Though it was held back by the record company because of the use of the word "mother***er" in "We Can Be Together", other lyrical content, and the original title (Volunteers Of America), Volunteers was eventually released in 1969, and it was the last studio album to feature the classic lineup of the Aiplane.
The Band At This Time:
Vocals - Grace Slick
Vocals - Marty Balin
Lead Guitar - Jorma Kaukonen
Rhythm Guitar - Paul Kantner
Bass - Jack Casady
Drums - Spencer Dryden
We Can Be Together- This song is basically the twin brother of "Volunteers", and out of the two, it is the more elegant and even beautiful. It's the Airplane's masterpiece in my opinion. The section of the song where they harmonize using "tear down the walls" is inspiring. 5/5
Good Shepherd - This is actually a traditional folk tune arranged by Jorma. They do a great job of making it a rock song. Marty's vocal performance is above par. Jorma's beginning guitar line is essential to the song. 5/5
The Farm - They pull off a country song here! It's great. Grace's singing is very powerful. The harmonizing towards the end with lyrical improv is a smart finish to the song. 5/5
Hey Frederick - In here, Jorma really pulls off a gutwrenching guitar performance. A piano also adds much texture to the song. Grace's singing is pretty and menacing at the same time. THe band also has some great jamming for a large portion of this song. 5/5
Turn My Life Down - The beginning of the song starts off slow, then it goes into a quick psychedelic rock shuffle. Marty leads on this song, with some harmonies courtesy of Paul and Grace. Jorma's guitar is again absolutely brilliant. Actually, my favorite instrumentation during this song is Jack's bassline. 5/5
Wooden Ships - I think that this was written by Paul, David Crosby, and Steven Stills. Marty and Paul and Grace have equally powerful vocal performances on this track. It starts off as a slow song, but in parts speeds up tremendously. During the faster parts, Spencer's drumming is extremely effective. Jorma has a brilliant solo about 4 1/2 minutes into the song. Again, piano is added to texture the song. 5/5
Eskimo Blue Day - It starts with a slow guitar parts courtesy of Paul and then goes into Jorma's genius knifelike guitar part. Spencer contributes cymbal crashes that emphasize the chording and vocals very appropriately. Grace is the lead vocalist on this song, and I couldn't see anyone else doing it. The lyrics are environmentally aware. 5/5
A Song For All Seasons - Here, they pull off a very country song. it starts off with a little ragtime-esque piano part. It's a very hard song to describe. 5/5
Meadowlands - All this song is is an organ solo with human shouting faintly heard in the background. It can't really be given a rating.
Volunteers - This song is a rock classic. Marty wrote this and also contributes great singing to the song. The lyrics are about the youth of the era, much like "We Can Be Together" is. This is a much heavier and faster song, though. Jorma has a little solo in this song that's wonderful. 5/5
The album is obviously a 5/5.
I'd like to mention the Spencer Dryden recently died. RIP Spencer.