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WHITE RABBIT

Jefferson Airplane

Proto-Prog


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Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit album cover
4.05 | 3 ratings | 1 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing

A: White Rabbit
B: Plastic Fantastic Lover

Line-up / Musicians

- Marty Balin / vocals, guitars
- Grace Slick / vocals, piano, organ, recorder
- Paul Kantner / vocals, guitars
- Jorma Kaukonen / guitars, vocals
- Jack Casady / bass, rhythm guitar
- Spencer Dryden / drums, percussion

Releases information

RCA Victor 47-9248, US
RCA 1631, UK

Thanks to mogorva for the addition
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JEFFERSON AIRPLANE White Rabbit ratings distribution


4.05
(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(33%)
33%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(67%)
67%
Good, but non-essential (0%)
0%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE White Rabbit reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is my first review for this San Francisco based classic psychedelic/proto-prog band. 'White Rabbit' is such an important song of its time that I wanted to give it some attention, even though I'm not very familiar with the band's output in general.

It's no wonder that JA's debut album Takes Off (1966) has been largely forgotten whereas their breakthrough album Surrealistic Pillow (1967) is very famous. The key member Grace Slick replaced the original female singer Signe Toly Anderson after the band's debut. Slick had been in a psych band called The Great Society, and she had written 'White Rabbit' for them. Interestingly the song appears -- in a notably longer form -- also on the former band's debut album Conspicuous Only in Its Absence, recorded in 1966 but released in 1968.

Of all songs inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass (1871), 'White Rabbit' is undoubtedly the most famous -- possibly only topped by the theme song from Disney's animated film (1951). Carroll's surreal fantasy became dear to the psychedelic movement, thus enhancing it from being mere CHILDREN's literature. "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small..." The echoed sound of the brief song is typical for the time, the production is slightly muddy, but nevertheless both Slick's songwriting and the gloomy musical interpretation function well: an instant rock classic was born. It still captivates the listener.

Some further background from Wikipedia: "Slick wrote the lyrics first, then composed the music at a red upright piano with eight or ten keys missing (...) the music was heavily influenced by Miles Davis's Sketches of Spain, particularly Davis's treatment of the Concierto de Aranjuez." The white rabbit indicates following your curiosity. For Slick and others in the 60s, "drugs were a part of mind expansion and social experimentation. With its enigmatic lyrics, 'White Rabbit' became one of the first songs to sneak drug references past censors on the radio." The song was a commercial success and later on it has appeared on various lists of all-time greatest rock songs.

The B side song 'Plastic Fantastic Lover' was also taken from Surrealistic Pillow. The vocals are by guitarist Marty Balin who wrote the song. This is a more straight-forward rocking blues-rock song with an emphasis on the electric guitar. Missing Grace Slick's vocals, one could think this was recorded by entirely another band.

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