryden's crazy electronics doodlings was now history and for progheads, this was not good news.

As it turns out, the group had just waited too long between the over-rated but high-profile Volunteers and this much lower-keyed affair not as well distributed or promoted. Two years was simply too long a break and their dropping out of the public eyesight allowed others to step in the gap and get their share of sunshine exposure.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Lots of personnel change to start the new decade. This prominent US band has really been influential. Early Floyd and The Doors have definitely picked up bits and bites from them.

The pysche sound of their earlier works was already less present in "Volunteers" their last and very good studio effort. This one confirms the tendancy.

The opening number has a bit of country flavour which is not really what I would have expected from the Airplane. Let's hope it is the only one of that vein. With "Feel So Good", the traditional JA fan knows that the band is on track again : a good old pyschedelic number with loads of guitar work. My beloved Grace (yes I know, I am biased) is absolutely superb in "Crazy Miranda". A very good song with strong background piano. Airplane at its best. Same flavour again with "Pretty As You Feel".

"Wild Turkey" is a hard-bluesy number. Some violin during this all-intrumental number. Not really on par with the last three numbers to be honest. " Rock And Roll Island" as the name indicates is a strong rock song. Great tempo and strong vocals by Kaukonen backed up by Slick. Very good I must say.

"Third Week In The Chelsea" is a folkish, acoustic number. Some country mood as well. Not my cup of tea and far from what JA traditional repertoire. One of the weakest track on this album. Then comes "Never Argue With A German If You're Tired" is the weakest. Why the hell did the Airplane need to produce this song with German lyrics ? This track is rather chaotic and rather decadent. Gives an impression of the pre-war Berlin and its cabaret night-life. A bit of "Götterdämmerung" impression. The worst number on this album (and probably the worst of the whole JA repertoire so far) is definitely "Thunk". Really a stupid number that should have been remained unrealeased. The closing number "War Movie" is a good one hopefully although that vocals are poorly produced in the first half. It is a more traditional Airplane song, with Slick on the backing as she is often used to. To get the full splendour of her voice, one will need to wait for her solo album "Manhole" (but the inspiration is of course totally different). I am not so enthusiast about this release. Too few great numbers to make it memorable I'm afraid. A serious slide down in comparison with "Volunteers". Two stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Bark" is the 6th full-length studio album by US, California based rock act Jefferson Airplane. The album was released through Grunt Records in September 1970. The band had enjoyed a tremendous amount of artistic and commercial success with their previous four albums (their debut was also successful but not quite as successful as the next four albums) and they had toured extensively in the wake of each album release. A number of incidents meant that "Bark" was the first studio album by Jefferson Airplane in two years though. Including the birth of Grace Slick´s and Paul Kantner´s daughter (in January 1971), the departure of founding member Marty Balin and drummer Spencer Dryden, a near fatal car accident which Grace Slick was involved in and the founding of their own record label Grunt Records.

Lineup changes and other incidents or not The style of music hasn´t changed much since "Volunteers (1969)". The basis of the music is still blues rock and american folk mixed with a bit of psychadelic rock. The folk influence isn´t as strong as it was in the beginning of their career but can still be heard in a song like "Third Week In The Chelsea". The blues influence is heard everywhere on the album but especially in the way guitarist Jorma Kaukonen plays. Listen to him duel with Papa John Creach who plays the violin on the instrumental "Wild Turkey". That´s some powerful bluesy playing right there. There´s also an almost avant garde oriented rock song featuring on the album in "Never Argue With A German If You're Tired Or European Song" which could be something Frank Zappa had written if Slick wasn´t credited for the songwriting. The vocals on the album are strong as ever, although the loss of Balin is audible. Pationate and biting female and male vocals grace the album.

The musicianship is strong on all posts and "Bark" also features a warm, organic, and pleasant sounding production, which suits the music well. So upon conclusion "Bark" is another quality release by Jefferson Airplane and proof that their 2 year recording break didn´t affect the quality of their music or their performances. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars A lot has been made of how terrible eighties music was, and especially how poorly so many exceptional seventies bands fared as that decade drew to a close and record labels tightened both their purse strings and the leashes they held on many acts in their stables. There must be something about new decades and shifts in musical direction though, because the same can be said about the post-Woodstock early seventies and the dismantling of many key sixties icons. While Jefferson Airplane avoided the record label squeeze by simply forming their own label, they couldn't escape changing tastes or the demise of the classic lineup of their own band.

Marty Balin was around for the early stages of 'Bark' but it was clear even in 1970 that his time with the band was coming to an end, and he would leave before much of the album was actually recorded. The band eventually released 'Bark' with no Balin songs at all when he finally departed about halfway through the lengthy recording period. The late Spencer Dryden had departed months before the sessions began and had already been replaced by drummer Joey Covington who came to the band through their Hot Tuna connection and had participated in some of the 'Volunteers' sessions as well as several live appearances in 1970. Once again the band employed several guest musicians, the most noticeable being violinist Papa John Creach who appears on the opening strands of the first track 'When the Earth Moves' as well as the muddled instrumental 'Wild Turkey' and a dismal collaboration of several band and guests titled 'Pretty As You Feel' that was apparently included only for its potential as a single (it flopped). Carlos Santana also reportedly played on the song although it's difficult to tell what his contribution was amid the cacophony of instruments and Grace Slick's uninspired, repetitive vocals.

There are simply no standout tracks on this album whatsoever, and no semblance of continuity or direction of sound throughout. A couple of minor accomplishments include some decent piano on the Grace Slick-penned 'Miranda' and the cleverly titled (but abysmally executed) 'Never Argue with a German If You're Tired (or European Song)'. But these don't serve to offset the almost monotone delivery of the acoustic/a capella turd 'Thunk', a pre-Starship sounding 'Rock & Roll Island' or the apparently poorly rehearsed 'War Movie'. In the end the overall package spelled disaster for the classic Jefferson Airplane reputation, and the loss of Balin was both obvious and tragic.

Surprisingly the album sold fairly well, presumably thanks to the band's appreciable fan base and their thirst for something new after more than two years of not much touring and a steady stream of compilations and dredged up live recordings. This was not the symbol of a band landing on its feet following lineup upheaval and personal tragedy. The end was clearly in sight by 1971.

Fans and collectors probably already have this in their collection which is just as well since as far as I know it's no longer in print although it has been bundled a couple times in CD reissue form. This is a 'collectors only' recording without a doubt, and not something anyone unfamiliar with Jefferson Airplane should seek out before hearing anything released prior to it. Two stars is the best it can be rated, and I wouldn't recommend seeking it out on its own. If you really want to hear the album try and find one of the CD versions that bundles it with 'Volunteers' and/or the later 'Long John Silver'. That way at least you won't completely waste your money.


Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars Along with The Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane were one of the leading San Francisco bands trying to forge a unique sound and an individual personality out of their music - by the Airplane's 1971 album 'Bark', we can see the band going through the motions, drug problems and various personel changes playing a main part of this. 'BARK' happens to be a quite eclectic run of songs - being stoned doesn't neccesarily mean a sure-fire sure direction of where to go.........(though many have tried...............). Originally, the record was released with this circular 'JA' logo on a paper grocery bag (with some cool sketches of band members by Grace on the back), along with a lyrics fold out that also features an insane, nonsensical poem of 'The paper bag and what you can do with it'. The actual LP cover depicts a paper parcel with the head of a denture wearing fish poking out at the corner.............really strange ideas here. With that, this album offers many surprises and interesting turns within regular 'pop/rock' formats... We have some very unique Bass Guitar sounds from virtuoso Jack Casady (forget Squire, Jones, Sinclair...........this bass-monster is different) ,actually, Jack's bass may be all we have to differentiate this album from the 'norm', but it makes for some very unusual tracks here. Listen out for the trippy Chamberlin (an instrument later developed into the Mellotron that we all know and love) workout that's 'Never Argue With A German If You're Tired or European Song' - fantastic stuff, or perhaps the bass feedback drenched / piano piece 'Crazy Miranda', sung by a gorgeous Grace Slick..... The track 'Thunk' is pretty much acapella - all voice and no instruments (apart from some piano chords at the intro)....'Wild Turkey' is a jammy tune more in-keeping with off-shoot 'Hot Tuna' than the older Airplane material, but very good, with Papa John Creach's 'funky fiddle'. Actually, this album is a weird enough mix of different approaches that it's worthy of a weak 4 stars from a 'Prog' perspective. Maybe a bit passe, but quite interesting nevertheless.

Review by stefro
1 stars Their first album of the 1970's, 'Bark' proved to be the beginning of the end for this most seminal of psychedelic groups. And the parallels are rather spooky. As the dreams of the 1960's faded in a welter of bad drugs, broken promises and changing trends, Jefferson Airplane suddenly became a band very much out of their own time, almost as soon as the sixties ended. Once a pioneering 'protest' group who spoke out vociferously on behalf of the West Coast-led counter-culture movement, the advent of harder forms of rock music, continuing intra-band squabbles and the escalation of the Vietnam war - amongst many other things - combined to turn the Jefferson Airplane dream decidedly sour. After an engaging-albeit-lightweight country-flecked debut('Jefferson Airplane Takes Off') the San-Francisco group would hit pay-dirt with both the appointment of new lead-singer Grace Slick and their epoch-defining success of their classic 1967 album 'Surrealistic Pillow', which featured the psychedelic anthems 'Somebody To Love' and 'White Rabbit'. 'Surrealistic Pillow' would be quickly followed by three more excellent albums before the decade was out - the experimental 'After Bathing At Baxter's', the glorious 'Crown Of Creation' and the serene, folk-inspired 'Volunteers' - turning the six-strong outfit into one of the most popular acts of the era. The success, however, would prove to double-edged. After 'Volunteers' the group would elect to take a much-needed break, during which time core member Marty Balin would leave. The second original member to defect after drummer Spencer Dryden, Balin's departure would prove costly. After reconvening during the early months of 1971, the remaining members and new arrivals Joey Covington(drums) and Papa John Creach(violin) would struggle for inspiration. With various side projects(such as Jorma Kaukonen's blues project Hot Tuna) proving a distraction, the resultant album 'Bark' would suffer greatly. A lumpen and uninspired effort, 'Bark' is seen by many as Jefferson Airplane at their lowest ebb. And they're not wrong. Replacing the psychedelia with folk and country elements, this is a wretched album that fails to deliver even one memorable tune. The jaunty 'Wild Turkey' aside - a track that at least features shreds of the group's playful energy - 'Bark' is essentially the soundtrack to the end of the hippie dream, and just as depressing. Great group's often fall hard, and Jefferson Airplane's 'Bark' is a prime example of an out-of-touch group struggling to adapt to the changing world around them. Sad then, and bad. Very, very bad.


Latest members reviews

3 stars Maybe not the best album to start with through my journey with Jefferson Airplane. I am already a fan of Jefferson Starship's great Red Octopus album. Hence, I am gravitating towards Jefferson Airplane. Hence this album and this review. Bark contains a lot of influences. Folk music in the v ... (read more)

Report this review (#480392) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, July 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Bark ? 1971 (3.4/5) 11 ? Best Song: Miranda? Or Wild turkey, sir Many bands passed the 1970's hump with flying colors. Rolling Stones did brilliantly with Sticky Fingers, and Bark wanted to follow suit. Not only are they embracing country and roots rock, they're focusing more on the 'post 1 ... (read more)

Report this review (#445871) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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