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The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane

RCA 4459
Released: November 1970
Chart Peak: #12
Weeks Charted: 40
Certified Gold: 2/12/71

Spencer DrydenJack CasadyJorma KaukonenMarty BalinGrace Slick Paul KantnerHere is a collection of tracks from previously issued Airplane albums, and they are certainly not the worst, although some of your particular favorites may be missing. What a consistently good group this is! The four-year period represented here shows a consistent level of creative musicianship that few other groups can boast. My own favorite is included -- "White Rabbit," Grace Slick's eerie little excursion into Wonderland. Next on my list would have to be "Volunteers," which almost makes me want to (volunteer, that is). If you are a fan, you probably have everything here, but if not, I can't imagine a better introduction.

- Peter Reilly, Stereo Review, 4/71.

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It is the "worst" of Jefferson Airplane. The songs "It's No Secret" and "Somebody To Love," which are studio recordings, could have been better if they were live. The song they did take off a live album, "Plastic Fantastic Lover," was never any good to start with. "White Rabbit," a great song live, is fair on this LP but is better live. Another mistake is putting "We Can Be Together" and "Volunteers" right next to each other. They're exactly the same at the start and end.

- Chip Martin, Hit Parader, 4/72.

For someone who enjoys their albums, like me, this factitious compilation -- fifteen cuts is a lot, but though it includes all (two) of their AM smashes it doesn't even pretend to be a singles anthology -- is a waste. But for someone who finds their albums wanting, like me, it has its uses, especially as overview. These folks are literate both verbally and musically. Their chops don't quite equal their tastes -- "White Rabbit," with its bolero build and librarian's-eye view of lysergic acid, is perfect, but "Chushingura" is almost as sloppy in the picking as "Today" is in the sentiment. They were hippies when becoming a hippie took beatnik initiative and psychedelic imagination. And when they're good they make the for-better-or-worse evolution of rock and roll into rock seem both appropriate and inevitable. B+

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

Above-average '60s hits and major songs are featured on this well-chosen compilation. * * *

- The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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