Jefferson Airplane



by Hey Mr. Light Man USER (11 Reviews)
February 26th, 2005 | 8 replies

Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

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.

Recent reviews by this author
Bob Marley and The Wailers Live!The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet
The Rolling Stones Tattoo YouThe Rolling Stones Black and Blue
Bob Dylan Nashville SkylineThe Stooges Fun House
user ratings (143)
other reviews of this album
vmcoia91 (5)
Jefferson Airplane create their masterpiece with Volunteers. An album filled with all around strong ...

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 26th 2005


Hmmm... I might have to check this out. It's a good reveiw but you forgot to put a rating for The Farm.

February 26th 2005


This is a pretty good album. It definitely has some great points and few low points, but I don't know if 5/5 is a deserved rating.

I think they could have covered "Wooden Ships" better.

Good review :thumb:

Tv Party
August 25th 2006


This is my favorite Jefferson Airplane album. I view this as their masterpiece.

November 16th 2006


I've only got surrealistic pillow, im hoping to get this one soon.

May 20th 2007


Great review - I have got to check this album out! I've heard Wooden Ships, and it is just beautiful

February 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

their most hippy album; i like this more than perhaps it deserves but you can't fault sonhs like blue day frederick and wooden ships. Even farm is loveable despite silly lyrics.

December 7th 2017


Album Rating: 4.5

I agree that this is their best album overall, a shade better than Surrealistic Pillow. What I find interesting about it is that while the former album perfectly captured the Summer of Love in 1967, Volunteers perfectly captures the confusion of 1969. As somebody said above, it's their most hippie album, but it does a good job of showing the various sides of the splintering hippie movement in '69--anarchism (We Can Be Together), radical leftism (Volunteers), the back to the land movement (The Farm), anti-war movement (Wooden Ships), nascent environmentalism (Eskimo Blue Day), and health self-parody (Song For All Seasons). You could even put the rearranged traditional spiritual 'Good Shepherd' as relating to the Jesus Freak movement, although I'm sure Jorma Kaukonen didn't intend it that way. It's also musically all over the place, with more country influences than their previous album, but still a fair bit of psychedelia and the almost punk energy of the title track. It's so eclectic, in fact, that it really shouldn't hold together, but it consistently does. It would be the last album the band would record as a truly unified group, but they manage to make a great statement of their diverse talents before starting to splinter in 1970.

Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2017


Great comment. Only checked Surrealistic Pillow so I really need to jam some more Jefferson Airplane.

Digging: Heavy Sentence - Protector / Darkest Hour

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy