PAUL KANTNER Blows Against The Empire (1970) + DAVID CROSBY If I Could Only Remember My Name…

Paul Kantner Blows Against The Empire (1970)
David Crosby If I Could Only Remember My Name…
Birds Of A Feather

Both were recorded at roughly the same time in 1970 at Wally Heider Recording Studios in San Francisco, and both shared many of the same, loose amalgamation of players, including Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Jorma Kaukonen and assorted others. The solo debut from the Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner is a science fiction fantasy about abandoning a dead planet, while Crosby’s debut is an inner journey of self. Both exemplified a new ideal in music making, when ‘bands’ and individual credits were less important than raw invention and the creative community. At a time when multi-tracking was quickly becoming the norm, these are albums about human interplay. I’ll spare you the hyperbole about Crosby, one of my favorite writers, captured here during his finest hour. If I Could Only Remember My Name… is still considered a minor classic, while Blows Against The Empire is an ambitiously admirable continuation of Jefferson Airplane’s previous blow against the republic, Volunteers. Each has its detractors, but few albums represent the promise of the future of 60s folk & rock better than these similarly different examples. Blows has bonus tracks, including a live, 13 minute “Starship,” as does this IICORMN reissue. If you want the 2006, DVD/5.1 Surround mix, you’ll need a hard copy (HERE). Amazon’s acting like it’s already out of print, but has Blows HERE. We’ve still got those fantastic IICORMN outtakes (brimming with Jerry Garcia, HERE), and LOTS more Crosby (HERE) and Kantner (HERE). Kantner died today, Jan. 28th (HERE).

Mau Mau (Amerikon)
The Baby Tree (1:44)
Let’s Go Together (4:22)
A Child Is Coming (6:18)
Sunrise (1:54)
Hijack (8:18)
Home (0:37)
Have You Seen The Stars Tonight (3:43)
X-M (1:25)
Starship (7:05)
Let’s Go Together (Alternate Lyrics) (4:21)
Sunrise (Grace’s Acoustic Demo Tk. 8) (1:21)
Hijack (Paul’s Acoustic Demo Tk. 5) (7:01)
SFX (Jerry Garcia & Mickey Hart) (2:02)
Starship (Live) (13:04)

Music Is Love (3:22)
Cowboy Movie (8:12)
Tamalpais High (At About 3) (3:33)
Laughing (5:27)
What Are Their Names (4:15)
Traction In The Rain (3:47)
Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves) (6:00)
Orleans (2:02)
I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here (1:27)
Kids And Dogs (Bonus Track) (7:01)


  • Willard
    November 2, 2010 - 21:24 | Permalink

    Get them HERE.

  • Anonymous
    July 28, 2014 - 11:42 | Permalink

    Got two copies of the vinyl versions with the incredible silver paper inside.
    Yet these remasters sound 50 times better.
    A perfect classic record that few people listen to.

  • Anonymous
    January 29, 2016 - 04:00 | Permalink

    Thanx Willard !

    Crosby’s first solo LP is still one of my all-time all-artist favourites. I discovered it through the track “Orelans” (I’m french). For me it stands up here with anything Neil Young did during the 70’s.

    I don’t know Paul Kantner’s album, but the subject (SF story about leaving the planet) reminds me of a french LP of this era, Gerard Manset’s “La Mort d’Orion”, about a planet named Orion, where we, people of earth, fled to survive. Apparently, there’s a fight between old and young people about leaving Orion to go back to earth, leading to the destruction of both worlds (the lyrics are very obscure, even for me… ;) ).

    You can hear it there (only the first 5 tracks of the LP are about “La Mort d’Orion”, the rest of the tracks are independant). :

    January 29, 2016 - 05:12 | Permalink

    For me too ,this 3 lps remains favorites among 25000 albums collection i have. if the story of the kantner lp look a like the Manset one, both words and music are not the same. The blues folk rock of paul is part of family community with crosby, garcia and all san franciso brothehood. Blow against is the result of three years summer of love fraternity like Crosby’s if only. Now “La Mort D’Orion” is the work of an loner muscian. And like Gerard Manset told me when i’d nterviewed hi at the end of 70s, his music have roots in rock, concret music, french variety and strongest at all in modal music. Of course both are influenced lyrics by SF writters like k.dick, moordock and spinrad and even B.r bruss and Druillet for Manset.

    And even if “La mort d’orion” seem to be cold (As the space?) both album come from before junkies era or almost.

  • Anonymous
    January 29, 2016 - 12:40 | Permalink

    Thank you Willard. JA;s originality is terribly underated. R.I.P.

  • Clive
    January 30, 2016 - 11:02 | Permalink

    Sharing the love, knew you’d have something about Mr Kantner…it’s been a while since I listened to his stuff but wow did his death hit me. Blows was an album my brother who was 10 years older than me and is now deceased himself sat me down, got me high and turned me on to when I was a ripe old 11yrs young in 1972. My first true girlfriends older brother was a serious Airplane?Tuna?CSN freak as well and I downed huge doses of Sunfighter, Bark, Baron Von Tollbooth etc at their house every day after school too. All our parents worked their asses off and we seemed to have free reign of our houses in those days, smoking mass quantities of dope, tripping and hanging out in parks and woods, beaches and lakes…God his death hurts.

  • Clive
    January 30, 2016 - 11:07 | Permalink

    Me and my friends we roll through the hills in the nighttime
    Me and my friends run into the mornin’ sunshine

  • Grant
    January 30, 2016 - 12:20 | Permalink

    Thanks so much, Willard! Re: the comment above about the Crosby LP being your favorite – my good friend has about 1,000 albums, and still, after all these years of collecting, that is also his favorite album overall by anybody. I love it too.

    Looking forward to hearing this Kantner LP!

  • Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2016 - 18:54 | Permalink

    I listened to both of these reords this week, one because I got tickets for Croz’s tour in March and the other because, well, you know why. A sad day indeed.

  • Tom in Beacon
    January 31, 2016 - 16:21 | Permalink

    Love both albums and now we find out that Signe Anderson (later Toley), the original Airplane “girl” singer died the same day as Paul (Friday 1/28). They were both 74.

    • Tom in Beacon
      January 31, 2016 - 16:57 | Permalink

      That’s Signe Toly Anderson – only my 5,429th combo brain fart/typing mistake this weekend. Sorry, Signe…

  • Anonymous
    February 1, 2016 - 15:19 | Permalink

    Many thanks, long time since I heard it

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