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The Worst of Jefferson Airplane is the first compilation album from the rock band Jefferson Airplane, released in November 1970 as RCA Victor LSP-4459.[1] The album features all of Jefferson Airplane's hit singles up to that point. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 in 1971[5] and has since gone platinum.[6]

The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
Worst of Jefferson Airplane.jpg
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedNovember 1970 (1970-11)[1]
GenreRock
Length46:11
52:54 (2006 bonus tracks)
LabelRCA Victor
CompilerJefferson Airplane, Bill Thompson, Pat Ieraci[2]
Jefferson Airplane chronology
Volunteers
(1969)
The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
(1970)
Bark
(1971)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [3]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[4]

Contents

ContentEdit

 
Billboard ad for the album, February 6, 1971.

In 1970, the band underwent a period of inactivity because of internal personnel conflict and pursuit of individual projects. Drummer Spencer Dryden was ousted from the group, Marty Balin found his commitment to the band he had started becoming tenuous, Grace Slick was pregnant with her daughter for a good part of the year, Paul Kantner released his solo album Blows Against the Empire, and Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady busied themselves with their side project, Hot Tuna. With no group project in sight, RCA Records assembled this album centered upon the group's hit singles, with input from the band. "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil," "Crown of Creation," and "Volunteers" all made the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100. "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" were the band's only Top 40 hits, reaching #5 and #8 respectively. To ensure a full picture of the group's musical interests, and possibly to ensure solidarity in the publishing income, the band included instrumentals by Dryden and Kaukonen, a country blues/gospel cover arranged by Kaukonen, and Balin's straightforward ballad "Today."

This would be the final album featuring what is considered the "classic" line-up of the band, after Slick and Dryden joined, and before Balin and Dryden left. Original copies of the LP contained an inner sleeve that was a reproduction of a 1918 vintage Victor Talking Machine Company sleeve and the record featured late 1920s vintage Victor labels. The interior of the gatefold cover featured a large color reproduction of the painting "His Master's Voice", the famous RCA Victor trademark. Later reissues of the album were housed in a regular, non-gatefold cover and did not include the reproduction of painting and the 1918 inner sleeve, but the LP still bore the vintage Victor record labels.

ReissuesEdit

On July 29, 1997, RCA reissued a remastered version of Worst on compact disc. On June 6, 2006, RCA reissued the album again, this time with two bonus tracks which had both been released as singles, "Watch Her Ride" and "Greasy Heart".

Track listingEdit

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's No Secret" (from Jefferson Airplane Takes Off)Marty Balin2:37
2."Blues from an Airplane" (from Jefferson Airplane Takes Off)Balin, Skip Spence2:10
3."Somebody to Love" (from Surrealistic Pillow)Darby Slick2:54
4."Today" (from Surrealistic Pillow)Balin, Paul Kantner2:57
5."White Rabbit" (from Surrealistic Pillow)Grace Slick2:27
6."Embryonic Journey" (from Surrealistic Pillow)Jorma Kaukonen1:51
7."Martha" (from After Bathing at Baxter's)Kantner3:21
8."The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil" (from After Bathing at Baxter's)Kantner4:30
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Crown of Creation" (from Crown of Creation)Kantner2:53
2."Chushingura" (from Crown of Creation)Spencer Dryden1:17
3."Lather" (from Crown of Creation)G. Slick2:55
4."Plastic Fantastic Lover" (live; from Bless Its Pointed Little Head)Balin3:39
5."Good Shepherd" (from Volunteers)traditional, arranged by Kaukonen4:22
6."We Can Be Together" (from Volunteers)Kantner5:50
7."Volunteers" (from Volunteers)Balin, Kantner2:03
2006 CD bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Watch Her Ride" (from After Bathing at Baxter's)Kantner3:16
2."Greasy Heart" (from Crown of Creation)G. Slick3:27

PersonnelEdit

Jefferson AirplaneEdit

Additional personnelEdit

  • Gary Blackman – nose solo on "Lather"
  • Gene Twombly – sound effects on "Lather"
  • Nicky Hopkins – piano on "We Can Be Together" and "Volunteers"

Production and recording detailsEdit

  • Jefferson Airplane Takes Off released September 1966, recorded on 3-tracks
  • Surrealistic Pillow released February 1967, recorded on 4-tracks
  • After Bathing at Baxters released November 1967, recorded on 8-tracks
  • Crown of Creation released September 1968, recorded on 8-tracks
  • Bless Its Pointed Little Head released February 1969, recorded live on 8-tracks
  • Volunteers released November 1969, recorded on 16-tracks
  • Alton Kelley, Wes Wilson – album design
  • Jefferson Airplane, Bill Thompson, Maurice – album compilation

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Worst of Jefferson Airplane sleeve notes
  2. ^ Joseph McCombs. "The Worst of Jefferson Airplane > Overview". Allmusic Guide. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: J". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 27, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  4. ^ "Jefferson Airplane > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  5. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". RIAA. (Type "Jefferson Airplane" under Artist.)