EXPERIENCE PSYCHEDELIC ROCK HISTORY!
Surrealistic Pillow – February 1967
In February 1967 two important landmarks were made, 00individual turned sixteen and as a cosmic gift, San Francisco’s Jefferson Airplane released Surrealistic Pillow!
00individual was already in the best place; L.A., best time; late ’60s, best age; late teens, when the power trio of license/car, getting high, and having sex made life a surreal Heaven on Earth – these were epic times – and then there was, Surrealistic Pillow!
This album, although not the first psychedelic album, (Los Angeles’ LOVE da capo was released November 1966 and the DOORS self-titled was released January 4, 1967) Surrealistic Pillow was the first one to perfectly combine all of the San Francisco Hippie Goodness of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll and the love that was felt universally into one immensely popular epic landmark of Psychedelic Rock.
Four months later, June 1967 The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s was released – and for insane proof that the whole year was soaked in hallucinogenic goodness, view the Top 13 Historic & Classic Psychedelic Albums of 1967.
All of these tracks spoke volumes, in word, in music, in feeling, in The Vibe:
“She Has Funny Cars” (Jorma Kaukonen, Marty Balin) – 3:14
What a great introduction to the “Pillow” – Rockin’, upbeat, fluid, great transitions, and world-class vocal layers by Balin and Slick: better’n Sonny and Cher.
“Somebody to Love” (Darby Slick) – 3:00
Instant Classic! Grace at her powerful best! It was all about Hard Rockin’ LOVE!
“My Best Friend” (Skip Spence) – 3:04
Like to believe this is about a Dog, Man’s best friend – unconditionally.
“Today” (Balin, Paul Kantner) – 3:03
This track just kills – heartfelt, beautiful – no, gorgeous. The perfect lyrical expression of Love, Life and Feelings – too touching, chills, thrills, and the music is righteously and soulfully exhilarating. One of 00individual’s favorites – and then there’s the excellent follow up;
“Comin’ Back to Me” (Balin) – 5:23
Masterful melancholy filled with regret and Love – with heart-rending optimism.
“3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds” (Balin) – 3:45
. . . was the Speed of Life: 216 MPH!
“D.C.B.A.–25” (Kantner) – 2:39
” . . . you were the world to me for a while.”
“How Do You Feel” (Tom Mastin) – 3:34
A mellow track that posits the question regarding one’s personal response upon meeting an intriguing female, or is it, the oncoming future?
“Embryonic Journey” (Kaukonen) – 1:55
Excellent, beautiful, too short. Kaukonen delivers etheric Hot Shit!*
“White Rabbit” (Grace Slick) – 2:32
This has to be the most and best perfectly-timed song ever. Not only did it resonate as a fun psychedelic Alice in Wonderland model for hallucinogenic interpretation throughout and therefore literally represented the Counter-Culture’s endorsement of the fascinating Drug-Culture, but it was one of the major “theme songs” for the Summer of Love.
And it also serves as a showcase for the unique vocals and songwriting talent of Grace Slick.
“Plastic Fantastic Lover” (Balin) – 2:39
Plastic was a negative term used by the Counter-Culture regarding aspects of the phoniness, shallowness and materialistic life of mainstream society.
With this track the term is used to mock the proliferation of television and electronic systems that were dominating society. A prescient take on the present where society is dependent and dictated by technology.
Marty Balin – vocals, guitar, album design
Grace Slick – vocals, piano, organ, recorder
Paul Kantner – rhythm guitar, vocals
Spencer Dryden – drums, percussion
Jorma Kaukonen – lead guitar, vocals
Jack Casady – bass guitar, fuzz bass, rhythm guitar
. . . and finally, there is the etched-in-stoned Grace Slick inspired universal Counter-Culture Mantra:
“FEED YOUR HEAD!”
. . . and we did.
*Kaukonen and Casady’s original censored name for their off-shoot band, Hot Tuna, formed while waiting for the Airplane’s repairs.
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