ARTIST: Jefferson Airplane
TITLE: After Bathing at Baxter’s
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #17
SINGLES: The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil (#42), Watch Her Ride (#61)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Martha, Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon
LINEUP: Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Airplane decided to go full-tilt psychedelic, and the album has a lot of trippy elements to it, man.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I don’t think this was Marty Balin’s group anymore, but he had to have gone along with it. His voice, as harmony singer mostly, is all over the place, and his “Young Girl Sunday Blues” is one of the highlights.
Starting with the outstanding yet challenging “The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil” and ending with Kantner’s statement “Won’t You Try / Saturday Afternoon”, the Airplane moves the listener through a truly acid-drenched trip, complete with experimental sounds, anti-war statements, hippie imagery, and general electrical tom-foolery.
Their status, after one successful album, was such that they got to do what they wanted, and how they wanted. While the freedom was welcome by the band (after RCA put the screws to them on their first album), it’s lack of direction meant fewer sales and less radio play on AM stations.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The album title was code for “tripping on acid”.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Alternate cuts and mixes.
GRADE B+: The weird for weird-sake cuts drag it down.