JEFFERSON AIRPLANE The Bonus Track Reissue Series (1966-1971) + Volunteers & Bark Sessions

UPGRADED If you’re hanging on to ancient, 80s versions of Jefferson Airplane CDs, dump ’em. The mastering on some of the early releases is atrocious and the growing number of reissues that followed got downright confusing. In 2003 & 2004, however, the band’s catalog was overhauled by the great Bob Irwin (of Sundazed fame) and bonus tracks were ponied up for this series of (thus far) definitive remasters of JeffAir’s indelible psychedelia. Bark was finally expanded over 12 years later and is now included below. Only Long John Silver remains un-updated at present. You can get these essentials cheap at Amazon. As a bonus, we’ve also included two sets of rare, outtake session recordings from 1969’s Volunteers and 1971’s Bark.

Takes Off (1966)
In 1966, before fame would find them, Jefferson Airplane were still revolutionary… as part of the burgeoning, San Francisco music scene that was quietly inv
enting “psychedelic folk” music. Most of the writing is by Paul Kantner and Marty Balin, but the female lead vocals, by Signe Anderson, still seem out of place after all these years of hearing Grace Slick. The clean, primitive recording techniques, however, are preferable to the gobs of trendy echo used by producer Rick Jarrard on Surrealistic Pillow. Not your quintessential Jefferson Airplane album, but nearly all the recognizable characteristics are in place. Amazon.

Blues From An Airplane (2:13)
Let Me In (3:00)
Bringing Me Down (2:24)
It’s No Secret (2:40)
Tobacco Road (3:31)
Come Up The Years (2:33)
Run Around (2:40)
Let’s Get Together (3:36)
Don’t Slip Away (2:34)
Chauffeur Blues (2:28)
And I Like It (3:20)
Runnin‘ ‘Round This World (2:26)BONUS TRACK
High Flyin‘ Bird (2:36)BONUS TRACK
It’s Alright (2:17)BONUS TRACK
Go To Her (Early Version) (4:09)BONUS TRACK
Let Me In (Original Uncensored Version) (3:31)BONUS TRACK
Run Around (Original Uncensored Version) (2:35)BONUS TRACK
Chauffeur Blues (Alternate Version) (2:50)BONUS TRACK
And I Like It (Alternate Version) (10:36)BONUS TRACK

Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
Consider this… Surrealistic Pillow is probably the album most responsible for the glut of nameless, faceless, now forgotten psychedelic acts that littered the musical landscape of 1967-68. Label execs and talent scouts, weaned on, and still thinking in terms of, fads and a 6 month shelf life, spread out across California with open-ended contracts in an attempt to re-capture the staggering sales success of Jefferson Airplane’s psychedelic brew. But, this was a rare alignment of the stars, thanks to the only two compositions Grace Slick brought with her into the Airplane’s fold, “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love” (the latter written by bro-in-law, Darby Slick). After the indoctrination of drugs and self-indulgence, however, future psychedelic acts (the real ones, that is) were rarely this commercially viable again. Including the Airplane. Amazon.

She Has Funny Cars (3:11)
Somebody To Love (2:58)
My Best Friend (3:01)
Today (3:00)
Comin‘ Back To Me (5:18)
3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds (3:42)
D. C. B. A.-25 (2:37)
How Do You Feel (3:31)
Embryonic Journey (1:54)
White Rabbit (2:31)
Plastic Fantastic Lover (2:38)
In The Morning (6:22) – BONUS TRACK
J. P. P. Mc Step B. Blues (2:38)BONUS TRACK
Go To Her (4:03)BONUS TRACK
Come Back Baby (2:57)BONUS TRACK
Somebody To Love (Mono Single Version) (2:59)BONUS TRACK
White Rabbit (Mono Single Version) (5:21)BONUS TRACK

After Bathing At Baxter’s (1967)
Released in 1967, After Bathing At Baxter’s was an early test of meddle for Jefferson Airplane, one of the first psych bands to find themselves at the crossroads of art and commerce. Quite unexpectedly, they were pressured to choose between the commerciality of Surrealistic Pillow and what they were alternately offering up to live audiences up and down the West Coast. JeffAir honorably followed their muse… and the result is one of the great psychedelic albums of all time. Throughout ABAB, the patented psych harmonies of Slick, Balin and Kantner are magically inventive, carrying the purity of the era like a freak flag into the present. Jorma Kaukonen’s fuzz guitar explorations were, and are, the essence of psychedelia. You can even hear the Airplane out-Mother The Mothers of Invention on “A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You, Shortly.” The 11 minute “The Ballad Of You Me And Pooneil” showcases the band’s live prowess, which would be further explored on Bless Its Pointed Little Head. Amazon.

The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (4:35)
A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You, Shortly (1:34)
Young Girl Sunday Blues (3:36)
Martha (3:26)
Wild Thyme (H) (3:11)
The Last Wall Of The Castle (2:41)
Rejoyce (4:04)
Watch Her Ride (3:11)
Spare Chaynge (9:13)
Two Heads (3:13)
Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon (5:07)
The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (Live – Long Version) (11:08)BONUS TRACK
Martha (Mono Single Version) (3:29)BONUS TRACK
Two Heads (Alternate Version) (3:19)BONUS TRACK
Things Are Better In The East (Demo Version) (6:41)BONUS TRACK

Crown Of Creation (1968)
Crown of Creation is an alternately quiet and powerful release – and a truly democratic one, too, with shared space for all the band’s songwriters. Curiously, for such a cohesive effort, the album was recorded in bits and pieces throughout 1968, in between gigs when time permitted. Paul Kantner scores big with the totally Jeffersonian title track, while Grace Slick’s oblique “Lather” remains one of the band’s more memorable ballads. The addition of David Crosby’s “Triad” is a perfect fit, too. On a few tracks, you can hear the influence of Frank Zappa (a bit of a hidden Spencer Dryden trademark, as it turns out), but this expanded version’s bonus track, “Would You Like A Snack,” is actually a co-write by Zappa and Slick, and features performances by Art Tripp, Don Preston & Ian Underwood of The Mothers. Amazon.

Lather (2:58)
In Time (4:14)
Triad (4:56)
Star Track (3:12)
Share A Little Joke (3:10)
Chushingura (1:21)
If You Feel (3:22)
Crown Of Creation (2:54)
Ice Cream Phoenix (3:03)
Greasy Heart (3:27)
The House At Pooneil Corners (5:55)
Ribump Ba Bap Dum Dum (1:33)BONUS TRACK
Would You Like A Snack (2:40)BONUS TRACK
Share A Little Joke (Mono Single Version) (3:09)BONUS TRACK
The Saga Of Sydney Spacepig (10:30)BONUS TRACK

Bless Its Pointed Little Head (1968)
One of my biggest musical regrets is not seeing these guys in their prime, and Bless Its Pointed Little Head captures that psych abandon and inter-band chemistry in spades. Reportedly, it’s each member’s favorite Airplane album, probably because it documents what they did night after night on the road. Fittingly, it was recorded at The Fillmores East & West. This expanded disc offers 3 previously unreleased tracks. Amazon.

Clergy (1:35)
3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds (4:39)
Somebody To Love (4:16)
Fat Angel (7:37)
Rock Me Baby (7:49)
The Other Side Of This Life (6:45)
It’s No Secret (3:31)
Plastic Fantastic Lover (3:53)
Turn Out The Lights (1:25)
Bear Melt (11:28)
Today (3:45)BONUS TRACK
Watch Her Ride (3:19)BONUS TRACK
Won’t You Try (5:30)BONUS TRACK

Volunteers (1969)
Still my favorite JA album, for its ballsy, in-your-face declarations and finely tuned execution (despite how gloriously loose much of the album is). Ideas like “we are all outlaws in the eyes of America” spoke to a generation of misfits and drug users, who would fervently raise their fists to sing along with “revolutionary” rhetoric like “Up against the wall, motherfucker”… before sulking back to the couch for another bong hit. The live bonus tracks were recorded in November, 1969 at the Fillmore East. Amazon.

We Can Be Together (5:48)
Good Shepherd (4:23)
The Farm (3:14)
Hey Frederick (8:34)
Turn My Life Down (2:57)
Wooden Ships (6:28)
Eskimo Blue Day (6:36)
A Song For All Seasons (3:30)
Meadowlands (1:04)
Volunteers (2:09)
Good Shepherd (Live) (7:20)BONUS TRACK
Somebody To Love (Live) (4:11)BONUS TRACK
Plastic Fantastic Lover (Live) (3:22)BONUS TRACK
Wooden Ships (Live) (7:00)BONUS TRACK
Volunteers (Live) (3:27)BONUS TRACK

Bark FrontBark (1971)
JeffAir took two years off to start their own label and re-tool the band. Original members Marty Balin and Spencer Dryden had left, and fresh blood in the form of violinist Papa John Creach and drummer Joey Covington were now on board. Despite the layoff (and how generally ignored the album seemed to be in comparison to the rest of their catalog), Bark still nearly cracked the Top Ten and even featured members of Santana on the minor hit, “Pretty As You Feel.”

When The Earth Moves Again (3:57)
Feel So Good (4:40)
Crazy Miranda (3:26)
Pretty As You Feel (4:32)
Wild Turkey (4:47)
Law Man (2:45)
Rock And Roll Island (3:46)
Third Week In The Chelsea (4:37)
Never Argue With A German If You’re Tired or European Song (4:35)
Thunk (3:01)
War Movie (4:50)
Pretty As You Feel (Mono Single Version) (3:11) – BONUS TRACK
Feel So Good (Unedited) (9:25) – BONUS TRACK


VS FrontBS
Volunteers Sessions (1969)
Bark Sessions (1971)

Two gatherings of outtakes and studio jams. Volunteers was, for some, Jefferson Airplane’s apex, while the follow up sessions for Bark, from December 1970 and January 1971, found the band already splintered apart, with both Marty Balin and Spencer Dryden leaving the fold. The sound on these unreleased boots is kinda thin, but still interesting for fans of the studio process. On the acoustic take of “We Can Be Together,” you’ll hear Paul Kantner debuting the song, offering asides on how it should go as he plays.

Volunteers Sessions
Volunteers (Take 18) (2:17)
We Can Be Together (Extended Intro w/Lead Guitar Overdub) (6:23)
We Can Be Together (Acoustic Demo Version) (6:16)
We Can Be Together (Take 75 Master w/Lead Guitar Overdub) (6:14)
Good Shepherd (w/Vocal Overdubs) (4:32)
Good Shepherd (Alternate w/Vocal Overdubs) (4:36)
The Farm (w/Acoustic Guitar Overdubs) (3:07)
The Farm (Alternate w/Acoustic Guitar Overdubs) (3:15)
Turn My Life Down (Demo Version Take 33) (3:06)
Wooden Ships/J. P. P. McStep B. Blues (8:32) – artwork mis-titles this track
Wooden Ships (8:28) – artwork mis-titles this track
A Song for All Seasons (Alternate Take) (3:32)
Hey Frederick (w/Lead Guitar Overdubs) (6:58)
Hey Frederick (Alternate Take w/Lead Guitar Overdubs) (7:15)

Bark Sessions
Pretty As You Feel (13:48)
Banjo (5:50)
Wild Turkey (4:24)
Jam 1 (11:30)
Jam 2 (11:27)
Jam 3 (6:34)
Jam 4 (13:19)
Feel So Good (10:25)


  • Willard
    June 20, 2011 - 14:13 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Brian
    January 3, 2012 - 23:00 | Permalink

    Jefferson Airplane!! THE soundtrack of my late teens/early 20’s. Tokes/tabs/music….I fed my head AND remember it! They played here in Winnipeg sometime late ’67 early ’68 but I couldn’t make it. A friend told me they wandered through the audience before the concert, talking/toking/mingling. When “Baxter’s” came out we got one of the first copies to hit the city [advantages of a friend working in the largest record shop in town] and, properly ‘primed’, parents away for the weekend, we settled in to listen to the Airplane’s newest hits. Not quite a disappointment but definitely not what we were expecting. Strangely, hearing it ‘straight’ next time it made sense. Wonderful, psychedelic sense!!! “After Bathing At Baxter’s” and “Bless It’s Pointed Little Head” [one of the most most powerful, energy packed ‘live’ recordings of all time] are my favorite J.A. albums. I can listen to them anytime, anywhere. I’ve got all these remasters but the two “Sessions” are downloading now. Many thanks for the posting, Willard.


    • Willard
      January 4, 2012 - 08:14 | Permalink

      I’m with you buddy. Anytime I hear JeffAir it takes me right back.

  • KDNYfm
    May 15, 2012 - 11:45 | Permalink

    I have Pillow and Takes Off in my vinyl collection, and actually they are there for my ‘completist’ type attitude towards Moby Grape.
    Surrealistic Pillow is still my fave JA album, some great tunes on here! Today, Comin Back to Me, Embryonic Journey and Plastic Fantastic Lover…not to mention the obvious…although I really have to get that image of Jim Carrey out of my head every time I hear Somebody to Love…
    Thanx for sharing as usual Willard!

  • Mike
    November 23, 2012 - 20:39 | Permalink

    Thanks for the useful info and comments. You may want to add that there’s a hidden bonus track at the end of the Surrealistic Pillow CD — an alternate instrumental version of D.C.B.A.-25. Also, Darby Slick, who wrote Somebody to Love (originally recorded as Someone to Love) wasn’t Grace’s one-time hubby; he was her brother-in-law.

  • Willard
    November 23, 2012 - 20:49 | Permalink

    Thanks for the catch and details.

  • Russell
    February 5, 2013 - 21:00 | Permalink

    I’ve been going thru a JA re-trip the past few months. thanks for all this kickass stuff (esp. the Bark sessions!!)

  • collectedpoems
    July 23, 2013 - 13:41 | Permalink

    thank you!

  • roger
    August 17, 2013 - 23:59 | Permalink

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous
    August 31, 2013 - 13:58 | Permalink

    Thanks for a great collection I really enjoyed listening to these again.

  • Anonymous
    January 16, 2014 - 00:55 | Permalink

    many tanx! Sorry, but I had to hear Plastic Fantastic Lover again.

  • Bob 1950
    February 1, 2014 - 10:08 | Permalink

    Jorma Kaukonen is one of the most underrated guitarists in rock history. JA is also,in my opinion THE most underrated rock band.So much songwriting,singing and instrumental talent. I also think that the band suffered from having a female front person. They also suffered commercially because they were considered a PSYCHEDELIC band. That tag does apply to the band but I think it pigenholes them. Some of their music was soft and lovely. This stigma also applies to a band like country joe and the fish who are better known for the fuck cheer than their music.

  • Rhod
    September 5, 2014 - 21:47 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard

    I am getting into the Airplane for the second time and find their albums great listening that evokes a whole lot of memories.



  • Ace
    September 14, 2014 - 01:48 | Permalink

    Thank you. The original Jefferson Airplane was better than Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane.

  • twofthrs
    December 31, 2014 - 10:39 | Permalink

    Willard, Have you heard of this release?

    Jefferson Airplane

    Live at The Fillmore Auditorium 10/15/66: Late Show: Signe’s Farewell

    Live at The Fillmore Auditorium 10/16/66: Early & Late Shows: Grace’s Debut

    Collector’s Choice Live label, released 2010

    Thanks for any help, twofthrs

    • Willard
      December 31, 2014 - 10:43 | Permalink

      Yeah, I’ve seen them in my travels, but only as bootlegs, I believe. I don’t think I knew that Collectors Choice had released them. It seems like I may have heard the first one, but I don’t have either. I would think some Googling might turn up some boots if you’re curious.

  • enrique
    January 1, 2015 - 13:05 | Permalink

    good, Fantastic

  • January 29, 2016 - 04:38 | Permalink

    After reading of Paul Kantner’s passing away, I decided I needed some catching up to do in my musical education, amazing stuff indeed!

  • Ritzbird
    February 2, 2016 - 11:26 | Permalink

    Wonderful !! Many thanks.

  • Visions
    February 2, 2016 - 14:09 | Permalink

    People (including me) can debate which has been the greatest American rock band, and there are many candidates. But if I consider, not which band was the best, but which band’s music would I take with me to a desert island if I could only take the music of one American band — well, this is the music I would take. I saw JA live in 1967 at my college, which was very cool. People forget that JA performed at Altamont in 1969, and that one of the Hell’s Angels “security team” actually came on stage and knocked Marty Balin out! All lost in the mythos of the Rolling Stones.

    • Clive
      February 5, 2016 - 21:09 | Permalink

      I remember, it’s chronicled in the Gimme Shelter film. I also remember Kantner stepping up to the plate with some righteous anger. He was the man

  • February 3, 2016 - 13:17 | Permalink

    Excellent post Willard. It made me realize that this band was indeed prolific. Ironically, they were the most commercially successful of the San Francisco bands and spent a large part of their career trying to break free of that constraint.

  • February 4, 2016 - 05:01 | Permalink

    Writing that the Jefferson Airplane is responsible for the glut of sordid imitations that followed in their wake is like saying the Allman Brothers Band were responsible for the hordes of miserable jam bands that followed in theirs.

    Recorded labels, and record labels only, were.

    • Willard
      February 4, 2016 - 08:34 | Permalink

      If you’re referring to the opening of the review for Surrealistic Pillow, that idea is stated in the follow-up line… “Label execs and talent scouts… spread out across California with open-ended contracts in an attempt to re-capture the staggering sales success of Jefferson Airplane’s psychedelic brew.” Which clearly lays the blame on “Recorded labels, and record labels only.” JeffAir’s Surrealistic Pillow was simply the impetus.

  • Miles
    February 5, 2016 - 23:44 | Permalink

    Hi Willard…

    I’ve always considered the Airplane to be the best and most artistically consistent of bands to have emerged from the creative wellspring that was San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury in its heyday, particularly for the rhythmic and harmonic structures they incorporated. Jack Cassidy’s bass playing was without peer – always inventive and melodic – and his interaction with Jorma Kaukonen was beyond reproach. Additionally, the unique blend of Kantner, Slick, and Balin’s collective voice produced some incredibly complex and unusual harmonies as well. All in all, the Airplane epitomized for me both the Summer of Love and the psychedelic experience as a whole. Unfortunately, the radicalized stance and political rhetoric of their latter days proved to be somewhat misguided and empty (a Utopian pipe dream, at best), which ultimately makes ‘Volunteers’ sound sorely dated today (although still strong musically).

    Incredible how Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson both died on the same day. What are the odds of that?

    Looking through the comments above (as well as elsewhere), I’m surprised that no one has ever pointed out the ‘The House at Pooneil Corner’ from ‘Crown of Creation’ begins exactly where ‘The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil’ from ‘After Bathing at Baxter’s’ leaves off. I can’t believe that no one has noted that, or finds it as intriguing as I do? Here’s a link for those who’d like to hear:

  • Anonymous
    February 9, 2016 - 00:24 | Permalink

    Thank you Miles, for the mention of Signe Anderson’s death. Paul Kantner’s passing made all the news casts but Signe’s? Nothing! Where would The Airplane be if not for her? And huge thanks for the “Complete Pooneil”. I have always wondered how they would sound as a single composition. Thanks.


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