EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
PAUL KANTNER and JEFFERSON STARSHIP
BLOWS AGAINST THE EMPIRE – November 1970
Paul Kantner was the Real Deal, a true Rock ‘n’ Roll Counter-Culture Original Icon. He was the backbone, the constant, the spiritual leader of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.
His classic long-hair, wire-rimmed glasses Hippie image, and writing, composing, and distinct guitar sound was just the vibe that Hippies didn’t know they needed until the Surrealistic Pillow album in 1967.
Over the years since ’67 The Airplane released many great albums and sometimes one side is better than the other and sometimes those better sides become Album Side Classics.
Paul Kantner kicks off this category with side two of his 1970 Hugo (Science Fiction) Award-winning concept album, Blows Against The Empire.
Most of the array of musicians and vocalists had just come off recording with David Crosby on his first solo album, “If I Could Only Remember My Name” and carried on several months later with Kantner’s newly-named “Jefferson Starship” project.
Whereas Crosby created a spiritual “Cowboy Movie” album, Kantner created a spiritual “Sci-Fi Space” album.
Side Two is absolute magic; a suite that presents Kantner’s storyline of starship high-jackers with plans to find a better life. The world-class vocalists provide the humanity while the musicians never let us forget the space trip we’re on.
With the inspired “Sunrise” Slick gets primal with heavy metal sonic space sounds that transcend this world, a great composition, a dark illumination, a mini-saucerful of Pink Floyd!
And “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite?” is a beautiful paean to the idealized wonders of space travel – both are 00individual’s favorite tracks.
1. “SUNRISE” – 1:54
2. “HIJACK” – 8:18
3. “HOME” – 0:37
4. “HAVE YOU SEEN THE STARS TONITE?” – 3:42
5. “XM” – 1:22
6. “STARSHIP” – 7:07
Excellent contribution courtesy of if6ws929:
…Only the sun knows what we really need to know
Only the sun holds the secret
And more than human can we be…
This album is such a good choice; a gem and one of my favorite albums. “Have You Seen The Stars Tonight” elicits the same beautiful and romantic imagery now as it did when I first heard it all those years ago.
…Hydroponic gardens and forests
Glistening with lakes in the Jupiter starlight…
Kantner’s writing really tapped into the acid soaked, revolutionary spirit of our consciousness better than anyone else and hijacking the first starship seemed like a natural extension of where we seemed to be going at the time.
…At first I was iridescent
Then I became transparent
Finally I was absent…
…The melting acid fever streaking through my mind
Makes it oh so difficult to see you…
I couldn’t wait to join the 7000 volunteers, assume the role of the mighty, say goodbye to Amerika, go off to bright Andromeda, say hello to the garden and walk on the deck with my lady!
…Gotta get back and ahead to the things that matter
Amerika hates her crazies
And you gotta let go you know
Gotta let go you know…
…I, We, All Together…
We’ve lost others but this, losing Kantner, is nearly devastating. No one expressed the rewards of committing to the movement, the joy of higher consciousness and inspired our imaginations with as much artistry as PK. I now find myself feeling more vulnerable then I ever have. Thank you Paul Kantner, I will miss you.
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You’re finally off world, seek out that special place, and Rock On, Kantner, Rock On!
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