Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Jefferson Starship- Spitfire

A common proverb through the years has been “Never judge a book by its cover.” I have always wondered if the same concept applies to music albums. In 1983, I learned the hard way never to buy an entire album on account of one song when I bought “The Getaway” by Chris DeBurgh because I liked the song “Don’t Pay The Ferryman.” On the other hand, if I didn’t buy the Jefferson Starship album on account of the single “With Your Love,” I wouldn’t have bought this album and would have been poorer for it. Fortunately, I did judge the album by its cover. The idea of a pretty lady riding on a dragon that was formed by the smoke of her cigarette was a cool image for me. To me, the “Spitfire” album was the first really cool album cover in my eyes.

Back in the late 1970s, Jefferson Starship were renowned for being a mellow out type of band. They were noted for songs like “Count On Me” from the “Earth” album and their top hit “Miracles” from the “Red Octopus” album and even on the “Spitfire” album, the hit single “With Your Love,” branded this band as one who excelled in mellow out rock.

Tack Listing:

1. Cruisin’

2. Dance With the Dragon

3. Hot Water

4. St. Charles

5. Song to the Sun

i. Part 1 Ozymadias

ii. Part 2, Don’t Let It Rain

6. With Your Love

7. Switchblade

8. Big City

9. Love Lovely  Love

Unlike the hit single, the other tracks are much more rocking and showcase the great musicianship posessed by the band. There are some good rocking tracks like “Dance With the Dragon” and “Don’t Let It Rain” and there is some great progressive rock on the tracks St. Charles and Switchblade and show cases the keyboard wizardry that is Pete Sears. What I like about this album especially is that lead guitarist Craig Chaquico is let loose on most of the tracks and is allowed to show that he can smoke the fingerboard.

 

Jefferson Starship:

Marty Balin- vocals

Grace Slick- vocals, piano of Ozymadias and Switchblade

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar

Pete Sears- bass and keyboards

David Freiberg- bass and keyboards

John Barbata- drums

Back when the album came out in 76, before people started putting music into categories, this album worked on a lot of levels. There are good hard rocking tracks, some great progressive rock and for the top 40 followers, a solid hit single. This is a great rock album and with the cool front cover design, shows you can judge and album by its cover.

Next post: Bad Company- Straight Shooter

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble

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