Great Rock Albums of 1978: Jefferson Starship- Earth

It was said that long ago, God created Jefferson Starship and then Jefferson Starship created Earth. At least that was what the television advert said back in 1978. This album was the follow up to their platinum 1976 album, “Spitfire” and it was one of the few Starship albums to feature the same line up on consecutive albums. Throughout, their turbulent history, the band have had so many changes, if all former members of Jefferson Airplane/Starship got together for a charity softball game, they would have enough people to fill both teams.

“Earth” was symbolic for the supposed mellow sound of Jefferson Starship through the mid to late seventies. Most notable were the chart hits “Count On Me” and “Runaway.” These songs, combined with most of the other keyboard dominated tracks do give the album a sort of mellow out feel. However, to me, they also showcase the keyboard skills of Pete Sears, who in my humble opinion, was one of the most underrated all around musicians in rock at the time.

Ok, you’re probably thinking, why is someone who is so heavy metal enriched, speaking about an album that is considered mellow? Well, “Earth” marked the end of Jefferson Starship’s mellow out period and would progress to a more harder sound. However, that will be mentioned in a future post. But in spite of the mellow nature of this album, there are some hints of a rocking sound in it. The track “Skateboard” bears witness to this and “Show Yourself” does have a rocky edge and features the political lyrics of the old Jefferson Airplane. However, the hidden gem is the supposed top 40 ballad “Runaway.” Yes it is what it says, however, “Runaway” contains a killer solo by guitarist Craig Chaquico. The solo makes the song for me. Finally, few albums have that final track that once you finish listening to it, leaves you with a feel good factor about the album. “All Night Long” is one of my favourite album ending songs of all time.

Track Listing:

1. Love Too Good

2. Count On Me

3. Take Your Time

4. Crazy Feeling

5. Skateboard

6. Fire

7. Show Yourself

8. Runaway

9. All Night Long

Jefferson Starship

Grace Slick- vocals, piano

Marty Balin- vocals

Paul Kantner- guitar

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar

Pete Sears- bass, keyboards

David Freiberg- bass, keyboards

John Barbata- drums

If you fancy a good mellow out trip down memory lane, give “Earth” a listen. It shows why Jefferson Starship were such a versatile band.

Next post: Warren Zevon- Excitable Boy

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2 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1978: Jefferson Starship- Earth”

  1. Metal Odyssey Says:

    The “charity softball game analogy” is funny stuff. 🙂 I will revisit “Earth” now. Nice post.


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